Photo: Brad Smith/ ISI Photos
By: Kerin Maguire
Arizona native Cali Farquharson is one of the newest additions to the Washington Spirit’s roster. The forward was selected 12th overall in the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft.
“I was at home on the couch!” Farquharson joked about learning she had been drafted. She was one of two forwards drafted and signed by the Spirit this season, along with Cheyna Williams.
In addition to Farquharson and Williams, midfielder Alli Murphy from Texas Tech was drafted 20th overall by the Spirit. The current Spirit Reserve player had much to say about the up-and-coming forward. “I think she has good spirits about where she is on this team and what she wants to do. She definitely is willing to learn and is very coachable and I see everyday at practice she is hardworking and ready to go,” said Murphy.
Prior to the draft, Farquharson had a long and successful career for the Arizona State Sun Devils, graduating as the second all-time leading goal scorer. She led the team with points and goals throughout the entirety of her college career. When asked about her time with the Sun Devils, Farquharson had nothing but fond memories. “Sophomore year our team beat Stanford 1-0 and broke their 73 game home-winning streak. That was one of the best memories I have had. There are just so many, but that sticks out to me the most,” Farquharson recalled.
At just 22 years old, Farquharson is the youngest player on the Spirit’s roster, but has great veterans to learn from like midfielder Joanna Lohman and World Cup Champion Ali Krieger. “When you watch other players who are at the highest level, like Ali Krieger and Joanna [Lohman], who have been here for so long, they know what to do,” said Farquharson. “So just watching them play and learning from their movements, I think that is the biggest thing for me to gain.”
When she was substituted in for Katie Stengel in the 65th minute of the opening match of the season, her impact on the field was immediately apparent. In just over 25 minutes of play, Farquharson’s pace and agression kept Boston on their heals as they looked to find an equalizer. She nearly iced the game when one of several shots passed just wide of the near post. “I was so nervous!” She said about her first minutes on the field. “I think I finally settled down at the very end. It’s a different transition coming off the bench because everyone is already in the rhythm of the game and you just have to try to learn fast.”
One of Farquharson’s main takeaways from her first professional game was how much faster the professional soccer is than college soccer, noting “In college, you don’t realize it, but it’s a lot slower and not everyone on the field is technically good. In the NWSL, every player you play against is good.”
Farquharson will continue to strengthen her game and gain valuable experience as she plays with the Spirit in its twenty-match regular season journey. “I’m grateful to be here.” Farquharson said in closing. “I love this job, I’m thankful to the Spirit and all of the fans who are supporting me. It’s a really cool experience.”
Cali Farquharson and the Washington Spirit will play their next home game next Saturday May 7th at 7 p.m. against Portland Thorns FC at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Be part of the NWSL soccer experience by calling 301-337-8579 or visiting our website.