Breaking down the draft: 2014

(Jan. 12, 2016) - As the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft nears, we take a look back at past Boston Breakers drafts. Today, we go back to the 2014 NWSL College Draft. We are recapping every draft from 2009 through 2015 leading up to the 2016 NWSL Draft on Jan. 15, 2016, which will be held at the annual NSCAA Convention, taking place this year in Baltimore.

(Jan. 12, 2016) - As the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft nears, we take a look back at past Boston Breakers drafts. Today, we go back to the 2014 NWSL College Draft. We are recapping every draft from 2009 through 2015 leading up to the 2016 NWSL Draft on Jan. 15, 2016, which will be held at the annual NSCAA Convention, taking place this year in Baltimore.

The 2014 NWSL College Draft took place on Jan. 17, 2014, at the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia. The Washington Spirit held the No. 1 overall pick and selected UNC forward Crystal Dunn.

The Breakers had the No. 8 pick and drafted Michigan forward Nkem Ezurike. The Canadian international came on strong during her rookie season in Boston, scoring her first professional goal in her first professional start, a 4-1 win on May 28, 2014 over Portland Thorns FC at home. Ezurike played 11 games in her debut season, scoring two goals and logging 503 minutes. In 2015, Ezurike appeared in 12 games (three starts), played 417 minutes, and finished with one goal and one assist. Her goal came in a 3-2 win April 26, 2015, at home against the Houston Dash.

Nkem Ezurike in her debut season of 2014 (Photos by Mike Gridley)

With their second selection in the 2014 NWSL Draft, the Breakers went with Duke defender Natasha Anasi at No. 13 overall. Anasi did not end up signing with the Breakers and later played professionally in Iceland.

In the third round, the Breakers came up big, drafting Virginia Tech forward Jazmine Reeves and Duke midfielder Mollie Pathman. Reeves was in contention to win NWSL Rookie of the Year after her stellar debut season. She scored seven goals, the second most on the team. Reeves started 13 of the 17 games she appeared in, logging 1,151 minutes, and was named the Boston Breakers Rookie of the Year.

Jazmine Reeves celebrates one of her three goals against Portland

Pathman just finished up her second season with the Breakers. As a rookie in 2014, Pathman made 21 appearances (18 starts) and logged 1,519 minutes (fifth most on team). She had one assist. In 2015, Pathman was one of only two Breakers (Kassey Kallman) to play every minute of all 20 matches.

Mollie Pathman gets past Allie Long in her rookie season of 2014

In the fourth round of the 2014 NWSL College Draft, the Breakers selected goalkeeper Jami Kranich (Villanova) and midfielder Kim DeCesare (Duke). Kranich served as Alyssa Naeher’s backup in 2014 and made her professional debut in 2015. She started all eight games she appeared in and finished with two wins and two draws in eight matches. Kranich registered a season- and career-high eight saves on June 6, 2015, a 1-1 tie on the road against the Washington Spirit.

Jami Kranich made her pro debut in 2015

DeCesare played for the Boston Breakers Reserves in 2014 before getting signed late in the season. She made her professional debut June 19, 2014, in a loss at home to the Seattle Reign. DeCesare later signed in Sweden with Eskilstuna United before returning to the NWSL in 2015 with Sky Blue FC.

Kim DeCesare in 2014 preseason action against UConn

Two current members of the Breakers were also selected in the 2014 NWSL Draft: defender Kassey Kallman (No. 5 overall, FC Kansas City) and forward Morgan Marlborough (No. 12 overall, FC Kansas City).

Return here Wednesday for a recap of the Breakers’ 2015 NWSL College Draft.

2014 NWSL College Draft

Round 1

No. 8 Nkem Ezurike Forward Michigan

Round 2

No. 13 Natasha Anasi Defender Duke

Round 3

No. 21 Jazmine Reeves Forward Virginia Tech

No. 23 Mollie Pathman Duke Midfielder

Round 4

No. 32 Jami Kranich GK Villanova

No. 34 Kim DeCesare Midfielder Duke

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