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2022 NWSL Draft results: San Diego Wave selects Naomi Girma at No. 1

San Diego Wave FC selected Naomi Girma with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 National Women’s Soccer League Draft on Saturday. Many pundits expected Jaelin Howell to be selected first overall, but The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf reported on Friday that San Diego preferred Girma based on the way head coach Casey Stoney wants to play. The Wave confirmed the news by selecting the Stanford defender first overall.

Racing Louisville FC selected Howell second overall, adding the former Florida State midfielder to a midfield which needed a focal point.

Girma is the fourth No. 1 overall pick out of Stanford University in the past five editions of the NWSL Draft.

If you missed our Twitter Spaces recap, you can listen on demand here:

Below you’ll find a pick-by-pick recap of the draft, along with trades that took place along the way.

Trades (in chronological order of announcement)

For all trades and transactions, follow our up-to-date tracker.

— OL Reign has acquired the 8th overall pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft from NJ/NY Gotham FC. In return, the Reign delivered its natural 1st round draft pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft and $40,000 in allocation money to Gotham FC. 

— OL Reign today announced that it has traded midfielder Kelcie Hedge to Houston Dash in return for the 21st overall pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft and $15,000 in allocation money.

— OL Reign trades Leah Pruitt and Celia Jimenez Delgado, along with the No. 10 overall pick in the ’22 NWSL Draft and a 2023 NWSL Draft natural second-round pick with the Orlando Pride; OL Reign acquires Phoebe McClernon.

— OL Reign trades its 15th overall pick in the ’22 NWSL Draft to Washington, acquires $85,000 in allocation money from Washington.

— Chicago acquires $25,000 allocation money, also Washington’s highest second-round pick in the ’23 NWSL Draft; Washington acquires 23rd overall pick in the ’22 NWSL Draft, drafting Lucy Shepherd from Hofstra.

— NC Courage trade the NWSL rights to Deanne Rose to Orlando Pride in exchange for the No. 29 overall pick. Courage use the pick on Haleigh Stackpole, forward/midfielder from Ole Miss. Rose currently plays for Reading FC in England.

Pick-by-pick:

Round 1
No. 1: San Diego Wave FC — Naomi Girma, defender (Stanford)
No. 2: Racing Louisville FC — Jaelin Howell, midfielder (Florida State)
No. 3: North Carolina Courage — Emily Gray, midfielder (Virginia Tech)
No. 4: Racing Louisville FC — Savannah DeMelo, midfielder (USC)
No. 5: Orlando Pride — Mia Fishel, forward (UCLA)
No. 6: North Carolina Courage — Diana Ordoñez, forward (Virginia)
No. 7: Kansas City Current — Elyse Bennett, forward (Washington State)
No. 8: OL Reign — Zsanett Kajan, forward (St. John’s)
No. 9: San Diego Wave FC — Marleen Schimmer, forward (Grand Canyon Univ.)
No. 10: Orlando Pride — Caitlin Cosme, defender (Duke)
No. 11: Orlando Pride — Julie Doyle, forward (Santa Clara)
No. 12: North Carolina Courage — Kaitlin Fregulia, defender (Cal State; Long Beach)

Round 2
No. 13: 
Portland Thorns FC — Sydny Nasello, defender (Univ. of South Florida)
No. 14: Washington Spirit (trade with San Diego) — Tinaya Alexander, forward (LSU)
No. 15: Washington Spirit (trade with OL Reign) — Madison Elwell, forward (Vanderbilt)
No. 16: Racing Louisville FC — Charmé Morgan, defender (Oklahoma State)
No. 17: Kansas City Current — Chardonnay Curran, midfielder (Oregon)
No. 18: Chicago Red Stars — Ava Cook, forward (Michigan State)
No. 19: Chicago Red Stars — Sammi Fisher, midfielder (Notre Dame)
No. 20: OL Reign — Claudia Dickey, goalkeeper, (UNC)
No. 21: OL Reign — Ryanne Brown, forward (Wake Forest)
No. 22: Portland Thorns FC — Gabby Provenzano, midfielder/defender (Rutgers)
No. 23: Washington Spirit — Lucy Shepherd, forward (Hofstra)
No. 24: NJ/NY Gotham FC — Kelly Ann Livingstone, defender (Georgetown)
No. 25: San Diego Wave FC — Sydney Pulver, midfielder/defender (Washington State)
No. 26: Racing Louisville FC — Jordyn Bloomer, goalkeeper (Univ. of Madison – Wisconsin)

Round 3
No. 27: 
San Diego Wave FC — Belle Briede, forward/midfielder (Stanford)
No. 28: Angel City FC — Hope Breslin, midfielder (Illinois)
No. 29: North Carolina Courage — Haleigh Stackpole, forward/midfielder (Ole Miss)
No. 30: Racing Louisville FC — Jenna Menta, forward (Wake Forest)
No. 31: Orlando Pride — Jada Talley, forward (USC)
No. 32: OL Reign — Kaile Halvorson, forward/midfielder (Santa Clara)
No. 33: OL Reign — Olivia Van der Jagt, midfielder (Washington)
No. 34: NJ/NY Gotham FC — Hensley Hancuff, goalkeeper (Clemson)
No. 35: Chicago Red Stars — Sarah Griffith, forward (Purdue)
No. 36: Angel City FC — Lily Nabet, midfielder (Duke)
No. 37: Chicago Red Stars — Kayla McKeon, midfielder (Arkansas)
No. 38: Washington Spirit — Audrey Hardin, forward (UNC-Wilmington)

Round 4
No. 39: 
Angel City FC — Miri Taylor, forward (Hofstra)
No. 40: San Diego Wave FC — Kayla Bruster, defender (Georgia)
No. 41: Kansas City Current — Jenna Winebrenner, defender (TCU)
No. 42: Racing Louisville FC — Sydney Cummings, defender (Georgetown)
No. 43: Kansas City Current — Izzy Rodriguez, defender (Ohio State)
No. 44: Houston Dash — Ryan Gareis, forward (South Carolina)
No. 45: North Carolina Courage — Marisa Bova, goalkeeper (Purdue)
No. 46: NJ/NY Gotham FC — Raleigh Loughman, midfielder (Michigan)
No. 47: OL Reign — Marley Canales, midfielder (UCLA)
No. 48: Portland Thorns — Natalie Beckman, forward (Denver)
No. 49: Chicago Red Stars — Jayda Hylton-Pelaia, defender (Arizona State)
No. 50: Washington Spirit — Jordan Thompson, defender (Gonzaga)

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