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Former Penn State Women’s Soccer Star Sam Coffey Officially Signs With Portland Thorns

Former Penn State women’s soccer star Sam Coffey is off to play in the National Women’s Soccer League after three stellar seasons as a Nittany Lion.

Coffey was the No. 12 overall pick in the NWSL draft in January 2021, but chose to defer her professional career and spend her final year of NCAA eligibility in Happy Valley. After wrapping up the fall season, the New York native signed a two-year deal with the Portland Thorns.

“We knew we were getting a high caliber player when the club drafted Sam, but the development we’ve seen in her over the last year excites us even more for her future in Portland,” general manager Karina LeBlanc said in a press release.

Coffey transferred to Penn State from Boston College after her sophomore season and made the most of her three years under head coach Erica Dambach. The captain earned three All-Big Ten First Team selections and was named the 2020-2021 Big Ten Midfielder of the Year. Additionally, Coffey racked up 42 goals and 54 assists during her time playing at Jeffrey Field.

“Sam is a versatile player and an attacking threat on the pitch. Her team-first mentality and work ethic make her a perfect fit for our club,” said Thorns head coach Rhian Wilkinson.

Former Nittany Lion Rocky Rodriguez is another prominent star on the Thorns roster and will welcome Coffey to the midfield. Fellow captain Kerry Abello will also be heading to the NWSL alongside Coffey after similarly deferring her professional career. Abello was the No. 24 overall pick in the 2021 NWSL draft and will play for the Orlando Pride.

Coffey and the Thorns will kick off the 2022 NWSL season with the annual Challenge Cup in April followed by a 22-game regular season beginning in May.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a junior journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is Onward State's managing editor. She also talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese and Kevin Jonas. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @keeleylammm or send your best joke to her email [email protected].

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