PHILADELPHIA (01/12/2023) – The Washington Spirit added six new players to its roster through the 2023 NWSL Draft presented by Ally Thursday night. Despite entering the night with just two picks, the Spirit traded its way to six picks in the final two rounds of the draft.
With the 26th overall pick early in the third round, the Spirit selected Arizona State forward Nicole Douglas. The 2022 Pac-12 Forward of the Year played five seasons with the Sun Devils, tallying 60 goals and 21 assists in 89 total appearances. In 2021, Douglas led the country in scoring with 19 goals in 20 matches. Douglas was a First Team All-Pac-12 player in each of her final two seasons at Arizona State as well as a Second Team All-American in 2022 and Third Team All-American in 2021.
Washington then made two trades before making its next selection. First, the club sent $75,000 in allocation money to the Orlando Pride in exchange for the 29th and 34th overall picks in this year’s draft. The Spirit then traded this year’s 29th overall pick and $30,000 in allocation money to Racing Louisville FC in exchange for the 28th overall pick in this year’s draft.
With the newly-acquired 28th overall pick, the Spirit selected Gonzaga goalkeeper Lyza Bosselmann. Bosselmann joins Washington’s Nicole Barnhart and Aubrey Kingsbury at the position in DC. In four seasons with the Bulldogs, Bosselmann appeared in 62 matches and maintained a goals against average (GAA) of 0.87. Bosselmann also made 182 saves in her collegiate career, stopping almost 80 percent of shots on target. In her senior season in 2022, Bosselmann earned her best career GAA (0.72) en route to being named the West Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year.
In a quick turnaround, the Spirit jumped back into the third round with another couple of trades. First, Washington traded defender Emily Sonnett to OL Reign in exchange for this year’s 32nd overall pick and OL Reign’s natural first round pick in 2024. The Spirit then sent the 32nd overall pick and $30,000 in allocation money to the Houston Dash in exchange for this year’s 30th overall pick.
With the 30th overall pick, Washington selected Alabama forward Riley Tanner. Tanner transferred to the Tuscaloosa school after three years at South Carolina. In two seasons with the Crimson Tide, she tallied eight goals and 11 assists across 45 appearances. Tanner’s final season saw her earn Second Team All-SEC honors.
Late in the third round, the Spirit selected Long Beach State forward Lena Silano with the 34th overall pick. In four seasons of college soccer, Silano totaled 27 goals and ten assists across 62 matches played. Silano earned First Team All-Big West honors in each of her final two seasons with the Beach as well as the Big West Offensive Player of the Year award following her senior campaign.
Early in the fourth round, Washington selected Colorado forward Civana Kuhlmann with the 37th overall pick. Before transferring to Colorado, Kuhlmann won two national championships and three Pac-12 titles with Stanford. In her senior season with the Buffaloes, Kuhlmann tallied 12 goals and six assists over 19 appearances.
The Spirit made one last trade in the fourth round to officially triple the number of draft picks it entered the day with. In exchange for receiving the 40th overall pick in this year’s draft, Washington sent $25,000 in allocation money to Racing Louisville FC.
With the 40th overall pick, the Spirit selected Duke midfielder Delaney Graham. Playing five seasons with the Blue Devils, Graham set new school records for most career starts with 103 and most career minutes played with 8,767. Graham also netted four goals and assisted on another 19 in her college career, including a seven-assist senior season.
The Spirit will open training camp with its new additions later this month in preparation for the 2023 season which kicks off in late March. Fans can secure their tickets to all 2023 Spirit home matches with a season membership. Available here, the season membership grants fans access to priority seating, an exclusive gift from the Spirit, access to special events throughout the season and more.
About The Washington Spirit
The Washington Spirit is the professional women’s soccer team based at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. Launched in 2012, the Spirit plays in the National Women’s Soccer League, the premier women’s soccer competition in North America. For more information about the Spirit, visit www.WashingtonSpirit.com, follow the club on Twitter @WashSpirit and on Facebook at facebook.com/washingtonspirit.