Two Former Blue Demons on Opening Day WPS Rosters
CHICAGO - A pair of former DePaul women’s soccer standouts will make their American professional debuts next week during the inaugural season of Women’s Professional Soccer. Julianne Sitch is a member of Sky Blue FC in New Jersey and Erin Walter made the final roster for Saint Louis Athletica. DePaul is just one of 23 programs with multiple players on WPS rosters and only one of four BIG EAST schools to claim more than one alumnus in the WPS.
The duo led the Blue Demons to the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2003. The Blue Demons won the Conference USA Tournament that season to earn the automatic bid.
Sitch, DePaul’s only All-American, was drafted by the NY/NJ franchise Sky Blue FC in the fifth round (32nd overall) of the WPS Draft in January. With the Blue Demons, she was the program’s first and only All-American and was the 2003 Conference USA Player of the Year. She also played for the U.S. U19 and U21 teams including an appearance at the Nordic Cup. Since graduating from DePaul, she’s played professionally in Sweden and for the Chicago Gaels and FC Indiana in the W-League. Her records of 90 points, 32 goals and 26 assists still stand in the DePaul record books.
Walter, an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American in 2004, joins Saint Louis Athletica after going through training camp. She totaled 30 points in her DePaul career with nine goals and 12 assists. As a junior in 2004, she set a season record with 10 assists.
Walter and Saint Louis open the season on Saturday, April 4 against Chicago while Sky Blue FC begins the 2009 season on Sunday, April 5 against the Los Angeles Sol. Saint Louis visits the Chicago Red Stars at Toyota Park on Saturday, May 23 and NY/NJ travels to Chicago on Sunday, April 19.
DePaul head coach Erin Chastain tutored a number of WPS players while on the staff at Santa Clara. She coached six former Santa Clara student-athletes on WPS rosters including Marian Dalmy, Chioma Igwe and Brittany Klein of Chicago Red Stars, Meagan McCray and Leslie Osborne of FC Gold Pride (Calif. Bay Area) and Aly Wagner of the Los Angeles Sol. Additionally, she also coached Tina Estrada at Santa Clara who was scheduled to make the Chicago roster before a knee injury sidelined her during training camp. Estrada currently serves as a graduate assistant under Chastain at DePaul.