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22-year-old Dash defender retires after one season

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Dash defender announces retirement from professional soccer

Dash defender Marissa Diggs will not return to Houston in 2015, announcing her retirement from the game on Thursday.
Dash defender Marissa Diggs will not return to Houston in 2015, announcing her retirement from the game on Thursday.

After one season in the NWSL with the Houston Dash, defender Marissa Diggs announced Thursday she would be retiring from professional soccer, according to a press release from the club.

The 22-year-old University of Central Florida alum was a second round pick (No. 11 overall) for the Dash in the 2014 NWSL College Draft. She had 13 appearances - with 11 starts- for Houston and notched one goal and one assist in her rookie season.

"I want to thank the Dash for giving me the opportunity to play with such a great organization. The players, staff, and fans were great to me, and there was nowhere else I'd rather spend my rookie season," Diggs said.

Houston Dash Head Coach Randy Waldrum expressed his disappointment at Diggs' decision, but added he understood her reasons to "put her degree to work and move on to this next stage of her life."

"She will be missed for sure, as she was developing into a mainstay in our defense," Waldrum said. "I thought she had a great first year for us as a rookie, and was looking forward to year two with her in our defensive back line. I do want to wish her all the best in her new career, and I know that she'll continue to be one of our biggest fans."

A native of Rowlett, Texas, Diggs was a four-year starter at UCF and graduated in December 2014 with a degree in hospitality management. She was apart of the roster that led the Golden Knights to the school's first conference championship in 2012 and a repeat championship in 2013. She earned conference Defensive Player of the Year honors in both those seasons. Diggs was also named a two-time All-America selection and a three-time first team All-Conference player.

"It was a very hard decision but I had to do what I thought was best for me," Diggs said. "I'll be watching every game and cheering for my home state team. Go Dash!"