Finally! Here is the first of ten installments of the preseason/mid-season big board for the 2016 NWSL Draft. I’ve made some adjustments from my preseason board based on the season to date and will make a full revision at season’s end.
91. Amanda Hill – MF (DMC) – West Virginia
A starter here from day one and likely to either approach or break the all-time starts record for the Mountaineers by season’s end. WVU captain has seldom gotten her due in terms of awards due to unflashy nature of her game but has been a crucial part in her club’s gameplan as an unfussy defensive midfielder who has helped the Mountaineers as a vital shield in front of a stout backline. Good for the odd goal or assist but is not particularly offensive in nature. Could be a late round steal or promising camp invitee.
92. Haley Washburn – MF – Harvard
Some may wonder if the Californian has already plateaued as a player. Washburn came into Harvard with many a plaudit from her youth days thanks to her status as a U17 international with the U.S. and has perhaps struggled to meet those lofty expectations. Was a budding star after a big 2013 but came back to earth a bit last year. A calming presence on the field, Washburn will likely not be a big factor on the stat sheet. Someone the Breakers may want a look at on the reserve team for a season or two if she doesn’t catch on elsewhere.
93. Eve Badana – GK – Drexel
Irish international switched allegiances after playing in the U17 World Cup for Canada. Proved an immediate hit with the Dragons in 2011 and improved to win the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, sparking her run as a big prospect for the club. Has plateaued a bit though and needs to prove she’s still a viable prospect after missing all of last year through injury. EU passport and international status for NWSL purposes means she’s almost assuredly got better odds of catching on overseas.
94. Rebekka Sverrisdottir – D (RB) – UMass
Icelandic youth international has quietly blossomed into one of the A10s best defenders despite toiling on a nondescript UMass side. Ever-present as a starter here through four season. Not a tremendous threat going forward despite continental pedigree. Seems much more likely to end up back in Europe following the conclusion of her collegiate career, where she’ll battle to make it onto the full Icelandic WNT.
95. Madalyn Schiffel – GK – San Francisco
Former U.S. youth international is a sleeper in a class lacking top line goalkeeping depth. Had a slightly slow start to her collegiate career but really came on late. Solid size and plenty of experience being this side’s netminder, but has toiled in obscurity for much of her career due to being on a rather mediocre USF program for the majority of her career here. With the Dons having their best season in a long time, she could well make a giant move up the rankings considering her upside and this class’ lack of standout goalkeepers.
96. Holly Hargreaves – F – Rice
The lesser known of Rice’s big time scoring duo. Hargreaves looked like the one to watch early in her career, especially after a sophomore season that saw her score nine goals on forty-nine shots with a SOG % well over 50%. But she regressed last season despite staying consistent with her scoring, with her ten goals coming at the expense of a much higher usage rate, needing more than eight shots to score each of her goals. Has started 2015 ice cold as well, with zero goals in the first four weeks of the season, so she may yet slip out of this Top 100.
97. Ashley Williams – F – Kansas
Second scoring banana for KU during last year’s dramatic run up the Big XII table. Development had seemingly plateaued after a middling sophomore season but broke out for seven goals in 2014 and was generally pretty efficient with her shooting, needing just thirty-five goals to get there. SOG% was below 50% though, which probably won’t do for a non-supremely prolific scorer. Has been ice cold for the inconsistent Jayhawks through a month of the 2015 season.
98. Nikki Pappalardo – MF/F – San Diego
A big game player. Pappalardo had looked to be an above average Summit League level player through a few seasons with Denver but ended up turning into one of the WCC’s best midfielders in her first year there after transferring in 2014. Had a whopping ten assists as a junior here last year, and that’s with a team that didn’t really have a great penalty box predator to do damage with, as is usually the custom here. Often did her best work against big teams last season and may need to be big for USD in 2015 if they’re to have a successful season.
99. Chesney White – F – UNC Greensboro
Big hitter who had a breakthrough season last year, netting fifteen goals for the Spartans. Question is whether she can translate those numbers to a bigger stage, as she only had three goals against RPI Top 100 teams in 2014. Has always struggled with efficiency, having not gone over 50% SOG ratio once in three seasons coming into her senior year. Has a good touch for the dramatic with six game winning goals last year. Has not made a good start to 2015, with just one goal in the first four weeks of the season, that coming on twenty shots.
Began her career as one of the most highly touted prospects to set down stakes at W&M. Has endured a somewhat uneven career since, though she’s been a four-year starter for the Tribe and gained valuable experience with the Washington Spirit Reserves this past season. Looked to be moving towards stardom in 2013 but slid back a bit last season. I suspect she’ll be a candidate to hang around as someone’s third-stringer next season, perhaps with the Spirit next season as she develops at the next level.