An Award for Raquel Rodriguez
We knew Raquel Rodriguez was special back when she was the featured athlete in our Sept./Oct. 2013 issue. Two years later, she won the Hermann Trophy en route to leading Penn State women’s soccer to a national title. Now a professional, Rodriguez on Monday was named the National Women’s Soccer League’s Rookie of the Year.
Rodriguez is the fourth recipient of the award in league history, and the second Penn Stater to win an individual NWSL award – Alyssa Naeher ’10 was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014.
Drafted second overall in the 2016 NWSL Draft by New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC, Rodriguez played in 18 of the team’s 20 matches, recording 17 starts, one goal, and one assist from her spot in the midfield. Her only goal was this right-footed strike during a match against Washington:
Her run of good form extended to the international stage, where Rodriguez was a standout for Costa Rica’s national team during Olympic qualifying earlier this year. While the squad did not qualify for the 2016 Olympics, Costa Rica came in third and Rodriguez tied for the tournament lead with six goals.
Bill DiFilippo, online editor