As the 2010 WPS draft started into the later rounds, most of the big name players were selected and had left the draft room. There were only a handful of players left in the room hoping to hear their names called.
Midway through the fifth round, Sophie Reiser’s name was called as she went to the Chicago Red Stars with the 42nd overall pick.
The 5’5" forward played her collegiate soccer in the Ivy league at Columbia University—not exactly a big name soccer school.
For the Red Stars, Reiser was the first selection that wasn't from a top-tier school. North Carolina’s Whitney Engen led the way followed by UNC teammate Jessica McDonald; Portland goalkeeper Kelsey Davis and Notre Dame forward Michele Weissenhofer rounded out the first four Red Star picks. Being from a smaller school, Reiser knew she probably would have to wait a few rounds before her name got called.
“Well coming from the Ivy league, you just have to be a little more realistic,” Reiser said. “We weren’t breaking into the top ten in the country, we weren’t making it to the final four. In terms of just being an individual player, you just have to prove that you can play at the next level. So I wasn’t really expecting to be picked in the first couple rounds, but I’m just so excited that they were able to see the potential and pick me up. It’s exciting.”
The Seattle native is the first player from Columbia to be drafted into WPS. As a senior, she broke the Lions assist record, finishing her career with 28. She finished her career ranked second in points (80) and third in goals (26).
As a junior in 2008 she scored a career high 12 goals and added 11 assists for 35 points. She was also named the 2008 Ivy League player of the year. Reiser garnered SoccerBuzz All-American (fourth team) and NSCAA All-American Scholar honors, the first for a Columbia product.
Reiser will look to bring an attacking mentality to the Red Stars this season after the club scored just 18 goals in 2009. She is definitely looking forward to playing with Chicago’s newest talent and veterans alike. But most of all, Reiser is very excited to have finally reached the professional ranks.
“Oh I can’t wait!” Reiser exclaimed. “I’ve been waiting for years to play at this next level. I’m just so excited to grow as a player and contribute to the team immediately.”
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m so lucky to have this chance and to be here and be able to see the coaches again. And I know that there are a lot of people out there really wishing they were in my spot right now, so I’m definitely not taking it for granted. [I’m] just going to use this opportunity to do the best I can.”
Photo courtsey of WPS/Chicago Red Stars