Sky Blue’s Rodriguez named NWSL Rookie of the Year

rocky

by TOM SLATER

Raquel Rodriguez’s dream year continued Monday when the Sky Blue midfielder was named Rookie of the Year by the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

“We are absolutely delighted for Rocky in being voted as the NWSL Rookie of the Year,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC coach. “This award is great recognition for all of the hard work she has put forth over the past season. Not only is she a fantastic asset to our organization on the field, she is also a brilliant representative for Sky Blue FC off the field as well. She is a key component in a very strong core of players who will continue bringing this organization forward.”

Sky Blue FC made Rodriguez the number two overall selection in the 2016 NWSL College Draft last January. She teamed with second-year midfielder Sarah Killion and the two formed a young but solid duo in the middle of the field for Sky Blue.

On the season, Rodriguez made 17 starts over 18 appearances. She registered 22 shots on the year, adding a goal and an assist to the offensive stat sheet. Her lone goal was the game-winner against the Washington Spirit in June.

The Rookie of the Year award caps a fantastic 12 months for the Penn State product, who helped lead her school to the 2015 NCAA National Championship last December – scoring the game-winning goal in the national title game.

She went on to also win the 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy given to the top collegiate player in the country before being selected No. 2 overall in the 2016 NWSL College Draft in January. Then in February, Rodriguez had six goals for Costa Rica during 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship to finish the tournament tied with U.S. international Crystal Dunn as the competition’s top scorer.

NWSL awards are voted on by media, club officials and players.