Meet the Breakers: Stanford University midfielder Mariah Nogueira

 She brings quite a distinguished resume to Boston. A NCAA National Champion, two-time NSCAA All-American, and four-time conference all-league player. Stanford defensive midfielder Mariah Nogueira is one of the most versatile holding mids in the 2013 NWSL Draft class.

She brings quite a distinguished resume to Boston. A 2011 NCAA National Champion, two-time NSCAA All-American, and four-time conference all-league player, Stanford defensive midfielder Mariah Nogueira is one of the most versatile holding mids selected in the 2013 NWSL Draft class and is already looking forward to landing in town.

"I’ve been to Boston once for my sophomore year, preseason on a two-week trip, and I absolutely loved the city. It was a really cool environment and probably my favorite East Coast city that I’ve been to. That’s why I was so happy to hear I’d be going there," Nogueira said. "I also have more personal ties to the city through some great relationships I’ve made with people who live(d) there. I’m really just honored to be able to play with so many players that are at the international level.  It’s a goal of mine to be there someday, so I’m excited to have the best players from three different nations to compete with and against on a daily basis as well as use as a measuring stick for my own growth."

Nogueira, who was drafted in the second round (No. 13 overall), finished her Stanford career having played 99 games (95 starts). She scored 21 goals to go with 15 assists for 57 career points. Nogueira scored a career-high seven goals her senior season. She made quite a debut as a freshman, tallying five goals and five assists, garnering several awards. She was named Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year, a NSCAA Third-Team All-American, and earned a spot on the All Pac-10 First Team.

A member of the U.S. Women’s National Team U-23 player pool, Nogueira previously played for the U.S. 20s and got her start in the U.S. national team youth system as a member of the U14 team. She’s quite familiar with several Breakers, which should make her transition a bit easier. During the summers of her college years, Nogueira played for Pali Blues of the USL W-League.

"I’ve played with Syd (Leroux) and Shorty (Casey Short) at a few camps back in the U14/U15 days. I’ve also played with Anisa (Guajardo) for a couple seasons with the Pali Blues during the summer," Nogueira said. "Then I’ve played against Syd, Shorty, Adriana Leon, and Maddy (Evans), collegiately, while at Stanford."

On NWSL Draft Day, Nogueira rose bright and early, 6 a.m. PT to be exact. She followed the draft live via Twitter, along with family, friends, and coaches.

"I didn’t want to disrupt my roommates, so I sat in our kitchen feverishly refreshing Twitter as my eyes burned looking at my phone screen," she said. "I was incredibly excited to see Boston had drafted me. My heart stopped for a second, and I had to reread the Twitter post a couple times just to make sure it was really my name. I don’t think I actually called or texted anyone before I was bombarded by everyone else. At that point I was just playing catch up, thanking everyone for their love and support."

A native of Westminster, Calif., Nogueira played four seasons at Marina High School in Huntington Beach and for the club team Slammers FC.

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