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Zotter Chosen by New York in WUSA Draft

Alum chosen in fourth round, is 29th pick overall

By David R. De remer, Crimson Staff Writer

Former Crimson women's soccer captain Beth Zotter '00, whose clutch goal-scoring helped propel Harvard to a No. 7 national ranking in 1999, will now be taking her talents to the New York Power of the new Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA).

Yesterday morning, Zotter was selected by the Power with the 29th overall pick in the fourth round of the first WUSA Draft.

Zotter was in the draft's host hotel, keeping track of the results with a piece of paper in hand, when the words "Harvard University" were announced.

"I was wondering whether it was me or Jessie [Larson '00], but then when I heard my name, my hands went over my mouth," Zotter said. "I'm still on a high right now. I wasn't even in the room where the players where being selected. I had to run across the hotel lobby."

Zotter almost missed being in the hotel during the time of her draft announcement.

"I kind of wandered into the hotel 10 minutes before I was selected," Zotter said. "Since they were only supposed to do rounds one through six today, I wasn't expecting to be drafted today."

In the draft room, Zotter met Power Coach Pat Farmer, the former Penn State Coach, and Power General Manager Susan Marenoff.

"I had heard of [Farmer] before, and I knew he was good friends with [Harvard Coach] Tim Wheaton," Zotter said. " I got a really good first impression from him."

With her selection into the WUSA, Zotter has fulfilled a longtime ambition.

"Since before I came to college, I wanted to play at the highest level of soccer possible," Zotter said. "Going into college, my only options were to play in Japan and Germany, and I thought maybe after college I'd go play in Japan. But this is just a dream come true. This is the best league in the world."

Zotter will provide an additional boost to a team that, before her selection, already included two Norwegian gold medallists, Chinese National Team goaltender Gao Hong and Tiffany Milbrett, the fourth all-time goal-scorer in the history of U.S. Soccer.

"I'm looking at filling needs in midfield, in the back and in goal," Farmer said before the draft. "The previous allocation of players has left us in good shape."

Although she is listed as a forward and midfielder on the draft result sheet, Farmer plans to use her in the backfield.

"It's crazy to think that not only do I have to play with these people, but I also have to mark them," Zotter said. "He wants to make me a wing-back, playing outside on defense. I've never been a defender before in my life."

Zotter's former coach and teammates were not the least bit surprised to see her selected so early in the draft.

"That girl is amazing," senior forward Ashley Mattison said. "She's the most determined person I've ever played with. She can get through anyone. She's played with the best, and she can beat the best."

Wheaton believes Zotter is the type of player who will give the WUSA fans their money's worth on game day.

"I think she's a great one-on-one player, and she's a crowd pleaser," Wheaton said. "She can play with the best of them. I'm very excited for her."

Although Zotter was not showered with All-American accolades during her college years, her talents were well-known to Farmer through her experience with the U.S. National Team's developmental programs.

"He's known her as a player for a while," Wheaton said. "She's played through the U-20 National Team soccer pool for years. He must have felt comfortable with her work effort and approach. You need players with the right approach because you're trying to create a team."

Farmer knew Zotter as a collegiate opponent as well. He had been Penn State's only coach from the program's inception in 1994 until accepting the WUSA job last week. In September of 1998, Zotter scored the lone Crimson goal in a 2-1 loss to Penn State.

"Harvard played well enough to deserve to win the game today," Farmer told the Crimson after that game. "They have some really good players who we would like not to have to see again."

But given the chance to draft Zotter onto his own team, Farmer has since changed his mind about wanting to see her again.

Zotter likely also helped her draft position with her play at the week-long WUSA combine preceding the draft.

"It was up-and-down, but I finished on a really good note," Zotter said. "We lost our game 6-1, but I scored our only goal."

Between graduation and the combine, Zotter spent time traveling abroad before returning home.

"I spent a couple of months in Malaysia and Australia," Zotter said. "I brought my cleats with me and played pick-up games in Malaysia every day with the indigenous people. Then I came home on Halloween and trained hard."

Neither Larson, the former Harvard sweeper, nor 2000 Harvard volunteer assistant coach Carrie Moore were among the 65 players picked yesterday in the first eight rounds of the draft. They will eagerly await the remaining seven rounds of the draft, which resumes at 8 a.m. today.

"I'm confident Jessie will be drafted tomorrow," Zotter said. "There's no way to predict who's going to be selected when. There were players projected in the first and second rounds who still haven't been picked yet."

Before today's draft, each of the eight WUSA rosters included three players from the initial U.S. National Team player allocations and two players selected from the foreign draft held a month ago.

Five of the first six players selected yesterday were Chinese national team players who signed with the WUSA after the foreign draft. Sun Wen, the superstar Chinese forward, went first to the Atlanta Beat.

Dagny Mellgren, the Norwegian midfielder whose golden goal ended the U.S. National Team's gold-medal hopes in Sydney, went fifth to the Boston Breakers, the local franchise that has yet to determine whether it is playing at Tufts or Foxboro.

The first collegiate player selected was seventh pick Anne Makinen, the Notre Dame star who scored the game-winner in the Irish's 2-0 Sweet 16 win over Harvard in November. The 2000 Crimson finished the season ranked 18th in the nation in the final soccer coaches' association poll, which came out last week.

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