Former Penn State women’s soccer captain Nickolette Driesse took her first steps toward the professional game on Thursday as she was selected No. 32 overall by the Orlando Pride in the fourth round of the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League Draft.
Driesse started all 21 matches for the Nittany Lions in 2016, mostly playing in a holding midfield role. She led the team with six assists and scored a goal against Bucknell in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. She was named to the All-Big Ten first team.
The New Jersey native tallied four goals and six assists in Penn State’s national title season during her junior year. Prior to transferring to Penn State for that season, she played her first two years with Florida State — winning a national title in 2014.
The Pride, coached by former United States women’s national team manager Tom Sermanni, is entering their second year of existence. In its inaugural season, Orlando finished ninth of 10 teams and will be hoping to rebuild in the midfield with Driesse after centerpiece Becky Edwards announced that she is retiring.
Driesse joins Penn State alumni Ali Krieger and Maddy Evans on the Pride roster and could feature as one of the dozen Nittany Lions with a chance to play in the league this season.