Trio of Stanford women selected in the NWSL draft


Three Stanford players -- Chioma Ubogagu, Lo'eau LaBonta, and Kendall Romine -- were selected in the National Women's Soccer League draft Friday, two by the same team.

Sacred Heart Prep grad Abby Dahlkemper, a senior at UCLA, was taken by the Western New York Flash as the third overall pick.

"I'm just super excited to get started with the Flash and get ready for the season," Dahlkemper said on the team's website. "I'm looking forward to being able to play, practice and keep getting better in a great environment."

Ubogagu and LaBonta both went to New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC, where they will join former Stanford stars Kelley O'Hara ('10), and Cami Levin ('12), and former Cardinal assistant coach Jay Cooney.

All three were taken in the fourth round of the four-round, 36-player draft. Ubogagu, a forward, went with the 28th pick. LaBonta, a midfielder, was taken with the 31st. And Romine, a central defender, was selected 36th by Seattle Reign FC.

The nine-team NWSL begins its third season in April. A total of six Stanford players have now been selected in three NWSL drafts. Last season, eight former Cardinal played in the NWSL, including current Stanford volunteer assistant coach Nicole Barnhart ('04), who starred in goal for champion FC Kansas City.

Ubogagu, a film and media studies major who also is on a pre-med track, scored 10 goals and had seven assists while serving as a captain on a 2014 Stanford team that advanced to the NCAA College Cup semifinals and finished with a 20-2-3 record.

Ubogagu is a dynamic player with great skills, and has the ability to slice through a defense to set up her own shot or find one for others. She finished her Stanford career as a four-time All-Pac-12 selection, including two selections on first team, and is No. 10 on Stanford's all-time points list (89).

LaBonta, a product design major, had a breakthrough 2014 season, leading the team in goals (13) and points (31). Her goals more than doubled her total of her previous three seasons (9).

LaBonta was outstanding in the clutch, scoring seven game-winners, including two in overtime. She was named to the NSCAA All-America second team, the All-Pac-12 first team, and the College Cup All-Tournament team.

Romine, like Ubogagu, was a starter on Stanford's 2011 NCAA championship team. She was a fixture in the central defense, teaming with Alina Garciamendez and then Maddie Bauer during her Cardinal career.

Romine is calm under pressure and a good ball distributor. She added a pivotal goal on a header off a corner kick in the NCAA quarterfinal against Florida that Stanford won in a penalty shootout.

Romine had already received her undergraduate degree in international relations and earned her master's in the same field in December 2014.

This is the fourth time that at least three Stanford players have been taken in a single women's soccer draft. Stanford was among three schools to have at least three players selected, along with UCLA and Texas A&M.

Dahlkemper, a first-team All-American defender, was part of UCLA's most successful senior class.

The Bruins' seniors compiled a 77-6-11 record, led UCLA to its first-ever NCAA championship (in 2013) and tied school records for single-season shutouts (19) and fewest goals allowed (6) this season.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Peek inside the fine-dining Selby's, opening in Redwood City this summer
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 3,638 views

Juggling Renewables
By Sherry Listgarten | 47 comments | 2,297 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,091 views

Premarital and Couples: "You're Not Listening to Me!" may mean "I don't feel heard."
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 898 views

Migraines and motherhood
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 548 views


Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Palo Alto. Voting is open now through May 27. Watch for the results of our 2019 Best Of contest on Friday, July 19.