Monthly Archives: December 2015

NWSL – 2016 NWSL Draft Big Board #31-40

31. Ashley Spivey – MF/F (AMC, CF) – UCF

One-time golden girl at youth level didn’t quite have the superstar collegiate career some may have envisioned, though you could hardly call her a complete bust either. After a modest two seasons at Maryland, Spivey ended up in sunny Orlando, where she was called upon as a makeshift center-forward in 2014 and netted ten goals as a junior. Spivey was allowed to shift back into an attacking midfield role as a senior with Carol Rodrigues leading the line, and the senior flourished with eleven goals for the Knights including six game winners, though her efficiency numbers were modest but passable for an attacking midfielder. Has a reputation as a ball stopper and sometimes tries to do way too much by herself, which could be a negative at the next level. Upside here, so she should get a look somewhere.

32. Michaela Hahn – MF (CM) – Florida State

FSU’s midfield metronome. Hahn’s contributions to the Seminoles can be a little hard to quantify considering she plays the thankless central midfield role deep in the middle of the park for the ACC side. Had thirteen assists combined as a sophomore and a junior but saw those numbers slip notably this season, with Hahn tallying just one assist in her senior season. May have taken up a role with more attacking responsibilities considering she finished third on the team in shots, with forty-one. Hahn netted five goals but on very poor efficiency numbers as cross the board as a senior. Has the range of passing and starting experience on a perennial contender to get a look, but can she defend the middle of the park given her size (5’4”)? FSU alums are usually gamers though, so she should get a long look somewhere.

33. Christina Burkenroad – MF (AMC, LM), F (CF) – Cal State Fullerton

Part of a wildly successful partnership with fellow Titan (and draft prospect) Rebecca Wilson that led Fullerton to a golden age of success over the past few seasons. Had a breakout season in 2015, totaling eleven goals and eleven assists for the Titans in a brilliant campaign. Efficiency numbers weren’t bad in terms of shots per goal for a midfielder and strong for shots on goal percentage. Quicker and with more technical skill and vision than you’d expect from someone who’s 5’10”. Big question is if she has a position at the next level. 5’10” wingers aren’t exactly a common sight at the highest level, meaning she may have to move into a central midfield position or even up top, though she’s not a prototypical target forward.
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NWSL – 2016 NWSL Draft Big Board #41-50

41. Lauren Hughes – F (CF) – Rice

Canadian followed up her best season at Rice with her worst as a senior in 2015. Hughes looked like a major sleeper after her junior season, tallying fourteen goals and seven assists on scorching efficiency numbers, but it all went pear-shaped this season for the towering forward. Seven goals was a career low, though she did have a career best ten assists to add to Rice’s cause. The efficiency numbers are really what jump out though, with those seven goals coming on eighty-four shots, while less than 42% of those shots were on frame. A poacher from within the box who probably has a better passing range than most 5’10” forwards. Not particularly explosive. Likely ticketed for abroad, though that may not be the worst fate.

42. Kate Scheele – GK – Colorado

Jack of all trades type keeper split her collegiate career between Colorado College and Colorado the past four seasons. Does just about everything well, from shot stopping to 1v1s to dealing with high balls, though you probably wouldn’t regard her as an A+ in any single category. Has a strong leg, often taking long free kicks for CU, though you wonder how much of that will hold up when out of the thin air of Boulder. Draft stock probably suffered a bit thanks to listless season from her Buffs in 2015, where she ended up ceding about 20% of time to youngster Scout Watson, though most of that wasn’t performance based. Probably as game ready right now as any keeper prospect in this class, but I’m not sure she develops into more than a plus-level backup in the league. Should get a look and would probably be in demand overseas.
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NWSL – 2016 NWSL Draft Big Board #51-60

51. Claire Falknor – D (LB) – Florida

Overrated. A tweener who’s played center-back and left-back in college but is too small to play the former and probably not quick enough to play the latter at the next level. Positioning has often been suspect at collegiate level, forcing her into mad dashes back towards goal and sliding last ditch tackles all too often. A hard-nosed, crunching tackler when she is forced into those slides. Not confident in possession under opposing pressure and has made costly errors when pressed while trying to build out of the back. Florida defensive players have often struggled when trying to make the leap to the next level. Didn’t show much going forward on offense on the stat sheet.

52. Allie Stephenson – MF (MC) – Oklahoma State

Undersized midfield dynamo for the Cowgirls was four-year starter for OSU and an invaluable cog in the middle of the park. Three-time All-Region pick while in Stillwater and was a first-team All-Big XII selection her final two years with the club. A fearless battler in midfield despite her lack of size and wins more 50-50s than you’d expect through sheer will. Can really strike a ball from range and scored six times as a senior, but her efficiency numbers aren’t that hot, especially a woeful 30% (!) shot on goal ratio in 2015. Might struggle with the physicality at the next level but has been a college overachiever and should get a shot in someone’s camp.
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NWSL – 2016 NWSL Draft Big Board #61-70

61. Elise Krieghoff – F – Cal Poly

Beware the flat-track bully. Krieghoff did net fourteen goals as a junior but did so on poor efficiency numbers and did so against meek opposition, not netting a single goal against an RPI Top 100 team. Needed a big season in 2015 to prove doubters wrong but struggled with injury and netted just six goals on seventy shots in a brutal senior campaign. Did score against BYU & San Jose State, but that did little to prop up a difficult final season. Will probably get a shot in camp somewhere thanks to this being a pretty weak class overall, but she’ll have to show a much better cutting edge against better competition to stick.

62. Diamond Simpson – D (FB, CB) – Memphis

Another in a seemingly long line of vaunted Canadian prospects who didn’t quite live up to their initial billing. That’s perhaps a little unfair on Simpson who ended up being a solid player for the Tigers, but considering she had been a key part of the Canadian youth international setup, more was likely expected out of the defender. Played at center-back with Memphis but is too small (5’3”) to stick there at the next level, meaning she’ll need to shift out wide to make it. Had a great junior season but didn’t really save her best for last in a disappointing senior season. Likely another Canadian who’ll have to cut her teeth abroad.
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NWSL – 2016 NWSL Draft Big Board #71-80

This is largely based on the hundred I had bookmarked before the season, so some late risers like UNC’s Paige Nielsen haven’t been factored in yet but will be on the final Big Board. I’ve included YouTube links to highlight reels when available.

71. Emma Blackwell – D (FB, CB) – Florida Gulf Coast

FGCU isn’t exactly known for cranking out pro level talent despite being one of the nation’s best mid-majors, but Blackwell will be trying to buck that trend. She’s a two-time A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year, continuing the club’s tradition of top notch defenders at this level. But Blackwell also has the same flaw that KC Correllus, another FGCU stud defender had, namely that she’s painfully undersized. Played center-back for FGCU but is going to have to shift to full-back to make it at the next level. Has a little bit of offensive ability with three assists this season, but she faces an uphill climb.

72. Morgan Batcheller – D (CB) – Cal State Fullerton

Much attention will be focused on Fullerton’s dynamic offense when looking at potential NWSL prospects, the defense is also worth a look from pro coaches. Batcheller took a while to truly turn into a star in the Big West, but she has been one of the region’s best center-backs over the past two seasons. Good for a little bit of offense, usually from the penalty spot but not a libero by any means. Not afraid to dive in for last ditch tackles to stop marauding forwards. A real sleeper who could round into a gem in the future.
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