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Bennett goes No. 7, Pulver No. 25 in the NWSL Draft

Dec 18, 2021

PULLMAN, Wash. – Continuing the Cougs run of stars being selected in the National Women's Soccer League draft, super seniors Elyse Bennett (No. 7 – Kansas City Current) and Sydney Pulver (No. 25 - San Diego Wave) each were picked in the college draft Saturday morning.
 
Bennett becomes the latest Coug to be picked in the top-10 of the NWSL draft joining 2020 No. 2 pick Morgan Weaver (Portland Thorns) and 2021 No. 2 pick Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit) as top end picks. Bennett and Pulver give the Cougs multiple draft picks for the third-straight season as Weaver and Averie Collins (Washington Spirit) were picked in 2020 while Rodman, Brianna Alger (Chicago Red Stars), and Makamae Gomera-Stevens (Houston Dash) were picked in 2021. Additionally, all-time great Ella Dederick was signed by the OL Reign as a free agent prior to the 2021 season.
 
The duo would help lead the team to one of their most successful campaigns in program history in 2021 as WSU finished the year with 14 wins including seven in Pac-12 play to earn another trip to the postseason. The Cougs' at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament was the fourth in the five year careers of the duo only missing out in the spring of 2021 in the COVID-19 shortened season. The Coug seniors became the first class in program history to advance out of the first round of the NCAAs in all four years in the tournament.
 
For Bennett, her pick by the Current is the culmination of a career year in the Crimson and Gray that saw the fifth-year striker become just the third player in program history to be named a United Soccer Coaches All-American. Offensively, she finished her season with a career-best 10 goals while adding four assists for a team high 24 points. She would twice come up with game-winners for the Cougs, including a dramatic 89th minute header on the road at Oregon to lead WSU to victory in Eugene in a critical match that had postseason implications. For her career, Bennett notched 26 goals and 12 assists. Upon the completion of her career, Bennett ranked sixth all-time in goals scored and in points with 64. Additionally, she is one of only two Cougs to appear in over 90 contests throughout her career, playing in 93 games, the second most all-time.
 
The iron woman of Coug soccer, Pulver completed capped her career at WSU with an all-region selection after putting together a career year on the pitch. The anchor in the middle, Pulver finished her career the all-time leader in games played (98) and games started (91) including playing in and starting all 21 contests in 2021. A two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, Pulver made her presence felt on both sides of the field leading the Cougs to 13 shutouts on the year while also finishing third on the team in points scored. In her final season, Pulver put together a career campaign netting six goals and tallying five assists. She did the bulk of her damage as the Cougs' penalty taker netting four of her six goals from the spot, a Coug record and the third most penalty goals in the nation. One of her four came in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as the super senior netted a goal and added an assist in the WSU's victory over Montana at home to begin the postseason.
 
The NWSL season begins in early 2022.