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Lo'eau LaBonta, Chioma Ubogagu, Kendall Romine. Photo by Jim Shorin/
Three Card Go in Soccer Draft
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 01/16/2015

PHILADELPHIA – Three Stanford players – Chioma Ubogagu, Lo’eau LaBonta, and Kendall Romine -- were selected in the fourth round of the National Women’s Soccer League draft Friday, two by the same team.

Ubogagu and LaBonta both went to New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC, where they will join former Stanford stars Kelley O’Hara ’10, and Cami Levin ’12, and former Cardinal assistant coach Jay Cooney.

Here they are, with round (overall pick), name, position, and team:

4th (28), Chioma Ubogagu, F, Sky Blue FC
4th (31), Lo'eau LaBonta, MF, Sky Blue FC
4th (36), Kendall Romine, D, Seattle Reign FC

The nine-team NWSL had a four-round draft of 36 players. It begins its third season in April and a total of six Stanford players have been selected in three NWSL drafts. Last season, eight former Cardinal played in the NWSL, including current Stanford volunteer assistant coach Nicole Barnhart ’04, who starred in goal for champion FC Kansas City.

Ubogagu, a film and media studies major who also is on a pre-med track, scored 10 goals and had seven assists while serving as a captain on a 2014 Stanford team that advanced to the NCAA College Cup semifinals and finished with a 20-2-3 record. Ubogagu is a dynamic player with great skills, and has the ability to slice through a defense to set up her own shot or find one for others. She finished her Stanford career as a four-time All-Pac-12 selection, including two selections on first team, and is No. 10 on Stanford’s all-time points list (89).

LaBonta, a product design major, had a breakthrough 2014 season, leading the team in goals (13) and points (31). Her goals more than doubled her total of her previous three seasons (9). LaBonta was outstanding in the clutch, scoring seven game-winners, including two in overtime. She was named to the NSCAA All-America second team, the All-Pac-12 first team, and the College Cup All-Tournament team.

Romine, like Ubogagu, was a starter on Stanford’s 2011 NCAA championship team. She was a fixture in the central defense, teaming with Alina Garciamendez and then Maddie Bauer during her Cardinal career. Romine is calm under pressure and a good ball distributor. She added a pivotal goal on a header off a corner kick in the NCAA quarterfinal against Florida that Stanford won in a penalty shootout. Romine had already received her undergraduate degree in international relations and earned her master’s in the same field in December 2014.

This is the fourth time that at least three Stanford players have been taken in a single women’s soccer draft. Stanford was among three schools to have at least three players selected, along with UCLA and Texas A&M.



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