Breakers come up big in 2013 NWSL Draft

 The Boston Breakers added depth to their backline and bolstered the midfield with some dynamic players by selecting some of the top college players in the country in Friday’s National Women’s Soccer League Draft.

 The Boston Breakers added depth to their backline and bolstered the midfield and attack with four dynamic players, selecting some of the top college players in the country in Friday’s National Women’s Soccer League Draft.

"I’m really excited about how things went with Boston, and I think we got some players that fill a role for us and are going to be able to make a difference in our team," Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "I’m really excited about not only the qualities they have on the field, but also off the field."

The Breakers had the No. 5 pick in the draft, which was held at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis, and selected Florida State defender/midfielder Casey Short. The Naperville, Ill., native anchored a back line in 2012 that set a school record for shutouts (17), goals against average (0.62), and fewest goals allowed in Atlantic Coast Conference games (four).

"This is just an incredible opportunity and a dream come true," Short said. "I’m looking forward to playing for Lisa Cole and playing with some of the best players in the world. I’m excited."

Short is quite familiar with one Breaker - forward Sydney Leroux. The two played on the 2010 U.S. team that reached the quarterfinals of the U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. Short has been in the U.S. National Team system since 2004 with the U-14s and played with the U-23 team in 2011 at a tournament in Sweden. She scored one goal in a 4-0 win over Sweden in the final match of the tournament.

"With Casey Short, we have a player that’s versatile. She’s been really successful at Florida State and well-coached by Mark Krikorian," Cole said. "She can play out wide on the left, she can play centrally, and she can play as a holding mid, so that fills a role for us there."

With their second pick in the draft (No. 13 overall), the Breakers picked up a solid defensive midfielder in Mariah Nogueira from Stanford. Nogueira also has a knack for scoring as evident in her 21 goals and 15 assists for the Cardinal. She played in 99 games (94 starts) at Stanford and also has experience on the national level with the U.S. U-23s.

"She’s a ball-winner, she’s going to be competitive, she’s going to be able to man that midfield for us," Cole said. "I think we have a future international star and a good pro in that position."

With the 21st pick in the draft, the Breakers selected University of Florida forward Jo Dragotta, who scored seven goals and had 11 assists in 82 games with the Gators. In 2012, Dragotta was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-South Region first team selection and named to the All-Southeastern Conference first team Appeared on SEC All-Tournament team.

"Jo Dragotta is a hard-worker and can playmake a little bit. We added some depth in that position," Cole said.

With their fourth pick of the draft, No. 29 overall, the Breakers selected midfielder Maddy Evans, a familiar face to the Breakers. Evans played with the Breakers reserve team, Aztec MA of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). At Penn State, Evans started all 27 games in 2012. She scored 11 goals and eight assists during her four year career with the Nittany Lions.

"Maddy’s been a part of our program, our reserve team, our Under-23 team in the past and has been in training with the Breakers, so she’ll probably be our first developmental player to make the pros," Cole said. "She adds versatility. She can play on the flank, she can play in the attack spot, and as a holding midfielder. She’s worked hard and improved over the years."

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