Following an undefeated regular season marked by a Big East championship win and a bid to the NCAA Division I College Cup, graduate student forward Kyra Carusa closed out her career with the Georgetown women’s soccer program by entering into the National Women’s Soccer League draft on Jan. 18.
Carusa was selected as the first pick of the third round by Sky Blue FC, a professional soccer team based in Piscataway Township, N.J., that has competed in the National Women’s Soccer League since 2013. Carusa was the 19th selection overall. Despite only playing with the Hoyas for one season, Carusa leaves Georgetown with several notable achievements including scoring 10 goals this season and making 12 assists as a forward for the Blue and Gray.
Carusa’s name frequented the list of multiple single-season Hoya records. She was eighth in goals, fifth in overall points and third in assists, tallying a total of 32 points this season. This total was second on the team to senior Caitlyn Farrell with 39 points.
At the end of the 2018 season, Carusa was selected to the all-Big East second team, Big East all-tournament team, College Cup all-tournament team, and the United Soccer Coaches All-East Regional first feam.
Carusa is not the first Georgetown alumna to be drafted to the league. The graduate student joins several other prominent Hoya women’s soccer players, including Elizabeth Wenger to the Washington Spirit, Rachel Corboz to Seattle Reign FC, Emily Menges to the Portland Thorns and Daphne Corboz to Sky Blue FC. Overall, Carusa becomes the seventh Hoya to appear in the NWSL and the fifth to be chosen in the NWSL draft.
Prior to her time as a Hoya, Carusa began her collegiate soccer career at Stanford University. She played in 69 games over three seasons during her undergraduate career before continuing her studies at Georgetown for graduate school.
During Carusa’s time at Stanford she won the NCAA Division I College Cup in 2017, scoring the first goal in the team’s 3-2 championship game victory over UCLA. Carusa was also named three times to the All-Pac-12 second team and received three Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mentions.
Earlier in her career, Carusa was selected to the 2015 Pac-12 all-freshman team, the 2016 United Soccer Coaches All-Pacific Region third team, and the 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-Pacific Region second team. In 2017, she recorded a career-high of 15 goals on the season, four of which were game-winners. She finished second in goals scored on the team in the 2017 season and second in overall points with 35.
These recent recruitments of Georgetown graduates by professional leagues demonstrate the success of the Hoya women’s soccer program. Many current Hoyas are looking to follow Carusa and also pursue a career in the professional league, including Farrell, who also entered the draft this year but failed to be selected.
Carusa’s experience with the NWSL draft also reveals some of the difficulties facing collegiate athletes that hope to continue their careers on a professional level, according to Head Coach Dave Nolan.
“I was very surprised with events at the NWSL Draft today,” Nolan said in an interview with GU Hoyas. “Because both Caitlin and Kyra are finishing school and are therefore not available until May, it definitely pushed coaches away and as a result, both girls suffered in their selection.”
Sky Blue FC placed last in the league last year with a record of 1-17-6 and failed to qualify for the playoffs. Carusa hopes to add offense to the team and turn things around.
Carusa’s selection reveals a rising interest for professional recruitment in women’s professional soccer. The expansion of women’s professional organizations may continue to encourage collegiate players, especially those in highly competitive divisions such as the Big East, to consider professional careers.
For Georgetown’s women’s soccer program, the selection could signify an increase in players actively pursuing sports careers beyond the collegiate level.