Get to Know: 2024 Draft Class

Washington Spirit  |   January 19, 2024
Get to Know: 2024 Draft Class Featured Image

The Washington Spirit added six new players to the team last week in Anaheim, Ca. during the 2024 NWSL Draft, including four first round picks. From California to Ohio, and even the DMV, get to know the Spirit’s newest players: 


Croix Bethune (Round One, Pick Three) 

The Spirit’s first selection of the 2024 NWSL Draft was used to draft Croix Bethune, a star midfielder from the University of Georgia. Bethune started her career at the University of Southern California before using her final year of eligibility at the University of Georgia, closer to her hometown of Alpharetta, Ga. At USC, Bethune became the first player in Pac-12 history to earn back-to-back Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year honors. Additionally, the MAC Hermann semifinalist (2021) earned first or second All-Conference recognition every year of her playing career and was one of five active college players named to the U.S. Women’s National Team preliminary roster for the 2022 CONCACAF Championship. Bethune will rejoin former Trojans teammate Tara McKeown 



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Hal Hershfelt (Round One, Pick Five) 

With the fifth pick, the Spirit selected midfielder Hal Hershfelt from Clemson University. The Atlanta, Ga. native played five seasons with the Tigers where she made 99 appearances, starting in all but two games. Hershfelt earned four All-ACC honors (two Second Team All-ACC, one Third Team All-ACC, and one ACC All-Freshman Team) during her collegiate career. Most recently, Hershfelt was placed on the NCAA All-Tournament Team for her contributions to Clemson’s run to the NCAA Semifinal. Hershfelt and Bethune reunite after playing on the club level for the Atlanta-based Concorde Fire club soccer team.  


Kate Wiesner (Round One, Pick Seven) 

Coming to the Spirit from Penn State University, Kate Wiesner is a defender with a history of competing at an elite level. Wiesner, who grew up in the Southern California area, has featured on the U15, U17, U19, and U23 U.S. Youth National teams, including being named co-captain of the U-17 team. Wiesner finished her collegiate career strong, selected for the Third Team All-Big Ten squad. At Penn State, her playing time increased every season, playing nearly 1,700 minutes in 2023. Kate was one of five Nittany Lions to be drafted, tied for the second-most of any college.



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Makenna Morris (Round One, Pick 13)

Rounding out the first round, the Spirit took Makenna Morris, a Germantown, Md. native. The midfielder from Clemson University played for Bethesda Soccer Club and McLean ECNL, Spirit Alliance Partner Program teams, and attended St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., earning honors at each stop. In 2023, Morris led the Tigers squad with 26 points. Morris’ other honors include Second Team All-ACC (2020), Third Team All-ACC (2021) and ACC All-Freshman (2020) honors. Morris was one of four Clemson players, including teammate Hal Hershfelt, to be selected in the 2024 NWSL Draft, the fourth most of any college team. Morris and Hershfelt become the sixth pair of college teammates to be drafted by the Washington Spirit in the same draft:  

  • 2014: Molly Menchel/Shasta Fisher (UVA) 
  • 2015: Caprice Dydasco/Megan Oyster Montefusco (UCLA) 
  • 2018: Quinn/Schuyler DeBree (Duke) 
  • 2019: Jordan Baggett (DiBiasi) /Tegan McGrady (Stanford) 
  • 2020: Ashley Sanchez/Kaiya McCullough (UCLA) 
  • 2024: Hal Hershfelt/Makenna Morris (Clemson) 



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Anna Podojil (Round Three, Pick 35) 

The Spirit welcomed Anna Podojil from the University of Arkansas with its fifth pick of the night. The Spirit’s only selection at the forward position, Podojil had a historic five-year career with the Razorbacks. Starting in all 102 matches in which she appeared, Podojil earned four consecutive All-SEC First Team honors (2019-22) and an All-SEC Second Team nod in 2023. She was named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2019 and SEC Forward of the Year in 2020. Her performance at Arkansas was virtually unparalleled, as Podojil added to her resume a MAC Hermann semifinalist nomination in 2020 and finished her career a program leader in goals (50), points (135), assists (35), and game-winning goals (15). Podojil joins teammate Aubrey Kingsbury and Spirit legend Tori Huster as notable Cincinnati natives.  



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Courtney Brown (Round Four, Pick 49) 

The Spirit’s final addition from the 2024 NWSL Draft was Courtney Brown, midfielder from the University of Utah. Brown didn’t travel far from her hometown of West Haven, Ut. for her collegiate career. In five seasons with the Utes, Brown appeared in 94 matches (90 starts) and scored 14 goals and added 15 assists (tied for seventh in program history). Brown served as the team’s captain in her final three seasons and displayed remarkable versatility over her career, being asked to play numerous spots on the Utes lineup. Her on-field success is just as exemplary as her success off the pitch – Brown was named to the Pac-12 Fall Academic Honor Roll for four consecutive years. She is the first Ute to be selected in the NWSL Draft since 2016, when Lindsey Luke was selected by the Seattle Reign.  



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The Spirit will open training camp and announce its initial preseason roster with its new additions later this month in preparation for the 2024 season which kicks off in mid-March.   

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