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Yorktown graduate signs contract to begin pro soccer career

Defender drafted by the expansion Utah Royals
Yorktown High School graduate Lauren Flynn was drafted in the second round by the National Women's Soccer League.

There came a point late in her standout high school career for the Yorktown Patriots that the possibility of someday playing professional soccer might become reality for Lauren Flynn.

That indeed occurred in recent days when Flynn was drafted by the expansion Utah Royals of Salt Lake City of the National Women’s Soccer League. The defender was selected in the second round with the 16th pick overall to play in the 14-team U.S. League, a pro organization considered to be top caliber of play in the U.S.

“It became a goal and dream to play pro soccer someday,” said Flynn, who attended the draft. “It’s so exciting to have the chance to play at the next level and to learn from veteran players.”

Flynn, a 2020 Yorktown graduate, was chosen in the draft as a result of her strong college performance for Florida State the last four seasons. She played in 79 games and started 70 in her time with the Atlantic Coast Conference team. Flynn helped the squad win two NCAA Division I national championships, including the 2023 title. Flynn was chosen the Defensive Most Outstanding Player of the national tourney.

In addition, Flynn helped the Seminoles win four straight ACC championships and earned multiple all-ACC honors over the years.

For her career, Flynn scored seven goals with three assists and took 17 shots on goal. Flynn scored five of those goals this past season with one assist and she took 13 shots.

“Florida State did a good job preparing me for the next level,” Flynn said.

Utah also chose Florida State goalie Cristina Roque in the draft. So Flynn will have a familiar face on the expansion team.

Flynn was planning to leave Jan. 18 for Utah to participate in preseason camps and training with the team. The season begins in March. The 26-match regular season and playoffs run through November.

Hannah Davis was one of Flynn’s head coaches at Yorktown.

“Lauren is at another level as a player and she is a special player,” Davis said. “She doesn’t take anything for granted. She’s a great teammate who will always do whatever is necessary to put the time first, she is competitive and never takes herself out of the game mentally, and honestly, she is so talented she could play any position on the field.” 

During her career for Yorktown, Flynn helped the Patriots win two state championships, the second in 2019. Flynn regularly was chosen all-district, all-region and all-state.

Davis believes a big reason for Flynn’s success in college was taking advantage of the opportunity to switch to becoming a defender, and quickly making that transition so well.

“Being an attacker and goal-scorer like she was in high school, that made Lauren understand the other side on defense,” Davis said. “One hundred percent I knew she could become a pro player some day.”  

NOTES: The Utah Royals played in the NWSL from 2017 to 2020, folded, then have been reestablished for the 2024 campaign . . . Flynn’s younger sister, Moira, was a freshman on the University of Miami’s women’s team this past season, but was injured and did not play. She still attended games, including a Sept. 29 regular-season match against Florida State, won by the Seminoles.