With the No. 30 overall pick in the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft, Sky Blue FC selected New Jersey native Catrina Atanda of the Clemson Tigers.
“First, I would like to thank Sky Blue FC, of course, and the NWSL for selecting me,” Atanda said after being drafted. “I’m super excited to continue playing at the next level in my home state, New Jersey.”
Atanda led the Clemson women’s soccer team with 12 goals and four assists during the 2016 campaign, and helped the Tigers achieve one of its most successful seasons since the early 2000s. Clemson’s 12th overall ranking in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll was the highest final national ranking for the program in 15 years. The Tigers also advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006, and earned the program’s second Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Regular Season Championship in school history.
The Belle Mead, N.J. native earned her first career All-American accolade her senior season when she was named to the NSCAA All-America Third Team. Atanda also earned ALL-ACC First Team honors and was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Women’s Division I Best XI Team as a member of the association’s third team.
The Tiger midfielder finished her collegiate career scoring 30 goals (eighth all-time in Clemson’s record books) in 80 games played.
Prior to attending Clemson, Atanda was a member of the U-17 U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) pool in 2012 and was selected to attend the U-17 USWNT Camp in 2011. She earned four varsity letters from Montgomery High School and won the NJ Group 4 County and Sectional Championship in 2011. She also won four NJ Sate Championships with her club team, the Player Development Academy (PDA).