ACC Women’s Soccer: Thirteen Selected in the NWSL Draft

Virginia’s Emily Sonnett was the No. 1 overall pick

GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – Led by the No. 1 overall pick Emily Sonnett of Virginia, 13 Atlantic Coast Conference student-athletes were selected in the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft held Friday at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The ACC saw five players selected in the first round, including Sonnett, who was selected No. 1 by the Portland Thorns FC. It marked the third straight year the top pick has come from the ACC (2016 – Emily Sonnett; 2015 – Morgan Brian; 2014 – Crystal Dunn). The ACC’s five first-round draftees accounted for half of the first round selections, while its 13 picks overall led all conferences.

Sonnett, the 2015 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Hermann Trophy Finalist, is a two-time NSCAA All-American, a three-time All-ACC selection and a Honda Award candidate. She anchored a Cavalier back line that posted 15 shutouts, including 14 shutout victories in 2015. Virginia allowed only 12 goals for a 0.50 goals against average and allowed only six shots per game by opponents.
Florida State’s Carson Pickett went fourth to Seattle, and Houston selected Notre Dame’s Cari Rocarro with the fifth pick. Cheyna Williams of Florida State was selected by Washington with seventh pick, while teammate Michaela Hahn rounded out the ACC’s first-round picks when Western New York chose her at No. 9.

Four more ACC players were taken in the second round, led by Virginia’s Makenzy Doniak, who was selected with the first pick of the second round (11th overall) by Western New York. Kansas City used its first pick of the second round on North Carolina’s Katie Bowen (16th overall pick), while Boston selected Virginia’s Brittany Ratcliffe at No. 17 and Chicago chose Notre Dame’s Katie Naughton at No. 19.

The third round saw three from the ACC selected, with all three coming from North Carolina. Paige Nielsen went to Seattle with the 25th overall pick, and Alexa Newfield went 28th to Kansas City. Summer Green will join Nielsen in Seattle, as the Reign selected the midfielder/forward with the 10th pick in the third round (30th overall).

Rounding out the ACC’s draftees was Duke’s Kara Wilson, who was selected with the seventh pick in the fourth round (37th overall).

ACC in the 2016 NWSL College Draft
Rd Pick      Team                   Player
1    1           Portland             Emily Sonnett, D, Virginia
1    4           Seattle                Carson Pickett, D/M, Florida State
1    5           Houston             Cari Roccaro, D/M, Notre Dame
1    7           Washington       Cheyna Williams, F, Florida State
1    9           W New York       Michaela Hahn, M, Florida State
2    1 (11)   W New York       Makenzy Doniak, F, Virginia
2    6 (16)   Kansas City        Katie Bowen, D, North Carolina
2    7 (17)   Boston                Brittany Ratcliffe, M/F, Virginia
2    9 (19)   Chicago              Katie Naughton, D, Notre Dame
3    5 (25)   Seattle                Paige Nielsen, D/M/F, North Carolina
3    8 (28)   Kansas City        Alexa Newfield, M/F, North Carolina
3   10 (30)  Seattle                Summer Green, F, North Carolina
4    7 (37)   Washington       Kara Wilson, D, Duke