North Carolina Courage Adds Strength to NWSL Shield Winning Team with Five Selections in 2018 NWSL College Draft
The North Carolina Courage selected five players in today’s 2018 NWSL College Draft which was broadcast live from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention in Philadelphia.
Frannie Crouse, Becca Rasmussen, Cary native Morgan Reid, Carlin Hudson and Ryan Williams were drafted to the NC Courage as the 10th, 20th, 38th, 39th and 40th picks respectively.
Reid joins fellow CASL/NCFC Youth alumni Joanna Boyles (Boston Breakers) and EJ Proctor (Utah Royals) as they embark on the next step of their soccer careers.
“We were looking for depth in the team, and I think that all of our draft picks provide that,” said Riley. “After losing Taylor and Hatchy, we are going to have to replace those positions. We got some defenders who can play centrally and can play right back which we got late in the draft. The others have got the stamp of a North Carolina player. They have pace, athleticism. The first two picks are both attacking players, and we felt we needed another attacking piece.”
Crouse, a forward from Penn State University, was the NC Courage’s first pick of 2018. During her senior year with the Nittany Lions, she saw 20 appearances, 16 starts and a total 13 points on four goals and five assists. The Greensburg, Pa. native’s most recent accolades include 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, 2016 All-Big Ten First Team, 2015 Big Ten All-Tournament Team and 2015 Women’s College Cup All-Tournament Team. Crouse played in 92 games total at Penn State, scoring 37 goals and providing 17 assists.
“I would like to thank the Courage for drafting me and giving me this opportunity to continue my soccer career,” said Crouse. “I would also like to thank my family, friends, and coaches who have supported me through my journey. I am extremely humbled and excited to start my professional career in North Carolina.”
In the second round of the Draft, the Courage picked up University of Colorado Boulder’s Becca Rasmussen. The midfielder transferred to Colorado from Georgia for her senior season in 2017. There, she was named third-team All-Pac-12 and United Soccer Coaches third-team all-West Region. In 1,417 minutes of action, Rasmussen led the team with seven assists. While at Georgia from 2014-2016, she was selected as Georgia’s 2015 Offensive Player of the Year. The Golden, Colo. native also boasts youth national team experience; she was a part of United States National Team camps at the U-14, U-15, U-17, U-18 and U-20 levels.
“I’m honored and excited to be chosen by the North Carolina Courage, the number one team in the NWSL,” said Rasmussen. “I’m grateful for this opportunity and looking forward to compete at this next level.”
Reid was next to join the reigning NWSL Shield winning team. Reid, a defender from Duke, grew up in Cary, N.C. and helped Duke to the College Cup Final during the 2017 season. The NCFC Youth product was a starter for the Blue Devils from the beginning. A Cardinal Gibbons High School graduate, she started in all 26 games for Duke in 2017, helping the team to a record-breaking 18 shutouts that year. She has international experience as well as she has trained with the U-20 U.S. Women’s National Team, and was a part of the U-17 National Team.
“I’m thrilled,” said Reid. “I really didn’t want to be drafted by anyone except the Courage. This has been a dream for me since I was five years old, so being able to finally be a part of it is surreal.”
Hudson, the 39th pick, comes to the Courage from Yale University where she captained the team. The Berkeley, Calif. native won Yale’s Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2016 after racking up 1,483 minutes out of a possible 1,502 for the Bulldogs. She was one of only four players to start every game that year. A 5-foot-9 defender, Hudson helped lead her team to an at-large playoff berth in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. During the 2017 season, she started in all 17 games and provided a goal and three assists, her best performance in terms of points (8) in her college career.
“I’m very excited at the opportunity to play for a club as strong as the Courage,” said Hudson. “I’m looking forward to playing alongside such great players and training as hard as I can. Go Courage!”
Williams rounded out the 2018 NWSL College Draft as the Courage’s fifth pick of the day at No. 40. The Texas Christian University defender earned First-Team Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and Academic Big 12 All-Rookie team honors in 2014. Williams started in all 22 games for the Horned Frogs in 2017, accumulating 2,018 minutes, one goal and six assists. Williams, being from Centennial, Colo., is a product of the Colorado Rush as is NC Courage second round pick Rasmussen.
“I’m so excited to be drafted to North Carolina and be a part of the team,” said Williams. “I am so grateful for this opportunity and everyone who’s helped me along the way. I can’t wait to get there and begin training with my new teammates and preparing for the upcoming season.”
The NC Courage returns to Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. for its sophomore season this spring. Season Tickets and Flex Plans are on sale now, and fans can secure 2018 Season Tickets for $50 down. Call 919-459-8144 or visit NCCourage.com/Tickets to purchase your tickets for our highly anticipated 2018 NWSL Season.
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