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Jan. 16, 2015

PHILADELPHIA – South Carolina goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo was selected with the third pick of the third round, the No. 21 overall selection, by the Western New York Flash in today’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“It’s a huge honor to be drafted. I didn’t think I was going to have the opportunity to get to play in the league,” D’Angelo said. “[My roommates and I] were just jumping up and down. It’s just really a huge honor and I’m excited for this opportunity.”

D’Angelo is the first Gamecock to be drafted into the NWSL, which began play in the spring of 2013. Prior to today, the last South Carolina player drafted into a women’s soccer professional league was Blakely Mattern. Mattern was 21st overall pick in the now-defunct Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPS) 2010 collegiate draft.

The Western New York Flash won the 2013 NWSL regular season championship, but are in rebuilding mode after offseason moves cut its roster to just 11 players. The activities left the Flash with the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 18th and 21st picks.

“Everything pretty much went to plan today,” Flash general manager and head coach Aaran Lines said. “These are young, dynamic players that have huge potential. We haven’t seen a draft this good in the history of the Western New York Flash. It’s put us in a good position and I’m excited to work and help that talent get to the next level.”

After notching 10 shutouts for the Gamecocks this season, D’Angelo became the program’s first two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) First-Team All-American. The Welland, Ontario, native owns 29 career clean sheets, just three behind school record holder Mollie Patton. Allowing just 0.58 goals a game this season (14th nationally), the team captain surrendered more than one goal just twice in 2014 (3-2 W vs. No. 5 Florida, 2-2 T at No. 6 Texas A&M). In all, just 13 goals were scored on the netminder this year, a total that topped the SEC. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, D’Angelo notched a shutout vs. rival Clemson and made two pivotal saves in the penalty kick shootout to advance the Gamecocks to the second round. The unforgettable performance would be her last in the Garnet and Black as injury prevented the four-time All-SEC honoree from playing in South Carolina’s final three NCAA contests.

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a nine-team Division-I women’s professional soccer league featuring national team players from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The nine clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Houston Dash, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, Washington Spirit and Western New York Flash. The season begins play in April and finishes in August, although some of the top players will miss part of the 20-game schedule because of obligations with their national teams participating in the Women’s World Cup.

Based in Chicago, the NWSL is supported by the Canadian Soccer Association, Federation of Mexican Football and the United States Soccer Federation.

For more info on the Western New York Flash, click here.