UW's Hope Solo is Picked 4th in WUSA Draft

Feb. 2, 2003

ATLANTA, Ga. - University of Washington senior goalkeeper Hope Solo was selected in the first round by the Philadelphia Charge, the fourth pick overall in Sunday's Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) Player Draft.

'I can't tell you how excited I am,' remarked Solo who was one of six collegiate players brought in by the WUSA to take part in the draft at league headquarters. 'I thought I might go to Boston with the third pick, but then I knew I would be going to Philadelphia.

'I've been waiting a long time for this and it's even better than I expected. Being a part of the draft let me see how big a deal this is and how professional the league really is.'

Santa Clara midfielder Aly Wagner was selected by the San Diego Spirit with the first pick in the WUSA draft. New York picked Penn State forward Christie Welsh second and Boston used the No. 3 pick for midfielder Devvyn Hawkins of Santa Clara.

'Fourth is about where we thought Hope would go,' said Washington head coach Lesle Gallimore. 'It's exciting for her to get her professional career underway. Philadelphia showed a great deal of interest in Hope before the draft and we feel that she has gone to the team that has the best chance of winning it all this year.'

The most decorated player in Husky soccer history, Solo will battle for playing time with Philadelphia's incumbent starting goalkeeper Melissa Moore. Ironically both players were coached by current UW assistant coach Amy Griffin who was the head coach at New Mexico during Moore's sophomore and junior seasons.

'Melissa did a great job in goal last year,' Solo said. 'I know it's going to be tough, but I look forward to coming in and giving it my best shot at earning a starting position.'

A total of 32 players were selected in the four-round draft. The WUSA begins its third season April 5.

Solo will be the second Husky to play in the WUSA, joining 2000 Washington graduate Theresa Wagner. The Lakeside High School product played as a midfielder the last two years with the San Jose CyberRays.

'It's great having two players from our team in the league and another, Andrea Morelli, likely to make it by doing well in a pre-season camp,' Gallimore said. 'It's a credit to our program and a credit to those players who have worked hard throughout their collegiate careers to put themselves in a position to make it to the professional level.'

Morelli, a defender who recently completed her senior season at Washington, was not drafted. The Eastside Catholic graduate has been contacted by a few WUSA teams with invitations for her to try out.

Solo earned 12 'caps' for international appearances with the U.S. National Team. She is among the small group of goalkeepers under consideration for a spot on the roster for the 2003 World Cup squad.

Solo completed her collegiate career as the Huskies' all-time leader in every goalkeeping category. She started 68 games, amassing 325 saves, 18 shutouts and a 1.02 goals against average. In each of the last two seasons (2001, 2002), she was one of 15 nominees for the Hermann Trophy that honors the national player of the year.

A four-time all-conference honoree, Solo received the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year award. She surrendered only 12 goals in 17 games in 2001 en route to a school single-season record 0.68 goals against average.

In 2000, Solo led Washington's to its only Pac-10 women's soccer championship.

She enrolled at Washington after a stellar prep career at Richland (Wash.) High School during which she was twice honored as a Parade All-American (1997, 1998).

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