Pilots turn pro

By The Beacon | January 25, 2012 9:00pm

Danielle Foxhoven (Talley Carlston | THE BEACON)

By Kyle Cape-Lindelin, Staff Writer -- capelind13@up.edu

Following in the footsteps of former UP legends, Danielle Foxhoven and Ryan Kawulok are continuing the trend of UP soccer players going pro, adding their names to the honorable list.

After being selected as the 17th pick in the 2012 Women's Professional Soccer Draft by the Philadelphia Independence, Foxhoven will say goodbye to the Northwest by trading in her purple and white Pilots gear for a sky blue, yellow and gray Independence jersey.

"It's truly a great day for my family," Foxhoven said. "I'm honored to get a chance to play professionally."

Fellow four-year UP star for the men's soccer team, Kawulok is also getting the opportunity to pursue a paycheck playing professional soccer; however, he only needs to head across the river to suit up with the Portland Timbers. Kawulok was chosen by the Timbers in the MLS Supplemental Draft after playing two summers with their U-23 (under 23 years of age) team.

"I'm really excited," Kawulok said. "I'd be happy getting a training camp invite from any team, but getting a chance to play for a team I've been aspiring to play for is truly a blessing."

Foxhoven also joins a string of UP alumni and fellow teammates to train with the Team USA women's soccer team on their U-23 team. Foxhoven was called up along with former UP defensive star Elli Reed and current UP sophomore Micaela Capelle to train with Team USA stars Stephanie Cox and Megan Rapinoe.

"This just shows how dominant UP is at soccer every year, and I'm absolutely honored to be mentioned with that list of UP alums who get drafted to the pros," Foxhoven said.

Foxhoven's career as a Pilot has been well documented since she first stepped onto Merlo Field. She first hit the scene by earning WCC Freshman of the Year in 2008, followed by being selected for the WCC First Team and All-Academic Team three years in a row, and was also a two-time Academic All-American. Foxhoven finished her career as a four-year starter with 57 goals scored and finished fourth in school history with 25 assists. Foxhoven is also only the fourth UP player to score over 50 goals in her career.

"Danielle was such a class player throughout her time at UP both on and off the field," Head Coach Garrett Smith said. "She will be close to impossible to replace, truly amazing the mark she left on this club."

Kawulok also left his mark on UP history after being only the second UP player named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year this past season. Kawulok also earned All-WCC honors all four years and scored 10 career goals.

"I'm incredibly grateful for UP and the soccer program," Kawulok said. "The coaches prepared me for life as a pro, and they taught me the dedication, the hard work and the commitment it takes for something like this to happen."

Kawulok has been the starting center for the Portland Timbers U-23 for the last two years, leading them to an undefeated record and a USL Premier Development League Championship while being an All-Conference Team selection in both years.

"Ryan really was the complete package as a player in his four years here," Head Coach Bill Irwin said. "He displayed the hard work it takes to be a star and take his game to the next level, but he was always grounded in knowing players looked up to him. He was instrumental to our program here and he will be missed."

Ryan Kawulok (Photo courtesy of portlandpilots.com)