What They’re Saying: 2024 Spirit Draft Class Introductory Media Availability

Washington Spirit  |   January 22, 2024
What They’re Saying: 2024 Spirit Draft Class Introductory Media Availability Featured Image

The Washington Spirit selected six players at the 2024 NWSL Draft last Friday, January 12 in Anaheim, Ca. The six draftees – Croix Bethune, Hal Hershfelt, Kate Wiesner, Makenna Morris, Anna Podojil, and Courtney Brown – met with the media this week to chat about their draft day experience and emotions heading into the preseason. Here are some highlights: 


Croix Bethune 

On being a cheeky player: “In soccer terms, I would say creative, a little skill set, just bringing some flair and fun to the game. Cheeky.” 


On players she emulates: “There are a couple of players with the cheekiness [I look up to]. I love to watch the Brazilians play but there’s a bunch of people on our team that I’ve either played with or haven’t had the chance to play with that I can’t wait [to play with] such as Trinity Rodman or playing with Tara McKeown or Sully, Andi Sullivan.” 


Hal Hershfelt 

On the growth of women’s soccer and the NWSL: “I feel like a super exciting part of all of this is the crazy incline that women’s soccer is at in our country, it’s just amazing that we get to be a part of that at the most competitive level that you can get at in the States which is really cool and super excited for that.” 


On playing for head coach Jonatan Giráldez: “We’re [Hal and Makenna] both excited for a possession-oriented type of game, that’s kind of the expectation that was coming into this team with the new coach. Clemson has prepared us for that, that was our game style, we are very possession oriented… I mean he’s a very successful coach with a crazy background so that’ll be really exciting. 


Kate Wiesner 

On meeting Michele Kang: “To have so many staff there in Anaheim to get to meet that day on the spot and obviously getting to talk to Michele and get to know her a little bit was pretty cool. She’s pretty incredible, even cooler in person, I would say. It was a cool experience, I’m looking forward to getting to DC and getting to meet the rest of the staff.” 


On players she looks up to: “A player that I’ve really looked up to in recent years and growing up a little bit is Lucy Bronze, who’s over at Barcelona, which is pretty exciting to have been watching her play the past couple of years there and have the opportunity to be coached by the same coach. It’s really exciting for me. That’s someone who I’ve tried to model my game after a little bit and I’m hoping that I can take a similar path at Washington. 


Makenna Morris 

On growth of the NWSL: “The way the NWSL has grown so much in the past years, having watched it, just seeing every way it’s grown in every single aspect is something to look forward to and hopefully it continues moving in that direction, it keeps getting better, it’s something that’s really exciting getting to this level, 


On growing up in Germantown going to Spirit games: “I was literally their biggest fan. I was at all the games, it was so cool. I’ve always been a big fan and to be drafted by them, it was a real shock to be able to stay so close to home. It’s awesome.” 


Anna Podojil 

On getting drafted: “Obviously with me, I suffered an injury late in my college season so it was very uncertain for me whether I was going to be drafted or not. And just hearing my name, it was very exciting and the nerves were there but it was an awesome experience. 


On the Spirit: “It’s incredible to see all the staff members they’re bringing in, the head coach, the performance side of things, and even just seeing what Michele Kang has done for the organization, it’s world-class. It’s very organized and they’re investing so much into this club and I’m just very lucky to be a small part of this. I’m excited to see where the club is going to go. It’s going in the right direction obviously and I think the new head coach, he has a record of winning at every level he’s been a part of, a strong commitment to excellence and winning, and grow as a player and a person within the organization. 


Courtney Brown 

On the ‘Kang Effect’: “As far as an organization goes, some people have told me that in their opinion, it’s the most organized in the league which is so awesome and I really think a lot of that comes from the leadership within the organization. I mean, people call it the ‘Kang Effect’ and the ‘Kang Effect’ is real right? It’s pretty cool to see where her vision is and where she’s taking the club and the hires she’s made. It’ll be really really cool to have the Barcelona coach come… I really think it’s a positive step for the club which is really exciting. 


On Ashley Hatch: “What’s funny is Ashley Hatch played at BYU and I grew up with my parents sending me to BYU camps every summer and she was actually my camp coach one summer. So it’s kind of a fun moment for me to go and now be able to play with Ashley so I’ll ask her if she remembers me, I doubt she does but it might be fun if she does.” 


To hear more from the draftees, visit the Washington Spirit’s YouTube channel.

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