She helped lead the LA Blues (formerly the Pali Blues) to back-to-back W-League titles in 2013 and 2014. UCLA’s Sarah Killion will be hoping to emulate that success when she joins the NWSL this season.
Hailing from Fort Wayne, Ind., the midfielder’s decorated high school career at Bishop Dwenger High School was met with 63 goals and 73 assists. Killion is a three-time recipient of the Gatorade Player of the Year award for the state of Indiana, having won the prestigious title in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
TopDrawerSoccer ranked the midfielder as the No. 9 recruit in the nation during her senior year in high school. Killion’s talent was noticed by many and the Indiana native opted to play collegiately at UCLA.
In her freshman season at UCLA, the midfielder saw playing time in 21 games, earning 11 starts. While she didn’t record any goals, Killion clocked in two assists—both to teammate (and current U.S. women’s national team forward) Sydney Leroux.
Right as her sophomore season was just getting underway, Killion was more than 5,400 miles away—in Japan—playing in the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.
Earning starts in all six matches by coach Steve Swanson, Killion was a vital part of the championship-winning team’s spine.
Though Killion missed the first six games of her sophomore season at UCLA due to international duty, she managed to finish the season ranked fifth in scoring (with three goals). She also tripled the number of assists she had in her freshman season in the 17 games she played for the Bruins and earned NSCAA first-team All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-12 honors.
In Killion’s junior year, she proved that assisting her teammates is what she does best after finishing the season with a career-high 12 assists. The midfielder led both UCLA and Pac-12 in assists.
She was listed in TopDrawerSoccer’s Best XI first team, but her biggest achievement of the season came on Dec. 8, 2013 when she and her Bruins teammates won the College Cup in a 1-0 victory over Florida State University. The victory was UCLA’s first (and only) national title in women’s soccer to date.
Returning as national champions, the 2014 UCLA squad made it to the quarterfinals before bowing out of the College Cup tournament following a 2-1 loss against the University of Virginia.
During her senior season, Killion started all 24 games she was involved in. The midfielder scored a career-high nine goals (after netting just four during her three previous seasons) and matched the 12 assists she recorded during her junior season.
These stats were enough to impress the senior U.S. women’s national team’s staff—Killion earned her first call-up when she was named to (former U.S. head coach) Tom Sermanni’s 24-player roster prior to the 2014 Algarve Cup.
Killion has yet to be capped by the senior team or earn a call-up under current U.S. coach Jill Ellis.
The midfielder has, however, earned another call-up from (current U-23 and former U-20) coach, Steve Swanson. Killion was most recently named to Swanson’s 24-player roster for the U-23 team’s first training camp of 2015 currently taking place in Carson, Calif.
With camp winding down, Killion doesn’t have much time before she’ll learn her fate in the upcoming NWSL season. The midfielder is expected to be an early first-round draft pick and could prove to be an asset to any NWSL team, especially during a World Cup year.