ATHENS, Ga. -- Former University of Georgia goalkeeper Ashley Baker was the 20th overall pick in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) college draft Friday morning, taken in the third round by New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC.
The brand-new NWSL is the top professional women's league in the United States, set to begin competition this spring. It includes eight teams - each of which selected four college players Friday.
"I am absolutely thrilled for Ashley," said Georgia head coach Steve Holeman. "She has worked incredibly hard during her time at Georgia and it will be exciting to see her at the next level. Her experience in the SEC along with the U20, U23, and senior national teams of England will certainly pay dividends as she prepares for Sky Blue FC. We wish her all the best as she moves into the next phase of her playing career."
Baker was one of five Southeastern Conference players drafted, joining Florida's Kathryn Williamson, Erika Tymrak, Holly King, and Jo Dragotta. She becomes the first Georgia player drafted professionally since All-American Carrie Patterson was taken in the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) draft by the Philadelphia Independence and traded to the Atlanta Beat.
Currently in Spain training with the England Senior National Team, Baker has extensive international experience as the goalkeeper for the U23 and U20 England squads, playing in the Women's World Cup in 2008 and 2010.
As a senior for UGA in 2012, Baker posted 112 saves and recorded five shutouts in 19 starts and 1,786 minutes of action. She wrapped up her Bulldog playing career with 305 career saves, good for fourth all-time in the record book, while her 20 career shutouts are third all-time at Georgia. She recorded double-figure saves in three games last season, including a career-high 13 vs. No. 9 UCF, just two shy of the school record.
University of Georgia