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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With opening day rosters finalized in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), the Penn State women's soccer team ranks third among collegiate programs with 11 alumnae playing in the NWSL.
Penn State women's soccer is represented on six of the 10 NWSL teams. Penn State alumnae in the NWSL are: Elizabeth Ball (2014-17), Whitney Church (2011-14), Frannie Crouse (2014-17), Britt Eckerstrom (2011-15), Ali Krieger (2003-06), Joanna Lohman (2000-03), Alyssa Naeher (2006-09), Christine Nairn (2009-12), Raquel Rodriguez (2012-15), Mallory Weber (2012-15), and Tiffany Weimer (2002-05).
CHICAGO RED STARS
Naeher enters her ninth professional season and her third with the Chicago Red Stars. During the 2017 slate, Naeher started 22 matches, posted 68 saves, and tallied six clean sheets.
NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE
Crouse, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft, begins her first year in the NWSL. As a Nittany Lion, Crouse played in 92 matches, which included 83 starts. She closed out her Nittany Lion career 12th in points (91), 10th in goals (37), 10th in game-winning goals (13), tied for 25th in assists (17), 10th in shots (231), and sixth in shots on goal (111).
The 2018 Orlando Pride roster features the duo of Krieger and Nairn. For Krieger, 2018 marks her second season in Orlando and her sixth season in the NWSL. Last year, she started 24 matches on the backline for the Pride.
For Nairn, she enters her first year in Orlando, and her sixth year in the league, after being traded from Seattle Reign FC this past offseason. On August 5, 2017, Nairn and Lauren Barnes became the first players to appear in 100 regular season games.
PORTLAND THORNS FC
In Portland, the Nittany Lion contingent is comprised of Ball, Eckerstrom, and Weber - all three recorded starts in Penn State's 1-0 victory over Duke in the 2015 National Championship match. Ball enters her first year in the league with Thorns FC after joining the team as an undrafted free agent.
Eckerstrom and Weber were on the roster last season for Portland as the team captured its second NWSL title. For Eckerstrom, she did not appear in a match for Thorns FC during the 2017 regular season. On the year for Weber, she made appearances in 17 matches, which included five starts, and she recorded one goal.
SKY BLUE FC
Rodriguez, the 2016 NWSL Rookie of the Year, begins her third season with Sky Blue FC in 2018. Last season, Rodriguez played in 21 matches, tallied 17 starts, and scored four goals.
In Washington, Penn State is represented by the trio of Church, Lohman, and Weimer.
The 2018 season marks Church's fourth year with the Washington Spirit after being selected 30th overall by the club in the 2015 NWSL College Draft. The 2017 season saw Church start 22 matches and record one goal.
This upcoming NWSL season will be Lohman's 14th professional season as she has competed professionally in Cyprus, Sweden, Spain, the W-League, WPS and the NWSL. In the 2017 season opener, Lohman was injured and she missed the remainder of the 2017 slate.
After being added to the Spirit's roster earlier this week, Weimer is set for her sixth season in the NWSL. Last year, Weimer played in 17 matches with the Boston Breakers.