January 12, 2017
Breakers add four first-rounders, Rose Lavelle with No. 1 choice
The Boston Breakers selected midfielder Rose Lavelle with the No. 1 pick among four of their first-round choices in the NWSL College Draft Thursday.
“I’m really pleased,” Breakers coach Matt Beard said. “We had a plan in place. We watched a lot of games, watched a lot of footage on players, and the important thing for me was to make sure we come out of today with strength and depth in the squad, players that could create competition for places. To me, that was really, really important. We worked really hard to get the amount of first-round picks we did to enable us to pick some of the best young players in the country.”
Lavelle was a three-time NSCAA All-America and two-time Big Ten Midfielder of the Year, scoring 22 goals in 84 games at Wisconsin, leading the team in scoring the last two years.
Lavelle, training with the U.S. Women’s National Team, was first called into camp with the senior team in December 2015. In 2014, Lavelle was the Golden Ball winner at the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship and played in the 2014 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“It’s such an honor,” Lavelle said. “There’s such a talented pool of players registered for the draft. It’s just an honor to be picked so high. I’m super excited for this new journey.”
With the No. 3 pick, the Breakers selected USC midfielder Morgan Andrews, a Milford, N.H., native who scored 10 goals as the Trojans won the NCAA championship last season. Andrews totaled 22 goals and eight assists in two seasons with USC after registering 13 goals and 10 assists in two seasons at Notre Dame.
Andrews captained the U.S. U-15 team in 2010 and the U-17 team in 2011-12 and has played for the U-20 and U-23 teams.
“It’s one of the best feelings in the world,” Andrews said. “I’ve always dreamed of being a professional soccer player. There are some exciting things happening for Boston and exciting things happening to this league. And I’m going home to New England, so it’s exciting.”
With the No. 8 pick, the Breakers selected California forward Ifeoma Onumonu, a 5-foot-10 native of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., who was a two-time NSCAA All-Pacific First Team selection (2012, 2016), totaling 33 goals (10 game-winners) and 17 assists in 82 games.
“I’m so excited that I get to continue my career, especially as a Boston Breaker,” Onumonu said. “To play for the NWSL, I’m really excited. I didn’t know growing up if I was going to be able to play past college, so it’s exciting that they have this league where we can continue our careers.”
The Breakers stayed local with No. 9 overall pick Margaret Purce, a two-time Ivy League player of the year and four-time All Ivy selection at Harvard. Purce, an Olney, Md., native had 42 goals and 12 assists 69 games for the Crimson. Purce played for the U.S. in the 2012 FIFA U-17 WWC and was a member of the team that won the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship. Purce played for the U.S. at the 2014 FIFA U-20 WWC.
“I’ve watched the Breakers the last few years, and it’s going to be really amazing to be part of them,” Purce said. “I was just as flustered by anything than anyone else was. It was a great rush. I’m super excited. I can’t articulate how I’m feeling, but it’s a great feeling.”
Andrew, Onmonu and Purce are training with the U.S. U-23 team in Carson, Calif.
The Breakers traded the No. 11 overall pick to the Chicago Red Stars for a 2018 second-round pick and a 2018 international roster spot.
With the No. 31 pick, the Breakers selected USC’s Sammy-Jo Prudhomme, 5-foot-10 native of Aliso Viejo, Calif., who was named the 2016 Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year and earned NSCAA All-Pacific Region honors. Prudhomme started all 23 games, registering a USC record 14 shutouts last year. Prudhomme played two seasons for the Trojans and two seasons for at Oregon State.
“I really didn’t know if I was going to get drafted or not, so I’m kind of shocked, but I am so excited,” Prudhomme said.
The Breakers also selected Boston College forward Hayley Dowd with the No. 38 choice. Dowd, a Peabody, Mass., native, played two seasons on the Boston Breakers College Academy team. Dowd had 39 goals and 12 assists in 81 games and was a two-time All ACC Second Team selection for BC.
“I’m excited,” Dowd said. “I’ve been to a lot of games. I’ve trained with the college academy team. I’m just excited to get ready to work.”