Eight Pac-12 women's soccer players selected in NWSL Draft
Eight Pac-12 women's soccer players were selected in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft on Thursday. The Pac-12 had the second most draft picks of any conference (ACC leads with 12). STANFORD's midfielder Andi Sullivan was the number one overall pick by the Washington Spirit. Four Pac-12 student-athletes were drafted in the second round, starting with WASHINGTON’s Kimberly Keever, No. 12, CALIFORNIA’S Emily Boyd, No. 15, and Indigo Gibson, No. 18, and closing the round with COLORADO’S Rebecca Rasmussen chosen No. 20 overall.
Sullivan accumulated several awards during her four years at Stanford and the cherry on top of an incredible collegiate career came as the number one overall draft pick in NWSL draft. Sullivan is the program’s first number one overall pick and only the third first rounder (Courtney Verloo 2014, Maddie Bauer 2017). She is the 10th Cardinal selected in the NWSL draft as Stanford has had at least one player taken in each the league’s six years. Sullivan led Stanford to its third-straight Pac-12 title with a 24-1-0 record and won the 2017 NCAA Championship. The Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year finished her senior campaign as the MAC Hermann Trophy winner, the highest honor in college soccer, as well as the 2017 Senior Class Award recipient. The four-time Pac-12 first team member (2014-17) and three-time first-team All-American (2015-17) is currently training in California with the United States national team.
For the first time in Cal history, the Golden Bears had two players selected in the NWSL College Draft. Not only are they both taken in the second round, they are fortunate enough to continue as teammates at the professional level with the Chicago Red Stars. Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year and Cal career shutout leader (26) Emily Boyd was chosen 15th overall and is the highest draft pick since Alex Morgan was selected first overall in 2011. Boyd was named second team All-Pac-12 (2015-16), third team NSCAA All-Region (2016) and Pac-12 All-Freshman Team (2014). Indigo Gibson followed shortly after, selected with the 18th pick overall. The Las Flores, Calif. native started all 20 games this season and totaled 6,633 minutes played during her career at Cal.
Colorado midfielder Rasmussen was selected by the North Carolina Courage with the 10th pick in the second round. The Golden, Colo., native returned to her home state after transferring from Georgia. In her senior season as a Buff, she earned third-team All-Pac-12 and United Soccer Coaches third-team All-West Region. Rasmussen led CU with seven assists, which also ranked seventh in the Pac-12 and fifth in assists per game (0.37). She is the third CU player to be draft along with Danica Evans, No. 22 in the 2017 and Amy Barczuk, No. 14 in 2013.
Oregon State standout goalkeeper Bella Geist will stay local to start her professional career, as the Milwaukie, Ore., native was selected 29th overall by the Portland Thorns. Geist set Oregon State's career record with 394 career saves, which ranks third in Pac-12 history. She will also follow former Beaver forward Jodie Taylor, who played for the Thorns during the 2015 season.
UCLA defender Zoey Goralski was selected with the seventh pick in the third round to the Chicago Red Stars. Returning to her home state of Illinois, Goralski is the Bruins’ 11th all-time draft pick and joins fellow UCLA teammate Lauren Kaskie on the team. During Goralski’s time at UCLA, she won two Pac-12 titles (2013, 2014) and the 2013 NCAA Championship. She finished her career having played in 82-consecutive games, 88 of 90 career matches, and helped lead the Bruins to the 2017 College Cup where she was named to the College Cup All-Tournament Team. Goralski earned honorable mention Pac-12 All-Academic honors for the three-straight years.
The Washington duo of forward Kimberly Keever and goalkeeper Sarah Shimer continue their professional career together with the Houston Dash. Keever earned All-Freshman Team honors in 2014 and made All-Conference teams the next three years, scoring 20 goals during her career as a Husky. Goalkeeper Shimer was the final Pac-12 selection of the day with the third pick in the fourth round. Shimer set the Husky single-season shutout record her senior season with 11 clean sheets and tied the career mark for lowest goals against average at 0.98 percent.
|Player||Position||Pac-12 School||NWSL Team||Round / Pick|
|Andi Sullivan||Midfielder||1st / 1st|
|Kimberly Keever||Forward||2nd / 2nd|
|Emily Boyd||Goalkeeper||2nd / 5th|
|Indigo Gibson||Defender||2nd / 8th|
|Rebecca Rasmussen||Midfielder||2nd / 10th|
|Zoey Goralski||Defender||3rd / 7th|
|Bella Geist||Goalkeeper||3rd / 9th|
|Sarah Shimer||Goalkeeper||4th / 3rd|