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2016 NWSL Draft: With the 23rd pick, Sky Blue FC chooses Rutgers' Erica Skroski

Sky Blue stays local by picking Rutgers University central defender

Erica Skroski will get to start her professional career on the same field where she played college soccer.

The Rutgers University central defender was the 23rd overall selection, taken by the hometown Sky Blue FC in the National Womens Soccer League (NWSL)  2016 College Draft this afternoon.

Skroski was selected as the third pick in the third round by Sky Blue, who plays their home games at Rutgers University's Yurcak Field.

"i just wanted to be picked up by Sky Blue -- although i would have been happy anywhere," Skroski said. "To be able to continue my professional career  at the same stadium from college here at Rutgers is special."

Skroski and Rutgers teammate Brianne Reed  were twin central defenders for a Scarlet Knights side that made school history by advancing to the Final Four. Reed was drafted earlier in the day by FC Kansas City and was plugging for Skroski to be drafted soon. And she got her wish.

'We both worked well together and communicated very well with each other," said Skroski. "And I thank Brianne for making me a better player every day in practice."

Both defenders and junior goalkeeper Casey Murphy were key parts of a defense that allowed only .375 goals per game and resulted in 19 clean sheets. Skroski was named Big Ten defender of the year in 2015 and was second-team All-American.