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Rutgers defenders lead group of New Jersey college players eligible for NWSL draft

10 New Jersey natives in the preliminary list for draft that will be held January 15 in Baltimore.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of Rutgers University defenders lead a contingent of 10 Garden State seniors who are eligible for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) draft, according to the list of players released by the league today.

The NWSL College Draft will be held Friday, January 15, as part of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) convention in Baltimore.

Defenders Brianne Reed (Tinton Fall, NJ) and Erica Skroski (Galloway, NJ) helped lead Rutgers to a first-ever College Cup final four appearance, dropping a 2-0 decision to eventual champion Penn State.

Hayley Katkowski, a midfielder from Westford, Mass., is the third Rutgers player who is eligible.

Other New Jersey natives who are on the list are:

Nicole Baxter (Pennington/William and Mary), Nicole Belfonti, Galloway/George Washington), Melissa Blevins (Voorhees/Seton Hall), Phoenetia Browne (Piscataway/University of Texas-Austin), Jenna Kalwa (Pennington/North Carolina State), Christa Neary (West Deptford/South Carolina), Brittany Ratcliffe (Williamstown/Virginia) and Catherine Zimmerman (Madison/Providence).

For the complete list of the 145 college players who are eligible for the draft, visit http://nwsl.us/1OAFSyG.

Sky Blue FC has the third overall pick in the draft. Portland has the first two picks, both acquired by trade in the off-season.

The draft will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center and will be open to the public. The latest order for the 2016 NWSL College Draft can be found here. You can also find the selections from the 20132014 and 2015 drafts in the history section on NWSLsoccer.com..