A JERSEY GIRL RETURNS
Averbuch signs with the Wildcats
LONG BRANCH, N.J. - The New Jersey Wildcats announced on Wednesday that it has signed U.S. National Team midfielder and New Jersey native Yael Averbuch.
A resident of Upper Montclair, N.J> Averbuch brings a championship pedigree to the Wildcats, winning Two NCAA College Cups while playing at the University of North Carolina to go along with two professional titles in three seasons of play in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS).
"Yael is a very technical player, and she brings to us a lot of experience in WPS and with the national team," Wildcats coach Jim Gabarra said in a statement. "She will provide us with leadership, as well as stability, in the middle of the field. She will certainly be a big part of the back bone of this team. Additionally, I think it is really important we get as many players as possible involved with the Wildcats and Sky Blue FC, long-term wise."
Averbuch, who has played at every level of U.S. National Team program, has made 16 international appareances and has scored a goal with the senior team.
A veteran of the USL W-League, Averbuch became its youngest player when she debuted for the New Jersey Lady Stallions in 2002 at the age of 14. Averbuch attended North Carolina and started every game over four years. Her 105 consecutive starts is a Tar Heels and NCAA record.
She served as captain during her junior and senior seasons, helping North Carolina to NCAA Division I titles in 2006 and 2008. She recorded 32 goals and 29 assists. One of the goals was an NCAA record-breaker when she scored only four seconds into a match against Yale University. She was also a three-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American and an All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection. She also was named a finalist for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy following her junior season. The Tar Heels retired her #17 college jersey in 2009.
Averbuch became the fourth overall pick in the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer dollege draft bySky Blue FC, which recently formed an official partnership with the Wildcats. She made 14 starts over 18 matches during her rookie year, helping Sky Blue to an unlikely run to the inaugural WPS championship after winning three road games in eight days. She remained with the team for her second season, making 19 starts over 23 games and scoring a dazzling game-winning volley against the Philadelphia Independence. Last year Averbuch played with the Western New York Flash and helped the club to the league title, her second championship in three years as a professional. At the conclusion of the 2012 WPS season, Averbuch headed overseas to Russia and played with FC Rossiyanka.
The Wildcats will open their W-League season at the New York Magic on Saturday, May 19. They host the North Jersey Valkyries at The College of New Jersey at 8:15 p.m. May 26. Tickets can be purchased by calling 732-720-9163. Individual game tickets as well as team and family packages are available. For more information about the Wildcasts, visit at www.njwildcats.com.