Eight Pac-12 women’s soccer players selected in the 2019 NWSL Draft
SAN FRANCISCO – Eight Pac-12 women’s soccer players were selected today in the 2019 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft on Thursday. The Pac-12 had the second-most draft selections of any conference (ACC leads with nine). STANFORD’s Tierna Davidson was selected with the number one overall pick by the Chicago Red Stars, the second consecutive year and the fourth time overall a Pac-12 student-athlete was selected with the first-overall pick of the NWSL Draft. Hailie Mace of UCLA was drafted with the second-overall pick by Sky Blue FC and Davidson’s Cardinal teammate Jordan DiBiasi was taken with the third-overall pick by the Washington Spirit. The Pac-12 is the first conference ever to have three student-athletes selected with the first three picks of the draft. Additionally, five of the top nine first-round picks were Pac-12 student-athletes, the most for the in the first round since 2017 when six were selected.
Tierna Davidson, a native of Menlo Park, Calif., tops off an impressive career at Stanford by becoming the program’s second number one overall pick. Chosen by the Chicago Red Stars, the standout defender had a breakout season during Stanford’s 2017 title run, earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year, first team All-America and first team All-Pac-12. This young riser has been one of the most impressive student-athletes on the collegiate and international level. She became the first woman on the United States National Team since 1994 to play 90 minutes in each of her first five senior caps. She helped the U.S. win the 2018 Tournament of Nations and the 2018 She Believes Cup.
Standout UCLA midfielder Hailie Mace was selected by Sky Blue FC with the second-overall pick. Despite playing in just 13 games, as she spent nearly half of the 2018 season with the U.S. National Team, Mace ranked second on the team in scoring with nine goals and 24 points and earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 second team. The Ventura, Calif. native was also honored for her academic achievements as she was named to the Senior CLASS Award All-America first team. During UCLA’s trip to the College Cup in 2017, she was a first team All-American, All-Pac-12 recipient, MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist and was selected to the College Cup All-Tournament Team. With the USWNT, she helped the U.S. win the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Tournament and qualify for the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
The Washington Spirit traded up to the third-overall pick in the draft to select Stanford’s captain midfielder Jordan DiBiasi. Originally from Highlands Ranch, Colo., DiBiasi was tabbed the 2018 Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year, first team All-America and first team All-Pac-12 after she set career highs in goals (10) and points (30). She was also recently named a Honda Sport award finalist. During her four-year career, DiBiasi missed just one game while starting 91 of 92 games she was available to play.
She’ll be joined by teammate Tegan McGrady in Washington, as the Spirit selected McGrady with the seventh-overall pick. McGrady, a San Jose, Calif. native, capped off a four-year career on the Farm with an impressive senior season that earned her third-team All-America and first team All-Pac-12 honors. McGrady has also been recognized for her work in the classroom, as she was named to the 2018 Academic All-America first team and the All-West Region Scholar All-America first team.
USC’s forward Leah Pruitt is taking her talents to the defending NWSL Champion NC Courage. The fifth-overall pick, originally from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., led the Pac-12 and was ninth in the nation with six game-winning goals this year. She was named to the All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-12 first teams on her way to her first All-American honor. She wraps up an all-time great USC career tied for fifth on the all-time USC assists list with 21, tied for 10th with 22 goals scored and sixth on the game-winning goals list with 10.
Pruitt’s Trojan teammate Ally Prisock was drafted by the Houston Dash with the third pick in the second round. She set the program mark for career starts at 90 after starting every game of her four-year tenure. She became the first USC defender to be named a first team All-American, while also being named a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist. She led a Trojan backline that notched 15 shutouts this year, the second most in program history, and helped USC give up just 11 goals all season en route to the best goal differential (57-11) in program history.
Joining Prisock on the Houston Dash is Oregon defender Jazmin Jackmon, the first Duck to be drafted to the NWSL. Originally from Pasadena, Calif., she started all 19 matches during her senior season at Oregon and earned Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention. Before transferring to Oregon, she helped Santa Clara advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2016.
Colorado’s Erin Greening was selected by the Orlando Pride with the seventh pick in the third round. Greening was a major contributor to the 2017 Buffs team that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament and broke school records for shutouts (14) and goals-against average (0.61). Throughout her four years at CU, Greening was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention list three times for maintaining a GPA over 3.0.
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