U.S. WNT player Tierna Davidson selected with number one overall selection
CHICAGO – The 2019 National Women’s Soccer League Draft has concluded, with the Chicago Red Stars making seven selections over the four rounds, including the number one overall pick in the draft.
The draft selections made by the Red Stars are as follows:
1st overall – Tierna Davidson
Hometown: Menlo Park, CA
It should come as no surprise Davidson is one of the most sought-after prospects in recent memory. The recipient of the 2018 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, Davidson helped her country win 2018 She Believes Cup and Tournament of Nations. She became the first U.S. National Team player since Julie Foudy in 1994 to play 90 minutes in each of her first five senior international caps.
Despite an injury cutting short her junior season at Stanford, her value to the program has been solidified due to her outstanding play in previous seasons. When the program won the 2017 National Championship, Davidson was named the College Cup’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
The accolades piled up for Davidson her sophomore campaign. She was named the 2017 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-PAC 12 First Team, All-Pacific Region First Team, and was an All-American First-Team selection. She was the standout of a Stanford defense that set a program record with 19 shutouts, while only allowing nine goals in 25 games.
Recently Davidson has made a return from the injury she suffered in September and was called up to the U.S. National Team January Camp taking place in Portugal.
“With some of my teammates on the U.S. Women’s National Team playing in Chicago, they definitely gave me a lot of great advice and told me about the inner workings and culture of the team,” Davidson said. “They welcomed me in very well, and I’m just that much more excited to join the Red Stars and be surrounded by some of the best competition in the NWSL to grow in every part of my game.”
15th overall – Maria Sanchez
University of Santa Clara
Hometown: American Falls, ID
“Just an amazing feeling for sure,” Sanchez said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Chicago Red Stars. I know it’s a very competitive team, as they’ve consistently done well in the NWSL and I know they just picked up another Mexican International player [Katie Johnson] so it’s exciting. Plus, having another [Santa Clara] Bronco there in Julie Ertz makes it even better.”
After transferring to Santa Clara in 2017, Sanchez appeared in all 23 games for the Broncos, tying the WCC lead with 16 points from five goals and six assists. In her first game, she picked up an assist against San Jose State and later scored a goal each against No. 23 Michigan and Notre Dame, respectively.
The year 2018 was a banner year for Sanchez, with her leading the nation with 16 assists, and a team-high eight goals and 32 points. She recorded four assists in a single game against University of California, Berkeley, tying a program record. This year she was named to the First Team All-WCC and First Team All-West Region.
20th overall – Bianca St. Georges
West Virginia University
Hometown: St. Felix de Valois, Quebec
In her first year as a Mountaineer, St. Georges started all 22 games and assisted six goals all while helping a dominant defense post 15 shutouts and allowing just 11 goals, the fewest in program history. She was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and made both the All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Big 12 Freshman Teams.
Her dominant defensive performance continued in her sophomore year, helping West Virginia record a nation- and program-best 18 shutouts. St. Georges was named a captain in her junior year and led her team to 13 shutouts while scoring two goals herself and setting up six assists. She was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and the United Soccer Coaches All-Region First Team.
In 2018, St. Georges proved herself an offensive force, scoring a career-high seven goals, logging two multi-goal games against No. 13 Texas and Oklahoma University respectively.
“I stopped breathing for a second because this was my top team, and I was really hoping to go to Chicago,” St. Georges said. “They tried to reach out to me early and it was very cool that the club was so diverse. There are key players that could really help me [in my development], and Chicago really felt like the place for me to be.”
26th overall – Kayla Sharples
Hometown: Naperville, IL
An All-Big Ten First Team player in three consecutive seasons, Sharples has played every possible minute for the Wildcats during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. After leading Northwestern to a 2-0 start to the year in 2018 she was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. She anchored the defense to 11 shutouts in 2017 and eight in 2018.
Sharples contributed offensively as well. She scored three goals this season for the second consecutive year, including goals against Miami University of Ohio in the season opener and two more against Penn State and Michigan.
“I’m so happy to be home,” Sharples said. “It’s a dream come true to be where I grew up and started playing soccer, where I have the best support system ever in my family. It’s very exciting and I couldn’t be happier.”
31st overall – April Bockin
University of Minnesota
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN
In her 72 games with the Gophers, Bockin netted 26 goals, including a career-high 13 in 2018 alone, five of which were game-winners. Her junior year she started all 19 games, tallied the third most assists in the NCAA with 12 in addition to scoring four goals of her own. Bockin tied a program and conference record with four assists against Michigan State in just 36 minutes.
This year she recorded her third career multi-goal match netting two goals in the span of 24 seconds against North Dakota State and later recorded back-to-back multi-goal games against No. 22 Wisconsin and Iowa respectively. For her efforts, Bockin was named Big Ten Forward of the Year and Big Ten Tournament Offensive Most Outstanding Player.
33rd overall – Hannah Davison
Davison was a key figure in a dominant defense for Northwestern. She started every game for a Wildcat defense that had eight shutouts on the year. As a sophomore she and Northwestern had the lowest goal against average in the nation, allowing a mere .29 goals per game and her defense led the nation in shutouts as well with 17. Davison and the dominant defense propelled the Wildcats to the 2016 Big Ten Championship.
Her senior season the Wildcats went 668 minutes without allowing a goal, the longest streak in program history. In 2018 Davison and the Northwestern defense held opposing teams to .68 goals per game.
“I’m so excited,” Davison said. “There’s nothing like playing at home and having hometown supporters coming, and my family especially. Playing with girls who are familiar faces, I’m very excited to start working.”
35th overall – Jenna Szczesny
Loyola University Chicago
Hometown: Hoffman Estates, IL
The Illinois native was not only one of the best players at Loyola during her collegian career, but also in the Missouri Valley Conference. In her first two years as a Rambler, she was named to the All-MVC Second Team. She helped Loyola reach the MVC Championship game and was a member of the MVC All-Tournament team.
Szczesny would score a career-high 14 goals in 2017 and moved up to the All-MVC First Team. She finished off her Loyola career by scoring 11 goals, moving her up to second all-time in Rambler history. In her final MVC Tournament, she would lead Loyola to a championship game victory and take home the tournament’s Most Valuable Player Award. Szczesny is the first ever Loyola player to be awarded The Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year.
“I couldn’t be more excited and grateful to stay here,” Szczesny said. “I’m so excited I can’t even think. To be able to stay in Illinois for my college career and then to be drafted into the NWSL by my hometown team is the absolute world. I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the team and get to work.”