NWSL – 2017 NWSL Draft – Chris’ Big Board #27 to 50

27. Josee Stiever – MF – Minnesota

What I Said Before 2016:

A big part of Minnesota’s midfield over the past three seasons, Stiever’s been a little bit overlooked nationally but could be bound for a big 2016 for the Golden Gophers. Stiever really began to show what she was capable of as a sophomore in 2014, tallying up five goals and five assists for Minnesota, including some big contributions in league play in the Big Ten. Stiever’s numbers would dip a little bit as a junior but only slightly, with the midfielder still managing four goals and four assists on the season, again doing much of her damage on the stat sheet in league play for Minnesota. Minnesota could surprise a few teams in the Big Ten this upcoming season given some of the talent they have coming back, and Stiever could be a big part of that run.

Anything New?

Stiever sealed her rep as a Big Ten team killer this season, including assisting in all three wins en route to Minnesota doing the double by sealing a Big Ten Tournament title on home soil. She doubled up on 2015’s production, finishing with eight goals and ten assists in a very impressive season to close out her college career. As one of this class’ late risers, Stiever could be a canny pick in the second half of the draft for someone.

28. Mimi Rangel – MF – Long Beach State

What I Said Before 2016:

The Beach have been one of the west’s top mid-majors for a while now, and players like Rangel have been big contributors to that success. Making an immediate impression as a rookie with five goals and four assists, Rangel was the Big West Freshman of the Year and earned all-league First Team honors, a rarity for freshmen in power mid-majors. While Rangel hasn’t busted out and become a superstar as some might have expected, she’s still be a very good player for the 49ers and has helped make them a constant threat for Big West silverware. Rangel followed up her rookie year with a three goal, six assist season that earned her Midfielder of the Year honors in the league which set the table for a potentially big 2015. Rangel slipped a bit though, with her goal total dipping to just two, with one of those coming from the spot, while notching five assists. Rangel still has a chance of being the rare player to win All-League first team honors all four seasons of her collegiate career, though her ceiling might be a bit lower than expected after her brilliant rookie season. She’s a bit undersized at 5’2”, but she’ll be battle tested coming into the next level with LBSU having played tough schedules all throughout her four years there.

Anything New?

Rangel finished her LBSU career with a flourish, taking home a second Midfielder of the Year honor for the Big West and becoming just the third player in conference history to be named All-League First Team four times. Rangel didn’t achieve any huge breakthrough on the stat sheet, instead staying pretty consistent with four goals and five assists. The size concerns still linger, but NWSL clubs could do far worse than Rangel if looking for a late round sleeper.

29. Hannah Seabert – GK – Pepperdine

What I Said Before 2016:

Seabert was a bit of a surprise in excelling coming out of high school, as she was far from the most highly touted keeper in this class entering college but has proven to be quite the find for Tim Ward and co. The Riverside native was an immediate factor in Malibu though, starting as a rookie in every match and being kept very busy by a sometimes porous backline. It wouldn’t be until 2014 that Seabert really began to show her potential though, as the Waves’ netminder grew into one of the region’s best keepers. Stock probably dipped a bit after Pepperdine’s dismal 2015 season, but that likely had more to do with a misfiring offense than Seabert’s play. Not the smoothest keeper mechanically, so needs good coaching at the next level, but still has potential.

Anything New?

Seabert remains a top goalkeeping prospect in this class after the Waves bounced right back up the table, with the Pepperdine netminder doing her fair share throughout the season. Her flaws are still there, meaning she’s probably more of a developmental goalkeeper than immediate savior, but Seabert stands out amongst the many talented keepers in this class with her size, athletic ability, and shot-stopping prowess.

30. Lindsey Harris – GK – North Carolina

New Profile!

Harris has rocketed from just another member of UNC’s traditional goalkeeping rotation to one of the nation’s best goalkeepers in impressive fashion after some eye-popping displays in 2016 as a senior. Buried on the depth chart for two seasons with the Heels, Harris would first really got a shot in 2014 as she rotated with Bryane Heaberlin for the next two seasons but saw her profile and performances rise to the point that she was the undisputed #1 in Chapel Hill for her final year of eligibility. Harris’ outstanding play against top-flight opposition was a major reason the Heels advanced to another College Cup, as she was under fire from some of the nation’s top attacks on a consistent basis. A brilliant shot-stopper with an ability to make near impossible reflex saves, Harris also plays with a bigger presence than 5’7” frame indicates on paper. Worries? Other than the size, the lack of a ton of experience and minutes is a very slight separator for Harris and the elite in this class. She’s played the equivalent of just two seasons collegiately for the Heels in terms of minutes, but that also means there’s a lot of room to grow. If a team is patient with Harris, she could eventually end up as this class’ best keeper.

31. Marina Paul – D (CB) – Georgetown

New Profile!

The Hoyas’ robust attacking might got almost all of the headlines this season after they blitzed defenses to help lead Georgetown to the College Cup, but they did so with the help of a sturdy backbone in defense helmed by Paul at center-back. Paul had been a steady force on the backline here for three seasons but missed almost all of 2015 through injury, with that absence hitting the Hoya defense hard. But Paul was able to come back from that in style in 2016 and was again one of the nation’s elite central defenders. While Paul’s not going to ever be known as the nation’s quickest center-back, she’s a big body on the backline who is a force in the air, both offensively and defensively on set pieces. Teams looking for defensive depth in the late rounds could do far worse than the Hoya leader.

32. Rashida Beal – D (CB) – Minnesota

What I Said Before 2016:

Undersized center-back has been a solid anchor for the Gophers in the middle of defense for three seasons. Has rounded into one of the region’s best defenders after last season’s breakout year at center-back. Has nice recoverability and quick feet, combined with smart positioning to frustrate faster forwards and is deceptively difficult to knock off the ball despite her size. Doesn’t seem to be exceptionally overpowering in the air, which could be an issue if she stays at center-back at the next level. Production and potential there, but she’s surely too short (5’4”) for central defense at the next level, meaning she may be a long-term project at either full-back or central midfield in the pros for some enterprising franchise.

Anything New?

Beal looked a lot more pacey on tape this season and looks like she can run with just about any forward, at least at collegiate level. I’m not sure how much her size is going to be an issue at the next level, especially if she gets moved outside, as she’s plenty physical when jostling with opposing attackers. I think she’s quick enough to make the switch to full-back, but Beal’s also still a work in progress technically, which could hurt her draft stock. Some of that will be counterbalanced by a great senior season though, where she helped lead Minnesota to a Big Ten double, and Beal could be a nice late round sleeper for someone.

33. Erin Smith – D (RB, CB) – Rutgers

New Profile!

A four-year workhorse on the backline for Rutgers, Smith was overshadowed by players such as Erica Skroski and Brianne Reed the past two seasons for the Scarlet Knights but got her chance to shine as the group’s senior leader in 2016. Was a little more involved offensively as a junior thanks to having cover from the aforementioned center-back pairing but still shows solid potential as a full-back thanks to a willingness to press up the field both to make tackles as well as to get involved in the attack. Doesn’t possess tremendous pace, which could be a worry, but still anticipates well to confront and eliminate danger. I think Smith could be tried out as a wide midfielder or spark off the bench in lieu of the backline, but regardless, the Rutgers defender should get a look somewhere after a strong collegiate career.

34. Victoria Barba – MF – San Diego State

New Profile!

A midfielder with creativity and flair for days, Barba may only be scratching the surface of her immense potential after a strong career with San Diego State. For much of her early career with the Aztecs, Barba flashed a ton of upside in spurts but never really put it together as the complete package until this past season, when she netted eleven goals and added three assists, putting on an absolute clinic late in the year with ten goals in SDSU’s final seven matches of the season. Four of those came from the penalty spot, but Barba has also shown a great touch for set pieces that could prove handy at the next level. Durability is a bit of a concern given her size (5’4”) and injury history, but teams needing a creative spark and looking for a prospect with a lot of upside could do far worse than give Barba a shot.

35. Hannah Wilkinson – F – Tennessee

What I Said Before 2016:

The hype train on Wilkinson has effectively been derailed by this point for a variety of reasons. The most prominent of those has to be the ACL injury Wilkinson suffered in preseason last year for Tennessee that ended her senior season before it began. But even if you believe that Wilkinson is going to be healthy in the long-term, there are still plenty of red flags to be wary of. She’ll potentially be the oldest prospect in next year’s draft class and will be twenty-five years old early in the 2017 NWSL season, meaning her ceiling is limited, and Wilkinson may not improve much from what she is right now. Her international status is also going to be a hindrance, as clubs haven’t been willing to use those slots for anyone but blue chip college talents, of which Wilkinson is not at this point. But most importantly, Wilkinson’s just not proven herself to be an elite forward at college level. She’s shown she can score against big clubs but has also been prone to prolonged scoring droughts and hasn’t topped nine goals in any of her three collegiate seasons thus far and did not play well in last year’s Women’s World Cup for New Zealand. Given her physical talents, Wilkinson should dominate college defenses but hasn’t put it together as of yet.

Anything New?

Wilkinson enjoyed her best season at collegiate level by far, netting eleven goals for Tennessee, including a pair against BYU and a stretch of six goals in five matches in the middle of the season. She did so against solid competition and on a reasonably efficient shot rate, which definitely boosts her stock going into the draft. But the red flags listed above are still pretty evident in terms of age and injury history, even if she did produce as a senior. Wilkinson could probably stick on someone’s bench as a reserve forward in the NWSL, but the question is why would she want to given her age? She really needs steady minutes and a platform to perform, which might be easier to come by in Europe, but she may still be worth a late round flyer.

36. Arielle Ship – F – Cal

What I Said Before 2016:

Came from obscurity to suddenly be one of the nation’s best forwards as a junior. A former U17 player for the U.S. at youth international level, Ship hadn’t exactly made a big impression in her first two years in Berkeley, barely playing as a rookie before finding her feet a bit as a sophomore but still scoring just four goals in 2014. The worm turned in a major way for Ship as a junior though, as the center forward scored fourteen goals and added six assists to not just lead the Bears in scoring but to claim a shock Pac-12 Player of the Year honor, marking one of the few times in the award’s history that it didn’t head to Westwood or Palo Alto. There are some concerning points with Ship once you dive beyond the raw numbers, as her shots per goal mark was just about passable, while her 48.2% shots on goal percentage was a little disappointing. The biggest worry though might be the fact that Ship scored just two goals against RPI Top 50 teams in 2015. It may sound like splitting hairs, but this class is loaded with forwards, and proving she can score consistently against the Pac-12’s best may be the difference between the first half of the draft and the later rounds for Ship.

Anything New?

It didn’t really come together for Ship as a senior, as her goal total dipped and was pretty deceiving, with four of her eleven goals coming from the penalty spot. Except for a late surge which saw goals against Stanford and Pepperdine, Ship mostly feasted on feeble opposition in 2016, which was a pretty big concern going into the season as well. With that and some middling efficiency numbers, Ship’s stock has sunk a bit. In a weaker class though, she’d be a solid middle round selection, but it might be a little tougher sledding this year.

37. Hanna Gardner – D – North Carolina

New Profile!

Tough as nails center-back first came to the attention of the college soccer world as a true freshman in 2012 after saving the day early in the season when UNC was having defensive injury issues. Gardner would then establish herself as a mainstay in the defense until 2014, when knee injuries forced multiple surgeries that saw her take a medical redshirt before returning to action in 2015, though she wouldn’t really shine again until 2016, when she put those injury worries behind her en route to a great senior season. A great leader who shines in the air, Gardner played a little full-back with UNC but is probably going to be a center-back at the next level. Knee injuries are a major concern, but if healthy, Gardner could be a nice piece of defensive depth for an NWSL squad right away.

38. Nichelle Prince – F – Ohio State

What I Said Before 2016:

A mercurial prospect, Prince’s draft stock has been volatile over the past three seasons since her electrifying debut in 2013. That season, the Canadian marked her collegiate debut with thirteen goals and six assists and looked like the next big thing for club and country. Prince has struggled to recapture that form since though, missing half of 2014 through the U20 World Cup and injury, scoring just three goals in ten matches for the Buckeyes. Prince fared better last season, leading the team in goals and assists, but she scored just six times on a gaudy eighty-four shots, hardly the return of an ace marksman at this level. And yet Prince is so much more when actually looking beyond the numbers and at her complete performances live and on film. Her workrate is tremendous, and the Canadian is more than willing to track back into midfield and defend from the front, often to the detriment of her own personal statistics. Prince clearly has a pro future, but maximizing that future may be contingent upon a big 2016 for the Buckeyes.

Anything New?

The bloom might be off the rose for Prince. She didn’t really do much to separate herself from the rest of the pack in a huge class for forwards, and that she was outshone by teammate Lindsay Agnew as a senior is a pretty big red flag. She netted just four non-penalty goals this past season on sixty-seven shots, which just isn’t going to cut it. I know she’s a part of John Herdman’s plans at international level, but this isn’t the year to be a low scoring forward in a draft class loaded with top attacking threats, meaning it might be Europe or bust.

39. Sammy Jo Prudhomme – GK – USC

What I Said Before 2016:

Trojans goalkeeper has taken the circuitous route to get here, but she’ll be in the spotlight in 2016 as USC aims to return to the College Cup. Prudhomme started out her career north of Los Angeles with Pac-12 rival Oregon State, winning the bulk of the minutes early in her career with the Beavers and looking like one of the nation’s best young goalkeepers after a strong rookie season. She’d be stuck behind a porous defense a season later though and hopped off the sinking ship in Corvallis after the 2014 season, moving closer to home with the Trojans but at the price of being forced to sit out 2014 as an in-conference transfer. Prudhomme would show she was worth the wait in 2015 though, as she stabilized the goalkeeping position in Los Angeles and was a strong last line of defense for a stingy USC side. Has good size and is usually a pair of safe hands, capable of making some spectacular saves in goal. Decision making coming off her line was not particularly pretty to watch at times as a junior and must get better for Prudhomme to be a viable option at the next level. Figures to get a shot somewhere, either as a developmental backup in the NWSL or as a coveted free agent in Europe.

Anything New?

Prudhomme collected a well deserved winner’s medal after helping backstop the Trojans’ march to a second national title in 2016. She may have been playing behind a great backline (after some early hiccups), but Prudhomme’s organization and experience also helped make that back four so successful down the stretch. Her decision making did improve, and the shot-stopping ability is still prevalent, though she’s also still probably a tick below elite level. At the same time, Prudhomme’s probably done enough to get legit consideration as a late-round draft pick or at the very least be one of the first names called for a camp invite if not drafted.

40. Jaycie Johnson – D (FB), F (CF) – Nebraska

What I Said Before 2016:

It’s been a bit of a star-crossed existence for Johnson since she busted onto the scene with one of the finest rookie seasons in recent memory. That year, Johnson was a big part of Nebraska’s shock double in the Big Ten, scoring seventeen goals on seventy-seven shots and looking every bit like a future star at this level. It’s not been the same since. Last year was quite forgettable as well, as Johnson scored just three goals in nine matches before seeing her season end prematurely with a torn ACL. Said injury raises a whole new litany of concerns on Johnson’s profile other than her eroding scoring form, and proving she can still go at a high level after that major injury will obviously be key to her draft status. Johnson has U23 experience with the U.S., and there’s been talk of her being converted to full-back, which could be her ticket to a spot at the next level.

Anything New?

Johnson was big time as a senior for Nebraska, as the Huskers bounced back for their most impressive season since her rookie campaign and was a whirling dervish of kinetic energy with the ball at her feet. Looking none the worse for wear after recovering from that ACL injury, Johnson netted eleven goals on solid efficiency numbers and produced one of the best individual performances of the season with a hat trick on the road against Ohio State. It should have been enough to see Johnson in consideration for a middle round draft pick, but a second ACL surgery in mid-December likely means she’ll wait until 2018 before getting an NWSL opportunity, with anything but a late round flyer by a team thinking long-term unlikely.

41. Valerie Sanderson – F – Memphis

What I Said Before 2016:

Sanderson’s career might well be an allegory for the Memphis program as a whole over the past three seasons. The Canadian was an instant phenomenon as a rookie in 2013, scoring seventeen goals for the free scoring Tigers on some astonishing efficiency numbers. It’s been a downhill dirge since though, and Sanderson almost fell off the radar completely as a junior, netting just six times on fifty-two shots a season after seeing her goal total drop to thirteen. Sanderson also scored just twice in league play as a junior. But considering the Memphis defense was a sieve for much of the league season, Sanderson’s decline in front of goal was bad news for the Tigers’ hopes. While Marie Levasseur has turned into the Tigers’ leading offensive light, Sanderson will have to improve drastically as a senior to not go the way of many other Canadian scorers who have led a nomadic pro life after once promising college careers, including a fellow Memphis product, Christabel Oduro.

Anything New?

Sanderson had a pretty good season in 2016 for the Tigers, a much needed bounce back year to get herself back on radars before this draft. Sixteen goals was a nice return to form, while her six match winning goals represented a career high for Memphis. Sanderson hit eight goals against RPI Top 100 teams on solid efficiency numbers, but she also tended to struggle against the top teams Memphis played on their schedule, with both Oklahoma and UConn holding her shotless in meetings in the regular season. A poacher from eighteen yards, a big question is if Sanderson has the pace to create her own shot at the next level. As it stands, the Canadian may need to ply her trade abroad for a bit before an NWSL opportunity comes about.

42. Diana Poulin – GK – Saint John’s (NY)

What I Said Before 2016:

Almost all of the attention for Saint John’s (NY)’s rise to prominence in the Big East has generally been focused towards the club’s English imports, Rachel Daly and Georgia Kearney-Perry, but many of the program’s domestic players, like Poulin, have been just as vital. Poulin impressed right away as a rookie in 2013 and has progressed rapidly since that point, winning league Goalkeeper of the Year honors two seasons running. Poulin’s performance for the Red Storm caught the attention of the U.S. hierarchy, letting her get called up to a U23 camp in the offseason and surely putting her on the radar of NWSL teams going forward. It will be interesting to see if Poulin’s play stays at a superior level in what could be a transition season for her club after some big losses.

Anything New?

Not really. Saint John’s (NY) took a step back in a rebuilding year, but Poulin was still excellent in goal en route to another Big East GK of The Year honor. She did nothing to harm her draft stock and is a contender to be taken in the second half of this year’s draft.

43. Tyler Lussi – F – Princeton

What I Said Before 2016:

Princeton’s already put one prolific forward into the NWSL in current Chicago Red Star Jen Hoy, and the odds of that number doubling for next season are pretty high considering the first three seasons of Lussi’s career with the Tigers. Lussi went on a scoring tear as a rookie for Princeton, scoring ten goals in 2013 and raising expectations as she began her sophomore season. It’s safe to say that Lussi exceeded all of those expectations, scoring better than a goal a game after netting eighteen times in just sixteen matches. Lussi followed that up with an All-America season as a junior, winning Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year for a second year running and demolishing defenses again with fifteen goals in nineteen matches. Reasons to worry? Only four of Lussi’s goals last season came against RPI Top 100 teams, though you only have to ask Boston College how well the forward can do against big clubs when on form. Lussi’s efficiency numbers aren’t really much to write home about either, with a 7.20 shots per goal mark and 39.8% SOG percentage counting against her.

Anything New?

That analysis looks a bit prophetic, to say the least. Lussi had her worst season as a collegian in 2016, scoring just eight non-penalty goals, marking the second straight season her scoring total has dropped after a peak of eighteen goals as a sophomore. Her efficiency numbers were, again, frightening, while most of her scoring was done very early in the season against weak competition, with Lussi netting just three goals in Princeton’s final twelve matches. She still has talent, but I’m not sure she’s a lock to be drafted any more.

44. Morgan Proffitt – MF (DMC), D (CB) – Marquette

What I Said Before 2016:

Towering center-back got a little more recognition this offseason after being named to the U.S. U23’s Nordic Cup team in June after a strong junior season for Marquette in 2015. It was a just reward for a player that’s experienced a steady rise in profile after making a pretty solid impression early on in her Marquette career, starting twenty-two matches as a rookie for the Big East contenders. It’s been all an upward arc for Proffitt since, with the central defender firmly staking her claim as one of the league’s best defenders this past season. Marquette’s struggles probably hamstrung Proffitt’s stock a little bit, as the Golden Eagles endured an atypically mediocre season considering their pedigree, but the center-back was one of the few outstanding performers on the season for the Big East side. There are some questions as to whether Proffitt has the pace to keep up with next level forwards, but another strong season in defense should ensure she at least gets the chance to prove she can.

Anything New?

Proffitt got a new role for the Golden Eagles as a senior, moving into midfield and serving as an effective shield in front of the Marquette backline. She still won league Defensive Player of the Year honors while setting career bests offensive, netting five goals (two from the penalty spot) while adding the first three assists of her career. Succeeding in midfield has likely added a little value going into this draft, and Proffitt has every chance of being a serviceable pro for someone.

45. Lindsay Agnew – F (LF, RF) – Ohio State

What I Said Before 2016:

Canadian-American attacker has been a frustrating enigma for three seasons in Columbus on OSU’s frontline. A highly sought after recruit coming into college and U20 international for Canada, Agnew’s shown signs of rounding into a scoring force at this level but has flattered to deceive in the end for much of her stay with OSU. After a stop-start beginning to her career due to injury as a rookie, big things were expected in 2014, but Agnew sagged with just one goal and three assists despite starting eighteen matches. Her stock at an all-time low, Agnew rebounded somewhat last season with four goals and seven assists. Agnew can be a magician on the ball when she’s feeling it and is a great 1v1 artist but also can drift into ‘black hole’ territory, where she stops the ball and tries to do too much herself. Agnew has ‘boom or bust’ written all over her, but the right coaching could draw some of that potential out after she’s tempted observers for so long.

Anything New?

Agnew was a lot more boom than bust in 2016, enjoying a marvelous senior season to cap off her time in Columbus. Her ten goals was more than she had scored in her previous three seasons combined with the Buckeyes, while eight assists were also a career high. Agnew would go a bit cold in front of goal in the final few weeks, but on the whole, she finally looks to be growing into her potential. It’s a big step up in class to the NWSL, but Agnew might be the kind of pick that is overlooked in the later rounds but ends up shining a year or two down the road for someone.

46. Darian Jenkins – F (LF, CF) – UCLA

What I Said Before 2016:

It’s all gone wrong for Jenkins, who was a star in the making after a rookie season where her eleven goals and five assists were a big reason why the Bruins claimed their first national title under manager Amanda Cromwell. The bar was set pretty high for Jenkins going forward, but the towering forward has struggled to meet those lofty expectations in the two seasons since, netting just eleven goals combined in the past two seasons. Jenkins got off to a slow start last season, netting just once in the club’s first ten matches and going through an eight match scoring drought before seemingly catching lightning in a bottle and scoring twice against Washington State, once against Arizona, and once against Oregon State. Injuries have not helped Jenkins’ cause, but it’s been pretty clear that the Utah product’s career has stagnated at this point. The influx of freshman talent in Westwood could open up some opportunities for Jenkins if they draw some attention away…or it might simply push Jenkins out of the equation entirely if she can’t find her scoring form.

Anything New?

It was both good and bad for Jenkins in 2016 for the Bruins. The senior forward set a nice tone early with a hat trick in the season opener against San Diego State and then settled into a nice groove of four goals in five matches at the midseason point and looked to be on pace to potentially record the largest goal total of her college career. But the forward would suffer a catastrophic fibula fracture in early October that ended her season and was a big blow to UCLA’s College Cup hopes. A healthy Jenkins has the potential to be a contributor at the next level, but the injuries are piling up, with the latest major malady potentially pushing the Bruin forward towards the end of the draft or into camp invitee territory.

47. Ifeoma Onumonu – F – Cal

New Profile!

Onumonu’s had a long and winding road to draft day, initially shining as one of the most promising prospects in the country but having to battle injuries for much of the past few seasons at Cal. The big forward is a former Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after scoring eleven goals as a rookie and was almost as good the following year but suffered a serious injury early in 2014 that seemed to crush her development timeline, as Onumonu would show lingering effects of the injury upon her return, scoring just three goals in 2015. But Onumonu ended up going out with a bang in 2016, taking her place as one of the league’s best forwards again with ten goals and three assists to help fuel a dangerous Golden Bear attack. Onumonu is a special player when healthy and on form, and she could be a late round steal if she’s proven her injuries are truly behind her.

48. Danica Evans – F – Colorado

New Profile!

A Summer league legend, Evans has had difficulty translating success seen in the defunct W-League and other amateur leagues into collegiate play for a while. Twelve goals in two seasons at Portland to begin her college career was a somewhat disappointing return, and Colorado was probably hoping for a little bit better than five goals in her first season in Boulder after transferring prior to 2015. But Evans saved her best for last, roaring to a career high eleven goals as a senior, including a stretch of five goals in four games in a crucial run of Pac-12 matches. Evans does her best work from within eighteen yards, and her shaky efficiency rating underlines a tendency to take aim with long shots when things aren’t working out. Was a bit hit or miss against top teams as a senior but still showed great scoring ability at times. Watch out for her dangerous long throws.

49. Marti Corby – MF – Grand Valley State

What I Said Before 2016:

One of the best players in NCAA Division II history, Corby stands a good chance of becoming the first non-Division I player drafted in NWSL history if she maintains the form shown in the first three seasons of her collegiate career. As you might expect from a prospect from a lower division on this list, Corby’s numbers are ludicrous, having scored twenty-five goals and added sixteen assists for last season’s Division II champion Grand Valley State team. A two-time Division II Player of the Year, Corby is a heavy favorite to win her third straight personal POTY award come the end of 2016. It’s a little difficult to see how Corby’s game is going to translate to the highest level considering she’s probably going to be a midfielder as a pro and is tasked with doing a lot of scoring at Division II level. Skill on the ball is definitely high and unleashes absolute lasers at goal, including off of free kicks, when given the opportunity. Probably a bit of a developmental project who may need some major minutes in Europe to accelerate her development, but there’s definitely upside here for the DII phenomenon.

Anything New?

Corby didn’t win another DII POTY honor, but she did pick up yet another All-America plaudit, sealing her place as one of the best ever to play at Division II level after four such awards. Corby played more of a distributor role this season with twenty-four assists overall, buoyed by three teammates who scored at least twelve goals. She’ll need to show that type of playmaking ability at the next level, as her efficiency numbers in front of goal were pretty poor. She’s on NWSL clubs’ radar though, and if she isn’t drafted, it’s a safe bet that she’ll get a look in someone’s camp.

50. Ashley Herndon – MF – James Madison

What I Said Before 2016:

A bit of a jack-of-all-trades attacker who has had little trouble shredding high mid-major defenses in her three seasons with James Madison. Herndon had been a very good player for the Dukes for her first two seasons with the club who needed to take the next step in order to become a big time draft prospect. Having scored six goals in each of her first two seasons with JMU, Herndon went off in 2015, scoring fourteen goals (one from the penalty spot) while cutting her shots taken by a good margin. Herndon’s SOG % still could do with a bit of improvement, but her overall efficiency is definitely on the better end of this class’ marks. With five goals against RPI Top 50 teams and eight against RPI Top 100 sides, Herndon’s no flat-track bully either. Capable of finishing with her feet or with her head, Herndon seems especially adept at making creeping far post runs to finish off crosses. Herndon herself isn’t bad driving in crosses from out wide or playing through balls, so it’ll be interesting to see where she is lined up at the next level.

Anything New?

The arrow looks to be pointed back down for Herndon after a disappointing senior season. While she won league POTY honors, it looks to be largely based on taking advantage of a pretty down year for the CAA, as her numbers against top teams was almost non-existent, while her goal total sunk and shots per goal ballooned. Looking at the four factors advanced metrics for scorers who had ten or more non-penalty goals, Herndon was dead last in the nation, which is an ominous sign in a loaded class. She might be worth a late-round flyer, especially for the Spirit, but it looks like an uphill climb right now.

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