NWSL 2022 draft: four NJ players selected

Emily Gray has had a whole weekend.

The Virginia Tech midfielder of Sewell was selected third by North Carolina in the 2022 National Women’s Football League Draft on Saturday afternoon. She had graduated from college the day before.

Gray had 12 goals and eight assists – half of Virginia Tech’s offensive output – en route to the second round of the NCAA tournament this fall. Despite tearing his ACL during the 2019 season, Gray ranks second all-time with 78 points overall for the Hokies.

“That’s a lot of the work I’ve done over the past two off seasons, winter and summer,” said Gray. “Scoring goals wasn’t something I was always comfortable with, but I grew up to really enjoy it this year.”

Gray, who has 34 goals and 43 assists in three seasons in Washington Township, is Virginia Tech’s third NWSL draft.

“The Jersey girls have courage and have a different mind and approach things in a different way,” she said. “I think it has spread to Virginia Tech. We have the same kind of blue collar mentality here. I hope I can pass it on to North Carolina as well.”

Gabby Provenzano, a Hunterdon Central alum, helped Rutgers reach the NCAA Final Four.

► Rutgers defenseman Gabby Provenzano traveled to Portland at No.22, midway through the second round. Provenzano, a 5-foot-5 (5-foot-5) senior, was part of America’s first all-team as Rutgers reached an NCAA College Cup semi-final. A former Hunterdon Central student, Provenzano was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Sydney Cummings, a defenseman for Millstone Township, played 99.6% of available minutes in three seasons at Brown University.

►Sydney Cummings, a 5-foot-10 Georgetown graduate student from Millstone Township, went to Racing Louisville in the fourth round. Cummings, a St. John Vianney alumnus, scored five goals in 22 games for the Big East Hoyas champion. Cummings had been a three-time All-Ivy winner at Brown University, where she played 99.6% of available minutes.

Gotham FC on the clock

Gotham traded their first-round pick, eighth overall, to OL Reign in exchange for $ 40,000 in allowance and Reign’s first-round pick in 2023. The Reign picked St. John’s forward Zsanett Kajan, the Big East double player of the year.

Gotham selected Georgetown defenseman Kelly Ann Livingstone of Glen Ridge in the second round, No.24. A 5-foot-10 graduate student, Livingstone played with the Gotham Reserves last summer and in four Hoyas games this fall. She was part of the 2013 Ridgers Group 1 title.

After moving starting goalie Kailen Sheridan to San Diego and substitute Didi Haracic to Angel City, Gotham added U.S. Women’s National Team goalie Ashlyn Harris – and Clemson goaltender Hensley Hancuff in the third round on Saturday. Hancuff, who at 6-foot-3 is said to be the tallest player in the NWSL, had a 1.00 goals-against average as the Tigers were 11-5-1, reaching the semi-finals of the ACC tournament. and the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Draft NWSL extension:San Diego acquires Montville defenseman and Rutgers forward

“We had positioning needs for the center-back and the goalkeeper,” Gotham coach Scott Parkinson said. “We had to make a guess based on the talent of this draft, where we think they would go and where we thought they would land. We make the staff look like geniuses, because the two players we wanted , we got it. “

Parkinson called Gotham’s fourth-round pick Michigan midfielder Raleigh Loughman “a complete wildcard.” Loughman led Michigan with nine goals – including six game winners – and nine assists, and was voted the Big Ten Tournament’s top offensive player.

View from the top

Stanford defender Naomi Girma was San Diego’s No.1 pick. Girma helped anchor a back line that limited opponents to less than one goal per game and recorded nine shutouts.

The Wave acquired defenders Kristen Knabb from Montville and Christen Westphal on Thursday, as well as the rights to Rutgers fifth-year forward Amirah Ali from Voorhees.

“I am delighted to come in as a young player and learn from those who are already there, to give everything to the team and to learn from the coaches, the staff and everyone,” said Girma. “There are so many players in the draft this year and already in the league that I can learn from.”

Players will report to training camp for the NWSL’s 10th season on February 1. The third edition of the Challenge Cup will start on March 19. There will be a balanced 28-game schedule, with the teams meeting once at home and once on the road.

Six of the 12 teams will advance to the NWSL playoffs in October.

Jane Havsy is a storyteller for the Daily Record and DailyRecord.com, which is part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. For full access to live scores, the latest news and analysis, subscribe today.

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