April 10, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 2003 WUSA season got underway this past weekend as 12 former Santa Clara University student-athletes took the field, making SCU the second most represented school in the league behind University of North Carolina.
The two latest newcomers in the league from the mission campus are Aly Wagner and Devvyn Hawkins. Wagner plays for the San Diego Spirit as the first overall pick in the February draft and Hawkins joins the Boston Breakers as the third pick overall.
Both standouts made their debut over the weekend as the two teams faced off. Hawkins helped the Breakers defeat the Spirit 2-1in San Diego for the first time in two seasons.
Many of the WUSA players do double duty, as they are also members of the U.S. Women's National Team. Brandi Chastain '90, Wagner and Danielle Slaton '01 are among the 24-woman roster that was called upon by the Women's National Team head coach April Heinrichs to train for four days before facing Nigeria in an important Women's World Cup warm-up match at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. Kickoff is at 9 a.m. and the match will be televised live on ESPN.
The Santa Clara name has made its mark in the WUSA as many of its student-athletes have received recognition. Slaton received the Defensive Player of the Year award last season for her tremendous contributions to the Carolina Courage. Slaton anchored the Courage defense that allowed just 1.43 goal per game in 2002.
Slaton was also a major factor in helping the Courage defeat the Washington Freedom in the championship game of the Founders Cup last season. Emmy Barr and Jacqui Little of the Freedom were also contributing factors in the successful season of the Freedom.
Additionally, Chastain, Little, Megan Horvath '00 and Lisa Nanez '98 helped the Bay Area CyberRays win the inagural Founders Cup in 2001.
Former Santa Clara Student-Athletes by WUSA TeamAtlanta Beat
Kylie Bivens, Nikki Serlenga
San Diego Spirit
Kim Pickup, Jennifer (Lalor) Nielsen, Aly Wagner
San Jose CyberRays
Brandi Chastain, Mandy Clemens
Emmy Barr, Jacqui Little