NWSL players and fans are still waiting on the 2023 schedule
The NWSL season begins March 25.
As teams look to fill holes, increase depth or draft the next NWSL star, Just Women’s Sports has every pick for the 2022 NWSL College Draft.
Here’s a full list of all the draftees.
Naomi Girma, D, Stanford University
With the No. 1 overall pick of the draft, San Diego selected defender Naomi Girma out of Stanford University. A two-time Pac-12 Defender of the Year, Girma won the NCAA Championship with Stanford in 2019. Starting in 67 out of 68 career games, Girma is a solid defender who brings leadership experience, having captained Stanford for the past three seasons and served as captain of the U20 national team.
Jaelin Howell, M, Florida State University
After being passed on by San Diego, Jaelin Howell will take her talents to Louisville as the No. 2 overall pick of the college draft. The midfielder had a decorated career at Florida State, twice winning a national championship and earning First Team All-American honors as a senior. The 2020 MAC Hermann Trophy winner, Howell scored 14 goals in her college career while also recording 14 assists through 90 games.
Emily Gray, M, Virginia Tech
As a midfielder, Gray will be able to fill some holes for the Courage after they traded away Sam Mewis to Kansas City. While the team added Brianna Pinto in a trade with Gotham FC, the addition of Gray will add more depth to the Courage’s midfield. Gray was excellent in her senior season, scoring 12 goals and adding eight assists for the Hokies – nearly half of the team’s total.
Savannah DeMelo, CM, USC
DeMelo is a versatile midfielder, primarily being used as an attacking midfielder at USC but also holding the abilities to play out on the left or in a deeper role. This past fall also saw her play in a multitude of ways, including as a striker. Through 20 games played this season she scored four goals as well as seven assists. She’ll bolster a midfielder group that is now being led by Jessica McDonald after a trade with the North Carolina Courage.
Mia Fishel, F, UCLA
After departing with much of their roster during the offseason – including the departure of Alex Morgan to San Diego – the addition of Fishel is significant and could wind up being an absolute steal. In 59 games, she scored 32 goals and added 14 assists, moving into the Bruins’ top 10 all-time goal scorers in just three seasons. Not to mention, Fishel will be reuniting with her collegiate head coach in Amanda Cromwell, who was recently named head coach of the Orlando Pride.
Diana Ordoñez, F, University of Virginia
A semifinalist for the 2021 MAC Hermann Trophy, Ordoñez’s 45 career goals is tied for third most all-time at Virginia. She led the ACC in goals during the 2021 season and is a three-time All-ACC selection, including a First Team selection in 2021. The Courage traded away Jessica McDonald to Racing Louisville FC for this pick, and Ordoñez should provide some depth to a line that is led by USWNT forward Lynn Williams.
Elyse Bennett, F, Washington State University
Bennett will be joining a forward group led by Jéssica Silva and Kristen Hamilton, giving her time to develop as a forward to the pro level. A high-powered scorer, Bennett spent five seasons at Washington State, playing in 93 games and scoring 26 goals while adding 12 assists. She had a career-high 10 goals in her senior season through 21 games and finished her season being named a Second Team All-American by the United Soccer Coaches organization.
Zsanett Kajan, F, St. John’s University
A forward out of Hungary, Kajan is an offensive powerhouse, having scored 16 goals in 18 games during the 2021 season. Throughout her five year career, the forward scored 45 goals in 87 career appearances and was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Year twice. She also has national team experience, earning her first cap for the Hungarian National Team at 16 years old. While the Reign have a lot of depth at forward with Megan Rapinoe, Bethany Balcer and Tziarra King, Kajan will be able to develop her game with some of the NWSL’s best.
Marleen Schimmer, M/F, Grand Canyon University
After transferring to Grand Canyon, Schimmer started in 15 games during the 2021 season, scoring 13 goals and notching 14 assists. She also has international experience, having played on the U17 German National Team at the 2017 U17 UEFA Championship. She’ll get to develop under one of the world’s best in San Diego with Alex Morgan and could compete for minutes in the 2022 season.
Caitlin Cosme, D, Duke University
Cosme anchored one of the top defenses of the country at center back, leading the Blue Devils in minutes played with 1,829 and scoring three goals. With the departure of Ali Krieger, Cosme could fight for minutes while also learning from Pride defender Amy Turner.
Julie Doyle, F, Santa Clara University
A member of the 2020 National Champion Santa Clara Broncos, Doyle sat out the fall season after using up her eligibility. Excellent in 1-on-1 situations, Doyle can play either on the wing or underneath a lone striker. With the Pride looking to bolster their roster, she could step in immediately and compete for minutes.
Kaitlin Fregulia, D, Long Beach State University
The Courage continue to bolster their defense, which is led by Abby Erceg and Carson Pickett. As a redshirt senior during the 2021 season, Fregulia started in 18 games while amassing a total of 1,608 minutes. She led a defense that recorded five shutouts while also tallying one goal and one assist. While she may have an uphill battle when it comes to competing for playing time, Fregulia will be able to learn from some of the league’s best and could develop into a solid starter in North Carolina.
13. Portland Thorns FC – Sydny Nasello, F, University of South Florida
14. Washington Spirit – Tinaya Alexander, F, Louisiana State University
15. Washington Spirit – Madison Elwell, M/F, Vanderbilt University
16. Racing Louisville FC – Charmé Morgan, D, Oklahoma State University
17. Kansas City Current – Chardonnay Curran, M, University of Oregon
18. Chicago Red Stars – Ava Cook, F, Michigan State University
19. Chicago Red Stars – Sammi Fisher, M, Notre Dame
20. OL Reign – Claudia Dickey, GK, University of North Carolina
21. OL Reign – Ryanne Brown, F, Wake Forest
22. Portland Thorns – Gabby Provenzano, D/M, Rutgers University
23. Washington Spirit – Lucy Shepherd, F/M, Hofstra University
24. NJ/NY Gotham FC – Kelly Ann Livingstone, D, Georgetown University
25. San Diego Wave FC – Sydney Pulver, M/D, Washington State University
26. Racing Louisville FC – Jordyn Bloomer, GK, University of Wisconsin
27. San Diego Wave FC – Belle Briede, F/M, Stanford University
28. Angel City FC – Hope Breslin, M, University of Illinois
29. North Carolina Courage – Haleigh Stackpole, M/F, Ole Miss
30. Racing Louisville FC – Jenna Menta, F, Wake Forest
31. Orlando Pride – Jada Talley, F, USC
32. OL Reign – Kaile Halvorsen, M/F, Santa Clara University
33. OL Reign – Olivia Van Der Jagt, M, Washington University
34. Gotham FC – Hensley Hancuff, GK, Clemson University
35. Chicago Red Stars – Sarah Griffith, F, Purdue University
36. Angel City FC – Lily Nabet, M, Duke University
37. Chicago Red Stars – Kayla McKeon, M, University of Arkansas
38. Washington Spirit – Audrey Harding, F, UNC Wilmington
39. Angel City FC – Miri Taylor, F, Hofstra University
40. San Diego Wave FC – Kayla Bruster, D, University of Georgia
41. Kansas City Current – Jenna Winebrenner, D, Texas Christian University
42. Racing Louisville FC – Sydney Cummings, D, Georgetown University
43. Kansas City Current – Izzy Rodriguez, D, Ohio State University
44. Houston Dash – Ryan Gareis, F, University of South Carolina
45. North Carolina Courage – Marisa Bova, GK, Purdue University
46. NJ/NY Gotham FC – Raleigh Loughman, M, University of Michigan
47. OL Reign – Marley Canales, M, UCLA
48. Portland Thorns – Natalie Beckman, F, University of Denver
49. Chicago Red Stars – Jayda Hylton-Pelaia, D, Arizona State University
50. Washington Spirit – Jordan Thompson, D, Gonzaga University
The NWSL season begins March 25.
Press has been rehabbing an ACL injury since June.
She could return for the team's April camp.
Vlatko Andonovski also provided updates on Christen Press and others.
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