Andi Sullivan Selected No. 1 Overall at the 2018 NWSL College Draft
Stanford midfielder one of 40 players taken during sixth annual college draft
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) held the 2018 NWSL College Draft on Thursday with 40 players being selected over four rounds at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia.
The Washington Spirit selected Stanford midfielder Andi Sullivan with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
A Lorton, Va. native, Sullivan grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and is set to play in front of her home fans. Her entry into the NWSL caps off what has been a whirlwind few months for the 22-year-old, who won the 2017 NCAA Division I National Championship with Stanford in December before being honored with the Hermann Trophy earlier in January as the top player in women’s college soccer. She is the third Stanford player taken in the first round – and the first taken No. 1 overall.
Sullivan has seven caps to her name with the U.S. Women’s National Team and is the fifth consecutive player with prior experience as a senior U.S. international to be selected with the first pick – joining Crystal Dunn (2014), Morgan Brian (2015), Emily Sonnett (2016) and Rose Lavelle (2017) as USWNT players to be taken with the top spot in the draft.
After not having a draft choice in the first 18 picks of the 2017 draft, the Spirit had four picks inside the first 16 selections in 2018 – including the No. 3 overall pick, which Washington used to take Duke midfielder Rebecca Quinn.
In between the Spirit’s two first-round selections, the Boston Breakers tapped South Carolina forward Savannah McCaskill with the No. 2 overall pick. She is the second Gamecocks player taken in the history of the draft and the highest pick from South Carolina.
Sky Blue FC became the fifth team in league history with at least three draft picks inside the first round when they grabbed West Virginia forward Michaela Abam, Duke forward Imani Dorsey and West Virginia defender Amandine Pierre-Louis with the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 picks, respectively. It is the first time in the history of the draft that a club made three consecutive selections in the first round.
Duke players Quinn and Dorsey as well as West Virginia players Abam and Pierre-Louis were the sixth and seventh pair of college teammates to be taken together in the first round of an NWSL draft. At least one pair of players from the same college has been selected together in the first round in all six years of the draft.
In all, six Duke players (Quinn, Dorsey, Schuyler Debree, Ashton Miller, EJ Proctor and Morgan Reid) were taken during the 2018 draft – three more than any other school. The half dozen Blue Devils selected were as many as were taken from Duke in the previous five drafts combined and tied UCLA for the most players taken from the same school in a single NWSL draft (2015).
Duke, North Carolina and Virginia now stand tied for the most players selected during the history of the NWSL draft – with 12 players from each program taken over the course of the league’s six drafts to date. UCLA stands one behind the trio with 11 players selected all-time, while Penn State and Florida State have both had 10 players chosen during the history of the draft.
Stanford (one selection), Virginia (one selection) and Penn State (two selections) all kept alive their streaks of having a player from their program chosen in each NWSL draft. They are the only three schools to have accomplished the feat.
Other notable selections included, the Boston Breakers using the No. 17 overall selection to take Georgetown defender Elizabeth Wenger, who is the sister of Andrew Wenger – the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. There was another sibling connection as well, with Washington utilizing the No. 26 overall pick to choose Wake Forest midfielder Maddie Huster – the sister of current Spirit player Tori Huster.
There were four draft day trades – with the No. 6 overall pick being shipped to two separate teams in quick succession before Sky Blue FC used it to eventually select Pierre-Louis. See below for a full breakdown of all four trades.
1: Houston Dash trade two players to be named later, the #6 and #24 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft to Chicago Red Stars for a player to be named later, an international roster spot and the #7 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft
2: Chicago Red Stars trade three players to be named later, the #6 and #13 overall picks in the 2018 NWSL College Draft to Sky Blue FC for two players to be named later and the #15 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft
3: Seattle Reign trades Diana Matheson to Utah Royals for Yael Averbuch and the #25 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft
4: Chicago Red Stars trade the #29 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft to Portland Thorns FC for their Natural 3rd Round Pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft
Below are the complete 2018 NWSL College Draft Results:
— Round 1 —
No. 1 – Andi Sullivan (Stanford) – Washington Spirit
No. 2 – Savannah McCaskill (South Carolina) – Boston Breakers
No. 3 – Rebecca Quinn (Duke) – Washington Spirit
No. 4 – Michaela Abam (West Virginia) – Sky Blue FC
No. 5 – Imani Dorsey (Duke) – Sky Blue FC
No. 6 – Amandine Pierre-Louis (West Virginia) – Sky Blue FC
No. 7 – Haley Hanson (Nebraska) – Houston Dash
No. 8 – Sandra Yu (Notre Dame) – Portland Thorns FC
No. 9 – Gabby Seiler (Florida) – Portland Thorns FC
No. 10 – Frannie Crouse (Penn State) – North Carolina Courage
— Round 2 —
No. 11 – Schuyler DeBree (Duke) – Washington Spirit
No. 12 – Kimberly Keever (Washington) – Houston Dash
No. 13 – Casey Murphy (Rutgers) – Sky Blue FC
No. 14 – Taylor Isom (BYU) – Utah Royals FC
No. 15 – Emily Boyd (California) – Chicago Red Stars
No. 16 – Mallory Eubanks (Mississippi State) – Washington Spirit
No. 17 – Elizabeth Wenger (Georgetown) – Boston Breakers
No. 18 – Indigo Gibson (California) – Chicago Red Stars
No. 19 – Brianna Visalli (Pepperdine) – Chicago Red Stars
No. 20 – Rebecca Rasmussen (Colorado) – North Carolina Courage
— Round 3 —
No. 21 – Brittany Basinger (Penn State) – Washington Spirit
No. 22 – Ashton Miller (Duke) – Boston Breakers
No. 23 – Nadia Gomes (BYU) – Orlando Pride
No. 24 – Megan Buckingham (North Carolina) – Chicago Red Stars
No. 25 – Allyson Haran (Wake Forest) – Seattle Reign FC
No. 26 – Maddie Huster (Wake Forest) – Washington Spirit
No. 27 – Zoey Goralski (UCLA) – Chicago Red Stars
No. 28 – Veronica Latsko (Virginia) – Houston Dash
No. 29 – Annabella Geist (Oregon State) – Portland Thorns FC
No. 30 – Abby Elinsky (North Carolina) – Houston Dash
— Round 4 —
No. 31 – Rachel Moore (William & Mary) – Washington Spirit
No. 32 – Joanna Boyles (North Carolina) – Boston Breakers
No. 33 – Sarah Shimer (Washington) – Houston Dash
No. 34 – EJ (Emma Jane) Proctor (Duke) – Utah Royals FC
No. 35 – Kiana Palacios (UC Irvine) – Sky Blue FC
No. 36 – Celia Jimenez Delgago (Alabama) – Seattle Reign FC
No. 37 – Alexa Ben (DePaul) – Chicago Red Stars
No. 38 – Morgan Reid (Duke) – North Carolina Courage
No. 39 – Carlin Hudson (Yale) – North Carolina Courage
No. 40 – Ryan Williams (TCU) – North Carolina Courage