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BOYDS, MD (April 5, 2017) – The Washington Spirit has officially signed 2017 NWSL College Draft picks Arielle Ship and Cameron Castleberry to pro contracts. Per team and league policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“Ari and Cam have both performed very well in preseason thus far,” said Spirit Head Coach and General Manager Jim Gabarra. “They are very willing to learn and are getting acclimated to our style of play, as well as the demands of the NWSL. We look forward to investing in and supporting their development and growth as players and people.”
Ship, a 21-year-old forward out of the University of California at Berkeley, was selected by Seattle Reign FC with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft and was acquired by the Spirit via trade on January 23. The former U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team player finished her career at Cal tied for seventh in program history with 29 goals.
Castleberry, a 22-year-old midfielder from the 22-time national champion University of North Carolina, was chosen by the Spirit with the No. 36 pick in this year’s draft. Castleberry has also made multiple national team rosters over the past several years, most recently with the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team.
With the signings of Ship and Castleberry, the Spirit has now inked deals with all four of the players on the roster who heard their names called at the 2017 NWSL College Draft. On March 10, Washington announced the signings of the No. 19 overall pick, forward Lindsay Agnew, and the No. 29 pick, midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard.
Washington, which has earned wins in its first three preseason matches against some of the nation’s top college programs, is set to finish its preseason slate this Saturday, April 8 with a home match against the University of Virginia at Maureen Hendricks Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and tickets are free but must be ordered online. [Tickets]
The Spirit will open the regular season on Saturday, April 15 at Maureen Hendricks Field in a re-match of the 2016 NWSL Championship against the North Carolina Courage, formerly known as the Western New York Flash. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and tickets are available now. [Tickets]