The W-League is back, and this year there are no less than four Australians who have played NCAA Division I. Three of these players are playing for Melbourne clubs, whilst one, Rebecca Kiting, is at Canberra United.
Club: Melbourne City
College: Nevada (2005-06)
Despite going on to play for Australia after college, Aivi actually started her career at NAIA side Brescia University. After dominating at the lower level for two seasons, Aivi made the move to Nevada where she slotted straight into the side, playing 42 games in 2 years, scoring 9 goals and assisting on 8. Since returning from college, Aivi has played both in Europe and in the W-League, where she has played for Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory before this year joining Melbourne City. Aivi has 6 caps for the Matildas, and even received a call-up to the Matildas extended squad for the 2015 Women’s World Cup despite spending a year out through injury, although she did not make the final squad.
Club: Melbourne City
College: Florida International (2007-09)
A former Young Matilda, Amy spent three years at Florida International, where she became a regular starter and eventually one of the vital cogs of the midfield. Amy played 48 games for Florida International, scoring 4 goals and also assisting on 3. However, it was her goal on her own Senior Night that made her a name to remember for years to come at FIU as she scored the game winner against rivals Florida Atlantic to secure the side’s first conference regular season title in 9 years. Since returning from college, Amy has played 47 games for Melbourne Victory and scored 10 goals, but this year has moved across town to Melbourne City, where she may even partner Aivi Luik in midfield.
Club: Melbourne Victory
College: Florida State (2005-07)
Possibly Australia’s most highly decorated college player, Selin had a stellar college career in her three years at Florida State. Selin scored 29 goals and tallied another 22 assists in 50 games in Division I, and was named to the Soccer America All-American First Team in 2005, alongside the likes of Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod, US national team midfielder Lori Chalupny, and MAC Hermann Trophy award winner Christine Sinclair. Selin was also named as a semi-finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, which is the player of the year award for college soccer. Following her time at college, Selin returned to play for Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United in the W-League, and now returns from a 4 year hiatus to answer Melbourne Victory’s call. Selin also has 22 Matildas caps and represented Australia at the 2004 Olympics.
Club: Canberra United
College: Quinnipiac (2010-13)
A regular for Quinnipiac in all four years, Rebecca was a mainstay in the Bobcats’ defence, but also made herself a danger at the other end of the field, scoring 8 goals in her college career and tallying 3 assists just for good measure. Having played for Canberra United before moving to college, Rebecca was welcomed straight back into the club on her return from the US and has been a backup member of the squad since that time. Aside from her W-League and collegiate experience, Rebecca has also played for the Under 17 and Under 20 Australian national teams.