With the 12th overall selection in the 2021 NWSL Draft, Portland Thorns FC chose Sam Coffey, a midfielder and forward out of Penn State.
Coffey played two seasons at Boston College before transferring to Penn State to finish her collegiate career. While an Eagle, she started all 20 matches, leading the team in points (38), goals (12) and assists (14) her sophomore season to be named ACC Midfielder of the Year, a First-Team All-American, a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist and All-ACC first-team.
Then at Penn State, she started 24/25 games scoring 11 goals and 10 assists, both good for second in the Big Ten, and was once again a First Team All-American.
She has played at the national team level at the U-18, U-19, and U-20 levels including captaining the U-19 and U-20 squads.
With the Thorns losing as many as five players this summer to the Olympics, Coffey could see significant playing time in the midfield. However, she's unsure if she will play next season or return for her senior year at Penn State.
Players who had played at least three seasons in college were eligible to be drafted in the 2021 NWSL Draft and keep their remaining college eligibility if they decide to, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coffey is the latest Nittany Lion to be selected in the NWSL Draft. Penn State has had a player drafted in each draft in league history, including current Portland Thorn Rocky Rodríguez who Coffey cannot wait to take the pitch with.
"Obviously Rocky's legacy at Penn State... is incredible," said Coffey. "She's someone who has inspired me from the minute I got here at Penn State and I just can't wait to be her teammate."
Rodríguez responded to the praise saying she cannot wait to meet Coffey and get to work.