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Hardy withdraws from women’s soccer draft

January 15, 2009

Erin Hardy, an All-American defender and four-year starter at UCLA who starred at Newport Harbor High, said Thursday she has withdrawn her name from today’s inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer League draft.

Hardy said after much soul-searching, she came to the realization that playing soccer was no longer her passion.

“I don’t love the game and I didn’t want to just play for the money, or to please other people,” said Hardy, who was expected to be taken in the first two rounds of the draft.

UCLA Coach Jillian Ellis called Hardy the best defender in the country, after Hardy helped the Bruins post a school-single-season-record 19 shutouts and allow only six goals during a 22-1-2 campaign that ended in the NCAA semifinals.

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Hardy helped UCLA reach the College Cup (final four) and win the Pac-10 title the last four seasons. She was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection and a second-team All-American in 2008.

Hardy said she plans to finish work toward her degree at UCLA and she is also engaged to be married.

She informed league coaches of her decision Wednesday.

“I’m very much at peace with my decision and I feel like a weight has been lifted,” she said. “[Wednesday] was a hard day, because I had to tell everyone I didn’t want to play anymore. I apologized to the coaches for any inconvenience I may have caused them.”

— Barry Faulkner


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