Breakers score big at 2017 NWSL Draft

(Jan. 12, 2017) – The Boston Breakers had an historic day at the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft, landing four of the first nine picks, including the No. 1 overall selection, midfielder Rose Lavelle.

(Jan. 12, 2017) – The Boston Breakers had an historic day at the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft, landing four of the first nine picks, including the No. 1 overall selection, midfielder Rose Lavelle.

“I’m really pleased. We had a plan in place. We watched a lot of games, watched a lot of footage on players, and the important thing for me was to make sure we come out of today with strength and depth in the squad, players that could create competition for places. To me, that was really, really important,” Boston Breakers head coach Matt Beard said. “We worked really hard to get the amount of first-round picks we did to enable us to pick some of the best young players in the country.”

In Lavelle, the Breakers get a three-time NSCAA All-American, two-time Big Ten Midfielder of the Year, and one of the top scorers at Wisconsin over the past four years. In 84 games at Wisconsin, Lavelle scored 22 goals, leading the team in scoring in 2015 and 2016.

Lavelle is currently training with the U.S. Women’s National Team in California. She was first called into camp with the senior team in December 2015 during the Victory Tour. In 2014, Lavelle was the Golden Ball winner at the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship. She also played in the 2014 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“It’s such an honor. There’s such a talented pool of players registered for the draft. It’s just an honor to be picked so high,” Lavelle said. “I’m super excited for this new journey.”

With the No. 3 pick in the draft, the Breakers selected Milford, N.H. native and University of Southern California midfielder Morgan Andrews. Andrews ranked tied for first in 2016 with 10 goals. In two seasons with USC, she scored 22 goals and tallied eight assists. Prior to USC, Andrews played two seasons at Notre Dame, registering 13 goals and 10 assists in two seasons.

A member of the U-15, U-17, U-20 and U-23 U.S. national teams, Andrews served as a captain for the U-15 team in 2010 and the U-17 team in 2011-12. She’s currently training with the U-23 Women’s National Team in Carson, Calif.

“It’s one of the best feelings in the world,” Andrews said. “I’ve always dreamed of being a professional soccer player. There are some exciting things happening for Boston and exciting things happening to this league. And I’m going home to New England, so it’s exciting.”

With the No. 8 pick in the draft, the Breakers selected California forward Ifeoma Onumonu. The 5-10 Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native was a two-time NSCAA All-Pacific First Team selection (2012, 2016). She scored 33 goals and tallied 17 assists in 82 games at California. Ten of her 33 goals were game-winners. She’s also training now with the U-23 Women’s National Team in Carson, Calif.

“I’m so excited that I get to continue my career, especially as a Boston Breaker. To play for the NWSL, I’m really excited,” Onumonu said. “I didn’t know growing up if I was going to be able to play past college, so it’s exciting that they have this league where we can continue our careers.”

The Breakers didn’t need to look too far from home for the No. 9 overall pick as they selected Harvard forward Margaret Purce. The Olney, Md. native played 69 games for Harvard, scoring 42 goals and adding 12 assists. The two-time Ivy League Player of the Year was an All Ivy League selection all four years with the Crimson.

Purce played for the U.S. at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and was a member of the U.S. team that won the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship and qualified for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Purce also played for the U.S. U-20 team at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She’s currently training with the U-23 Women’s National Team in Carson, Calif.

“I’ve watched the Breakers the last few years, and it’s going to be really amazing to be part of them,” Purce said. “I was just as flustered by anything than anyone else was. It was a great rush. I’m super excited. I can’t articulate how I’m feeling, but it’s a great feeling.”

The Breakers traded their No. 11 overall pick in the draft to the Chicago Red Stars for a 2018 second-round pick and a 2018 international roster spot.

With the No. 31 pick, the Breakers selected their second 2016 NCAA National Champion of the day, drafting USC goalkeeper Sammy-Jo Prudhomme. The 5-10 Aliso Viejo, Calif. native was named the 2016 Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year and earned NSCAA All-Pacific Region honors. She started all 23 games for the Trojans in 2016, registering a school-record 14 shutouts. Her .906 save percentage ranked sixth in the nation. Prior to her two years at USC, Prudhomme played two seasons at Oregon State, making 188 saves.

“I really didn’t know if I was going to get drafted or not, so I’m kind of shocked, but I am so excited,” Prudhomme said.

At No. 38, the Breakers selected Boston College forward Hayley Dowd. The Peabody, Mass. native played two seasons on the Boston Breakers College Academy team. At Boston College, Dowd scored 39 goals and added 12 assists in 81 games. Dowd was a two-time All ACC Second Team selection.

“I’m excited,” Dowd said. “I’ve been to a lot of games. I’ve trained with the college academy team. I’m just excited to get ready to work.”

Season tickets for the 2017 Boston Breakers campaign are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling 617-945-1704 or by visiting breakerstickets.com.

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