INDIANAPOLIS — UCLA attacker Zakiya Bywaters was part of history on Friday, the Chicago Red Stars making the 21-year-old the first pick in the NWSL College Draft.
Bywaters, the 2012 Pac-12 Player or the Year, was a first-team NSCAA All-American and semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, posting a 15-goal, four-assist season in Los Angeles.
The Las Vegas native represented the United States at the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 championships in Guatemala and was a two-time all Pac-12 selection. She also made three appearances for the U.S. U-23 team in 2012, recording one goal and one assist.
Tiffany McCarty (Washington), Kirstie Mewis (Kansas City) and Lindsi Linsonbee-Cutchall (Sky Blue) rounded out the top four, with Casey Short (Boston), Adrianna Franch (Western New York), Christie Nairn (Seattle) and Kathryn Williamson (Portland) also selected in the first round.
The University of Florida saw four players selected, with fellow-Sunshine State school Florida State placing three players in the draft. Defender Kathryn Williamson was the first Gator selected at No. 8, with former teammaters Erika Tmyrak, Holly King, and Jo Dragotta chosen in later rounds. Seminoles McCarty and Short were joined by goalkeeper Taylor Vancil, who went in the third round to the Red Stars.
Boston College, Penn State, Stanford, and Wake Forest also had multiple players selected.
Starting with Oklahoma State’s Franch at No. 6, five goalkeepers were selected in the 32-player draft, including with the day’s last two picks. Michigan’s Haley Kopmeyer and Pepperdine’s Roxanne Barker are now expected to backup Seattle’s Hope Solo and Portland’s Karina LeBlanc.
The first player from the national champion North Carolina Tar Heels was not selected until the 24th pick when U.S. U-23 midfielder/defender Amber Brooks, recently signed to Frauen-Bundesliga club Bayern Munich, went to Thorns FC.
The draft, which took place at the annual NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis, added four players to rosters originally stocked by Friday’s allocation. Teams will fill their remaining roster slots through free agency.
1. Chicago Red Stars – Zakiya Bywaters, F, UCLA
2. Washington Spirit – Tiffany McCarty, F, Florida State
3. FC Kansas City – Kristie Mewis, M, Boston College
4. Sky Blue FC – Lindsi Linsonbee-Cutshall, D, BYU
5. Boston Breakers – Casey Short, M/D, Florida State
6. Western New York Flash – Adrianna Franch, G, Oklahoma State
7. Seattle Reign FC – Christine Nairn, M, Penn State
8. Portland Thorns FC – Kathryn Williamson, D, Florida
9. Chicago Red Stars – Rachel Quon, D, Stanford
10. Washington Spirit – Caroline Miller, F, Virginia
11. FC Kansas City – Erika Tmyrak, F/M, Florida
12. Sky Blue FC – Kendall Johnson, M/D, Portland
13. Boston Breakers – Mariah Nogueira, M, Stanford
14. Western New York Flash – Amy Barczuk, M, Colorado
15. Seattle Reign FC – Mallory Schaffer, M, William and Mary
16. Portland Thorns FC – Nicolette Radovcic, F, Central Florida
17. Chicago Red Stars – Taylor Vancil, G, Florida State
18. Washington Spirit – Holly King, M, Florida
19. FC Kansas City – Whitney Berry, M/F, Kansas
20. Sky Blue FC – Ashley Baker, G, Georgia
21. Boston Breakers – Jo Dragotta, D, Florida
22. Western New York Flash – Victoria DiMartino, F, Boston College
23. Seattle Reign FC – Kristen Meier, M, Wake Forest
24. Portland Thorns FC – Amber Brooks, M/D, North Carolina
25. Chicago Red Stars – Jen Hoy, F, Princeton
26. Washington Spirit – Colleen Williams, M, Dayton
27. FC Kansas City – Nia Williams, D, Missouri State
28. Sky Blue FC – Becky Kaplan, F, Maryland
29. Boston Breakers – Maddy Evans, M, Penn State
30. Western New York Flash – Jackie Logue, D, Wake Forest
31. Seattle Reign FC – Haley Kopmeyer, G, Michigan
32. Portland Thorns FC – Roxanne Barker, G, Pepperdine