2022 NWSL Draft Recap

Naomi Girma, the first selection in the 2022 NWSL Draft (photo courtesy @naomi_girma on Instagram).

With a new college soccer season quickly approaching and the 2022 NWSL Draft in the books, lets take a look back at how the Dossier performed last season, before we release this years Pre-Season Dossier.

We’ll go round by round and look at overall performance, and talk about why we missed who we missed. Learning!

Round One

Despite the amount of prospects who used an extra year of eligibility to return to school, the first round numbers look promising. All but two players, Marleen Schimmer and Julie Doyle, selected in the first round were on the Dossier. Schimmer was listed on the site under our small school prospects to watch, and Doyle did not play college soccer last year, instead playing overseas. The biggest surprise from the first round was seeing players from Long Beach State and Grand Canyon University selected, a first for both schools.

Round Two

Round two was slightly better than the first, only two players were missed, but 14 were selected. Chardonnay Curran and Sydney Pulver were the players left off of the Dossier. Curran’s youth national team experience should have landed her on the Dossier. Both players are the all time leaders in matches played at their respective universities.

Round Three

Round three was the worst of the bunch in terms of our performance. Only 4 players were listed on the Dossier. But missing eight players in a round can help us learn where we’ve made a mistake, so let’s look at who we missed, and their accomplishments.

Belle Briede – All-Pac 12 Third Team should have landed her on the Dossier. 13 points as a senior.

Hope Breslin – Productive college player who never made an all-conference team, without advanced stats, this is someone we’d miss again.

Jenna Menta – Big East offensive player of the year in 2020, Jenna should have been listed.

Jada Talley – Talley had her rights claimed the year prior and reentered the draft this year, not something we could have caught pre-draft .

Kalie Halvorsen – Never made an all-conference team and had 17 career points in 75 games played. Like Hope Breslin, this is a profile that we’d miss again.

Olivia Van der Jagt – Pac 12 Third Team in 2021 Spring season, started a significant amount of games, Olivia should have been listed.

Lily Nabet – A team captain, heavy playing time, but no all conference teams.

Audrey Harding – Very productive college player, First team All CAA.

Round Four

Back to form in round four, only missing 3 of 12. Marissa Bova made the 4th goalkeeper selected in this years draft. That marks the most selected since 2018 when five keepers were taken. The Dossier may need to include a few more keepers next year.

Kayla Bruster – 2019 First team All-SEC, 2020 second team all SEC, significant playing time.

Ryan Gareis – SEC All Freshman team, SEC Preseason watch list, significant playing time.

Marissa Bova – 6’2”, All Big 10 second team, significant playing time.

Overall Impressions

At the conclusion of the draft, the Dossier contained 34 of the 50 selected players. Not terrible for the first year, but since the overall goal is 100%, let’s take a look at a few common themes that lead to missing 16 of draftees.

Extra Years of Eligibility

This year and the year previous, players had the choice to use an extra year of eligibility to go back to school if they didn’t want to enter the draft. A significant percentage of our first two mock drafted rounds went back for another year. Players like Penelope Hocking, Clara Robbins, Rebecca Jarrett, Emily Madril, Alexa Spaanstra, Summer Yates, Nicole Douglas, Messiah Bright, the list goes on. Essentially a large chunk of the first two rounds either went back to school, or are now playing in a different professional league.

Consistent Contributors

Players like Sydney Pulver, Lily Nabet, Hope Breslin, and Ryan Gareis were all consistent, long term contributors to their college squads. Although they didn’t possess the accolades of the Dossier athletes, they did have experience and talent that was evident when looking at the volume of matches they played. Collegiate starts might be a statistic worth looking into for this year.

Players Who Should Have Been Listed

We are imperfect! And will miss details from time to time. Kayla Bruster, Olivia Van der Jagt, Jenna Menta, Belle Briede, and Chardonnay Curran all had markers that landed other players on the Dossier. They were misses, and we hope to remedy those kinds of mistakes on this years list.

Players Who Were Claimed Previously

Players like Frankie Tagliaferri, Cameron Tucker, and Alia Martin had their rights claimed last year and decided to sign with the teams that claimed them. Jada Talley was claimed but reentered the draft. A lot of these roster moves had to do with extra years of eligibility, these players were claimed after their senior year, played another year in college, and then signed instead of re-entering the draft. Those lists are not available to the public.

Conclusion

The Post-Season Dossier contained a majority of the players drafted (68%), but the Pre-Season Dossier contained only 46%. Both need work! The new eligibility rules really threw a wrench into the numbers this year, but have created a potentially league changing draft class in 2023. A lot of familiar faces will be returning to this seasons Dossier.

Going into the 2023 draft, it looks like the focus should be on the Big 7 conferences. As previously discussed (and it hit right on this year), 90% of players drafted come from just seven conferences. This year will be focused there, and on players who meet the established Dossier criteria. Players in other conferences will of course be listed, but may find their way on to a different list, like the small school prospects did last year.

The Pre-Season Dossier for 2023 will be out soon! Thanks for reading!

Working to cover and predict the NWSL draft earlier than it ever has been before. Make sure to check out our other articles, and The Dossier, a list of NWSL draft prospects!