Jan. 18, 2018
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame women’s soccer midfielder Sandra Yu was selected with the No. 8 overall pick by Portland Thorns FC in the National Women’s Soccer League Draft on Thursday. Yu, a United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American, becomes the fourth Irish player to be drafted in the NWSL.
Hailing from Strongsville, Ohio, Yu started all 22 games for Notre Dame in 2017 and earned the start in each of the team’s last 63 games. Yu’s 21 points, eight goals and five assists more than doubled her previous career highs. Most notably, Yu tallied five points on two goals and one assist in Notre Dame’s 4-0 shutout victory over No. 24 NC State on Sept. 24.
On Nov. 30, Yu was named Notre Dame’s 53rd United Soccer Coaches (formerly NSCAA) All-American after setting career highs in nearly every statistical category in 2017. Yu is the first Notre Dame player to earn All-America honors since Cari Roccaro (2015).
Yu also was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference First Team following the 2017 season.
The Notre Dame women’s soccer program has had no shortage of representation among the professional ranks. Since the founding of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) in 2000, 24 former Irish players have played in American professional leagues, with a total of 27 making rosters around the world. Yu becomes the fourth Irish player to be selected in an NWSL College Draft since the league was formed in 2012.
With the No. 8 overall selection, Yu was the highest pick in the draft since Roccaro went to the Houston Dash with the fifth overall pick in 2016.
For more on the Irish women’s soccer program, follow @NDSoccer on Twitter and @NDWSoccer on Instagram.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame baseball and women’s soccer programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.