Albuquerque, N.M. --- When you are trying to play professionally, who don’t want folks to say your career is finished. Finnish however is a different story, as former Lobo Amanda Collins will get to realize her dream of playing professionally as she has been signed by Nice of the top tier Finnish League.
Collins, who played from 2008-2011 and helped the Lobos to a pair of conference titles and the program’s first two NCAA Tournament appearances, will report to Nice in a few weeks for the upcoming season. She was one of three played recently signed, along with Leigh Jakesilla and Brooke Burbuto.
“Mandy played with the heart of a lion and determination, which helped us to win two championships and our first two bids to the NCAAs,” said head coach Kit Vela. “As a program, we are grateful for her being a Lobo! We are so happy for her to be able to fulfill her dream of continuing to play and we are incredibly proud of her.”
For the past two seasons Collins has helped the program out as a volunteer assistant coach while training for her shot overseas. She was a second team all-conference pick in 2009, and she was a four-year Mountain West All-Academic team member as well as a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection as well.
Her sunny disposition off the pitch belies a bulldog personality on it. Collins entered last season 10th on the UNM career charts for career games started.
Collins is the second player in as many seasons to join the Finnish Professional Leagues, as former Lobo Zaneta Wyne played there last year, and is currently attempting to switch to the Swedish Professional League.
At was really Wyne that has helped pave the way for Lobo women’s soccer professionally overseas.
“Zaneta is a soccer junkie who helped her 2011 classmates create a ‘soccer loving’ environment for our program,” said Vela. “She was the pioneer player from our program to be willing to take a chance and go abroad to play. We’ve had other with opportunities but chose not to go. She has opened the doors for the future.”
Wyne played with Collins from 2008-2011, and was a second team All-Conference pick and a three time All-Academic selection as well. Her 13 career goals rank seventh in school history.