MINNEAPOLIS -- Former All-Big Ten defender Jennie Clark has signed a free-agent contract with Sky Blue FC of the WPS, making Clark the second Minnesota alum this year to sign a professional contract. The WPS is widely considered the top women's professional soccer league in the world.
"Jennie has been one of the best defenders in the history of Minnesota soccer, and we are thrilled to see her take her game to the next level," Minnesota Head Coach Mikki Denney Wright said. "Jennie was an integral part of this program's success since arriving on campus, and we can't wait to see what she can do in the WPS."
The two-time First Team All-Big Ten honoree was a mainstay on the Gophers back line since arriving on campus and helped the Minnesota defense set school records in a memorable 2008 season that saw Minnesota reach the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. Minnesota's defense produced 17 shutouts and allowed just 12 goals during the 2008 season while Clark earned SoccerBuzz Fourth Team All-American honors and her first of two all-district awards.
A Hermann Trophy candidate as a senior, Clark started 66 straight games for Minnesota before suffering a broken collarbone early in the 2010 season. But the senior would return less than six weeks later and help Minnesota reach the Sweet 16 for the second time in her career. In her four years with the program, the Minnesota defense pitched 41 shutouts and allowed less than 20 goals in three of her four seasons. In the classroom, Clark was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten award winner and a U of M Scholar Athlete.
Clark joins Katie Bethke, who signed with the Atlanta Beat earlier this year, as the first two Minnesota alumni to sign WPS contracts.