Former Spartan Great Taken In Pro Women's Soccer Draft

St. Louis, Mo.-----Stacie Alberico, who starred at San Jose State University as Stacie Savage for the Spartans’ women’s soccer team in 1996 and 1997, was one of 70 players selected in the 2009 Women’s Professional Soccer Draft on Friday, January 16.

    Alberico was chosen in the 10th round as the 68th overall player by FC Gold Pride, the Bay Area franchise of the seven-team league that begins play for its inaugural season on March 29 in Carson, Calif. She was one of 10 players the Pride added during the final WPS Draft, held in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention at the America's Center Convention Complex. FC Gold Pride opens its campaign on Sunday, April 5, hosting Friday's top selection Amy Rodriguez (USC) and the Boston Breakers.

    “I’m very excited,” said Alberico, who attended a pair of combines in the lead-up to the WPS selection process, the latter one in Chula Vista, Calif., in December. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this opportunity. I tried out for the WUSA back when it was starting out, and didn’t make it. To be able to play professionally, is something that has been a dream of mine. I still have to work very hard. Yes, I was drafted, but I still have a lot of work to do. Out of all of the players trying out at the combines, over 140, it was nice to get that call. I’m going to be out there with a lot of the best players in the world. I have to work very hard (to make the squad and stick).”

    FC Gold Pride, which will be playing its home schedule at Santa Clara’s renovated Buck Shaw Stadium, also the home of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, are coached by Albertin Montoya, who finished his own decorated collegiate playing career at Santa Clara. The roster already boasted allotted national team players Nicole Barnhart (GK, Stanford), Rachel Buehler (D, Stanford) and Leslie Osborne (MF, Santa Clara). The club also selected women’s soccer icon Brandi Chastain, the former Santa Clara University, Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) and U.S. national team star, in the seventh round, 45th overall.

    As a college player, Savage set San Jose State career scoring records for goals scored (33) and points (77), marks that still stand today. Arguably the greatest player in the 14-year history of the Spartan women's program, she was a two-time Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

    In addition to goals and points, Alberico still tops the career record book at San Jose State in shots (202), game-winning goals (10) and three-goal hat tricks (3). She holds the top two spots on the single-season goal-scoring chart with 18 in 1996 and 15 in 1997, and the standards for single-season points (43), shots (107) and game-winning goals (7). She also holds single-game marks for goals (4), points (8) and shots (12).

    Alberico was a two-time Soccer Buzz All-West Region, first-team All-WAC and WAC All-Tournament Team pick. The two-time San Jose State Offensive Player of the Year led the Spartans to a single-season record 13 wins as a junior newcomer in 1996, and was a tri-captain on the 1997 squad. San Jose State was 25-15-2 overall and 6-3-1 in league play during her time in the program, with a pair of WAC Tournament semifinal appearances. Alberico, a graduate of Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, Calif., came to San Jose State after two seasons at De Anza College.

    Alberico played professionally previously for the California Storm of the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL) since 2001. She was the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2003, scoring 12 goals.

    “We’re incredibly honored to have Stacie represent San Jose State University women’s soccer in the new professional league. It’s a tremendous achievement for her, San Jose State and our program. Stacie will be a great asset to FC Gold Pride,” said San Jose State coach Jeff Leightman.

   Alberico received her degree from San Jose State in child development in 1999. She and her husband, Seth Alberico, himself a former standout player at De Anza College and Saint Mary’s College, and their three-year-old daughter, Kalia, reside in her hometown of Sunnyvale. The couple both coach youth soccer at top area club Mountain View/Los Altos (MVLA).

    The one-time Spartan has also coached locally at Las Positas College in Livermore, Calif., for one year, and Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., the last six years.

    Follow Stacie’s progress with the Pride at www.fcgoldpride.com.