SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Dartmouth’s three-time All-American goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill ’01 was drafted by the Boston Breakers in the fourth round of the Women’s Professional Soccer League that took place this afternoon.
The WPS eatures seven teams and will begin play in the spring of 2009, with three more franchises set to join in 2010. Following the allocation of US National Team members - three per team - and a four-round international draft, the WPS held a four-round US draft today, adding an elite group of 28 players to the ranks. The teams will fill out their rosters this winter when collegiate players become eligible to be drafted. This is the second go around for women's professional soccer in the United States, as the WUSA, started in 2001, folded after the 2003 season.
"The day the WUSA ended was one of the worst days of my life and the opportunity to be part of the beginning of a new league is something I wasn't sure I'd have again, so I am ecstatic," said Luckenbill. 'And I am especially excited to be playing for Boston."
Luckenbill was the only player from an Ivy League school selected in today’s draft. With the Boston Breakers, Luckenbill will reunite with 2004 Olympic teammates Angela Hucles and Kristine Lilly along with current national team defender Heather Mitts.
"The people involved with the league have worked so hard on this, figuring out what went wrong last time and what went right and how to make things work," said Luckenbill. "There is a buzz about the sport now and it should be a quality league and I know the people involved have made good plans and I think it will be a success."
Luckenbill has proven herself on both the international and professional stage, most notably as a member of the 2004 US National Team that won the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Following her senior season, Luckenbill was drafted by the Carolina Courage of the WUSA, and was the 2001 Carolina Courage Rookie of the Year. She upped the ante in 2002 as the starting goalkeeper for the WUSA Champions, earning WUSA Goalkeeper of the Year, First Team All-WUSA and Carolina Courage Defender of the Year honors.
Luckenbill, who played for the Big Green from 1997-00, led Dartmouth to two Ivy League Championships and four-straight NCAA Tournaments including an Elite Eight appearance in 1998. A four-time First Team All-Ivy pick, Luckenbill recorded a Dartmouth-record 29 career shutouts and is second on the career goals against average list at 0.73.
This fall, she is lending her support to Dartmouth women’s soccer as a volunteer assistant, working with the goalkeepers.