All Scores

2023 NWSL Draft live tracker: Angel City take Alyssa Thompson at No. 1

Teenage star Alyssa Thompson is the presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2023 NWSL draft. (Erin Chang/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The 2023 NWSL Draft offered sure bets, surprises and several interesting trades Thursday night in Philadelphia.

Angel City FC telegraphed its choice for the No. 1 overall pick last week when it orchestrated a blockbuster four-team trade for the prime spot. But the draft class runs much deeper than presumptive top choice Alyssa Thompson.

Just Women’s Sports tracked every pick from every team, while staff writer Claire Watkins provided live coverage from the draft floor.

First round

1. Angel City FC: Alyssa Thompson, F, Harvard-Westlake Prep

The 18-year-old California native made her debut for the U.S. women’s senior national team in 2022 in front of a near-sellout crowd at London’s Wembley Stadium.

2. Kansas City Current: Michelle Cooper, F, Duke

The Current swapped star forward Lynn Williams for the opportunity to take Cooper with the second overall pick. After a season in which she led the Blue Devils with 19 goals and 11 assists, the 20-year-old won the MAC Hermann Trophy, which recognizes the best player in college soccer.

3. Orlando Pride: Emily Madril, D, Florida State

The 23-year-old starred for Florida State during its 2021 title run, then signed a contract with the NWSL to maintain her draft eligibility while she played for Swedish club BK Häcken FF in 2022.

4. NJ/NY Gotham FC: Jenna Nighswonger, M, Florida State

In her senior season, the 22-year-old started all 22 games for the Seminoles, notching six goals and 16 assists.

5. Portland Thorns FC: Reyna Reyes, D, Alabama

Reyes scored a career-high eight goals in 2022. The 21-year-old also led the Crimson Tide defense to 12 shutouts in 2022 en route to the SEC Defender of the Year award.

6. North Carolina Courage: Olivia Wingate, F, Notre Dame

In her fifth year with the Irish, Wingate more than doubled her career goals total, notching 14 in the 2022 season. She finished her career at Notre Dame with 26 goals and 11 assists.

7. Chicago Red Stars: Penelope Hocking, F, Penn State

Before she scored seven goals and recorded 11 assists for the Nittany Lions in 2022, she starred for four years at USC.

8. North Carolina Courage: Sydney Collins, D, California

The team captain for the Bears in 2022 anchored the team’s backline for four seasons.

9. North Carolina Courage: Clara Robbins, M, Florida State

The redshirt senior played 110 games in college, the second most in women’s college soccer history, and she won the ACC tournament MVP award in 2020 and 2021.

10. Kansas City Current: Alexa Spaanstra, F, Virginia

A versatile winger, Spaanstra made a name for herself as a pass-first player but contributed eight goals and five assists for the Cavaliers in 2022.

11. North Carolina Courage: Haley Hopkins, F, Virginia

Hopkins joined the Cavaliers from Vanderbilt as a graduate transfer in 2021, and she stuck around in 2022. Across two seasons with Virginia, she had 22 goals and 14 assists.

12. Portland Thorns FC: Izzy D’Aquila, F, Santa Clara

D’Aquila finished second in scoring in the NCAA with 19 goals in 2022. She posted 50 career goals in 78 games across three seasons for the Broncos.

Second round

13. San Diego Wave: Sierra Enge, M, Stanford
14. Chicago Red Stars: Grace Yochum, M, Oklahoma State
15. Kansas City Current: Gabby Robinson, D, West Virginia
16. Racing Louisville FC: Kayla Fischer, F, Ohio State
17. Racing Louisville FC: Brianna Martinez, D, Notre Dame
18. Kansas City Current: Jordan Silkowitz, G, Iowa State
19. OL Reign: Shae Holmes, D, Washington
20. Houston Dash: Sophie Hirst, M, Harvard
21. Orlando Pride: Messiah Bright, F, TCU
22. Houston Dash: Jyllissa Harris, D, South Carolina
23. Chicago Red Stars: Ally Schlegel, F, Penn State
24. Portland Thorns FC: Lauren DeBeau, F, Michigan State

Third round

25. Orlando Pride: Tori Hansen, D, North Carolina
26. Washington Spirit: Nicole Douglas, F, Arizona State
27. Angel City FC: Angelina Anderson, G, California
28. Washington Spirit: Lyza Bosselmann, G, Gonzaga
29. Racing Louisville: Jadyn Edwards, M, New Mexico
30. Washington Spirit: Riley Tanner, F, Alabama
31. Racing Louisville FC: Riley Mattingly Parker, F, Alabama
32. Portland Thorns: Lauren Kozal, G, Michigan State
33. San Diego Wave: Lauren Brzykcy, G, UCLA
34. Washington Spirit: Lena Silano, F, Long Beach State
35. Kansas City Current: Mykiaa Minniss, D, Washington State
36. Houston Dash: Lindsi Jennings, D, LSU

Fourth round

37. Washington Spirit: Civana Kuhlmann, F, Colorado
38. Kansas City Current: Ella Shamburger, D, Vanderbilt
39. Orlando Pride: Summer Yates, M, Washington
40. Washington Spirit: Delaney Graham, D, Duke
41. Orlando Pride: Kristen Scott, F, UCF
42. Kansas City Current: Rylan Childers, M, Kansas
43. Chicago Red Stars: Sophie Jones, M, Duke
44. Houston Dash: Iliana Hocking, M, Arizona
45. San Diego Wave: Giovanna DeMarco, M, Wake Forest
46. OL Reign: Natalie Viggiano, M, Wisconsin
47. Kansas City Current: Ashley Orkus, G, Ole Miss
48. Portland Thorns FC: Madelyn Desiano, D, UCLA

Read more:

Caitlin Clark dunks on Michael Che in surprise SNL appearance

(Julia Hansen/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Caitlin Clark made a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, which quickly went viral.

The Iowa star showed up on the show’s Weekend Update segment to playfully call out Michael Che’s history of making jabs at women’s sports.

It started when Che joked that Iowa should replace Clark’s retired No. 22 “with an apron.” 

When Clark entered, Che said that he was a fan. But Clark wasn’t convinced – especially not when co-host Colin Jost brought the receipts of Che’s jabs.

“Really, Michael? Because I heard that little apron joke you did,” she said, before making him read some jokes of her own in retaliation. Clark finished her segment by shouting out the WNBA greats that came before her. She then got in one final dig – bringing Che a signed apron as a souvenir. 

When Che promised to give it to his girlfriend, Clark delivered her last playful dig of the night.

“You don’t have a girlfriend, Michael,” she said.

Afterward, SNL castmember Bowen Yang told People that the 22-year-old and teammates Gabbie Marshall, Kate Martin and Jada Gyamfi – who joined her at Studio 8H – “were so cool.”

“She's so charming and witty,” Yang said. “They were just the most stunning, noble people.

“Athletes just have this air about them. They know they're amazing. I mean, these are people who have numeric attachments and values to their performance. That's something that comedians never have.”

Portland Thorns, in uncharted territory, start NWSL season winless

Portland has started the season winless through four games for the first time. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)

The Portland Thorns continue to struggle to start the NWSL season, falling 2-0 to the North Carolina Courage over the weekend to remain winless through their first four games. 

It’s uncharted territory for Portland, who has never started the NWSL regular season without a win in four games before.

Following the loss, defender Becky Sauerbrunn voiced her frustrations with the start. 

“It’s hard to find a lot of encouraging things, but what I find encouraging is that people are frustrated,” she said. “People are pissed off that we’re not doing well. We care, and I think that’s really important.” 

She also added that while the team will reflect individually, “there’s going to be no finger pointing.”

“We’re going to look at ourselves and figure out what we should have done, or I should have done better,” she said. “There is a list of things that I could have done better, and I’m going to make sure I know every single thing and watch this game back.”

The Thorns currently sit at the bottom of the league table with just one point, having allowed 10 goals – tied for the worst in the league. They’ve yet to lead in a match. And as questions grow, attention turns to head coach Mike Norris. 

Norris is in his second year as head coach of the club after leading the team to a second-place finish in the regular season last year. When asked about the possibility of pressure growing after the unprecedented start, Norris said that the pressure has been there “from day one.”

“I cannot be driven by my day-to-day and the longer vision of the pressure of the job,” he said. “We’ve got a belief in how we want to play, how we operate. We’ve got to stick with the process of that. While we do it, we have to review and see what is working, what’s not working.

“I’ll be showing up for the team and being there for what they need from me as we approach getting back together as a group next week.”

Maria Sanchez reportedly requests trade from Houston Dash

Mar 23, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Dash forward Maria Sanchez (7) warms up before the match between Racing Louisville and Houston Dash at Shell Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Maria Sanchez, who signed one of the biggest deals in NWSL history just four months ago, has reportedly requested a trade from the Houston Dash. 

ESPN was the first to report the news, which was confirmed by multiple sources.

In a statement to ESPN, the team said: “​​Maria Sanchez is under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023." 

In December, Sanchez signed a new three-year contract with the Dash worth $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. At the time, it was the largest contract in NWSL history – something that was eclipsed by multiple contracts in the following months. 

The winger was a restricted free agent in the offseason, meaning that Houston could match any offer from another team and retain her rights. Should the team trade Sanchez, her contract would remain as it has been signed with the league. That limits the number of teams that could take on her contract. 

In three starts with the Dash this season, Sanchez has zero goals and an assist. The Dash are 1-2-1 through four games and have allowed a league-worst 10 goals.

The team hired a new coach, Fran Alonso, in December. Earlier this year, former goalkeeper coach Matt Lampson was fired for violating the league’s Coach Code of Conduct and Anti-Fraternization policy. 

Both the NWSL trade window and transfer window close at midnight ET on Friday.

Canada beats U.S. Hockey 6-5 in thrilling World Championship win

UTICA, NEW YORK - APRIL 14: Team Canada raises the Championship Trophy after winning The Gold by defeating The United States in OT during the 2024 IIHF Women's World Championship Gold Medal game at Adirondack Bank Center on April 14, 2024 in Utica, New York. (Photo by Troy Parla/Getty Images)

Canada got its revenge on Sunday, winning the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship and taking down the U.S. in a 6-5 overtime classic.

Marie-Philip Poulin, a longtime star for Canada, got her first two goals of the tournament, while Danielle Serdachny had the game-winner. 

"I hate to say you're not trying to rely on it, expect it, but I know I've grown to expect it," Canada coach Troy Ryan said of Philip-Poulin. "Tonight was just a whole other level. I could see in her eyes every time we called her name that she was ready to go. It's just special."

The win came after Canada lost 1-0 to the U.S. in the group stage of the tournament. On Sunday, the two teams met for the 22nd time in 23 tournaments in the gold medal game – and the action between the two teams delivered. 

Among those scoring for the U.S. were Megan Keller, Alex Carpenter, Hilary Knight, Laila Edwards and Caroline Harvey. Julia Gosling, Emily Clark and Erin Ambrose had the other three goals for Canada, giving them their 13th World title after falling to the U.S. in last year’s title game in Toronto. 

This year’s game was held in New York, and it was the second-highest scoring final between the two teams. The U.S. won a world championship 7-5 in 2015. 

"Oh man, that feels good to win it on U.S. soil," Canada goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens said after the game. "We owed it to them and owed it to ourselves to win that one."

Canada also denied Knight a record 10th World Championship win, although she did become the most decorated player in women’s world championship history with 14 medals. After the game, Poulin gave Knight a hug on the ice. 

"We just said 'that was unbelievable,'" Poulin said.

U.S. coach John Wroblewski echoed the sentiment that it was an outstanding game after being asked about ending the game on a power-play after leaving too many players on the ice. 

"Instead of talking about the isolated events of tonight's game, I think that normally that's an interesting storyline,” he said. “But I think the entity of an amazing 6-5 game is an amazing hockey game that took place."

Start your morning off right with Just Women’s Sports’ free, 5x-a-week newsletter.