DURHAM, N.C. – Dominance was the name of the game for the Duke women’s soccer program Thursday in Philadelphia, as the Blue Devils had a program-record six players selected in the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Along with setting a program record and tying the NWSL mark for most picks in a single draft, Duke also is tied for the most selections in NWSL history with 12.
Rebecca Quinn set the mark as the highest draft pick in program history and the highest Canadian taken in NWSL Draft history, going at No. 3 to the Washington Spirit. Imani Dorsey followed just two picks later, as she was selected by Sky Blue FC with the fifth pick. The two selections mark the first time in school history that two Blue Devils have been selected in the top five and mark the most first round selections in DWS history.
Duke is the fifth school in NCAA history and one of three from the ACC to have two top five picks in NWSL history, joining Southern California (2017), UCLA (2015), North Carolina (2014) and Florida State (2013).
The picks also give Duke top five selections in back-to-back drafts, as Christina Gibbons was taken fifth last year. Duke joins Florida State and Virginia as the only programs to record top five picks in consecutive seasons.
Schuyler DeBree was the first off the board in the second round, as she joined Quinn in Washington as the 11th overall pick. Ashton Miller and EJ Proctor followed DeBree, going 22nd to Boston and 34th to Utah Royals FC, respectively. Morgan Reid wrapped up the Blue Devils draft day, selected by the home state North Carolina Courage with the 38th pick of the draft.
“I could not be more proud of this class and the whole program, from the girls that came before to obviously this group we have right now,” head coach Robbie Church said. “Also proud of our staff and what a wonderful job they have done to help develop these players. It’s just so exciting to see these girls get drafted in such an amazing setting. It’s just an honor to have six girls drafted and playing professional soccer. What an unbelievable opportunity. They know they have a lot of work ahead of them, but just so proud of each and every one of them.”
One of the top players in the world and a bronze medalist for the Canadian National Team in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Quinn closed out her collegiate career as one of the best to wear the Duke Blue and White. The redshirt senior was named the 2017 ACC Midfielder of the Year, becoming the first player in school history to receive the honor. The Toronto native scored three goals this season, tying a career high, while setting a career best with 10 points. Quinn was also tabbed a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy.
A United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American, National Scholar Athlete of the Year and the 2017 ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Dorsey tallied a team-high 14 goals and 38 points to go along with 10 assists on the season and tied a school record with six-straight games with a goal from Aug. 20 – Sept. 8. Dorsey paced a Blue Devil attack that stood second nationally in points with 171 and third with 60 goals. Duke tallied 2.31 goals per game, finishing ninth nationally, while their 51 assists came in sixth. The Elkridge, Md., native was also a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy.
Commanding one of the best backlines in the country was DeBree, the 2017 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. DeBree started all 26 matches in 2017, playing a team-high 2,341 minutes and going the full time in 22 contests. The Fair Haven, N.J., native led a defensive unit that shut out a school-record 18 opponents, including a program-best eight ACC foes. DeBree also contributed a goal, as she scored the first of her career off a 45-yard free kick at Boston College (Oct. 19), landing at No. 6 on SportsCenter’s Top 10.
Hailing from Okemos, Mich., Miller wrapped up her Blue Devil career with the second All-ACC honor of her career, landing on the conference’s third team. The midfielder had three goals and two assists on the year (eight points), with two of those scores coming in game-winning fashion (vs. Pitt, at Louisville). The senior was key in Duke’s hot start to the ACC slate, recording eight points in the first five contests.
An All-ACC First Team honoree, Proctor capped a standout senior year by leading a Duke defense that was top 10 nationally in goals against average (0.38) and with a school record 18 shutouts while also etching her name throughout the school record book. On the career side, Proctor posted a school best 35 shutouts, 0.65 GAA and nine shutouts in NCAA Tournament play. The Wilson, N.C. native also owns three of the top four spots in single-season shutouts and GAA, setting the school records this season with 14 clean sheets and a 0.35 average. The visual and media studies major also excelled in the classroom, sporting a 3.58 GPA and earning CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.
“I think EJ’s athleticism and ability to distribute are exciting. We are going to put her in an environment where she can thrive.”— Utah Royals FC (@UtahRoyalsFC) January 19, 2018
🗣️ @LH1505 on @ej_proctor
🗒️ https://t.co/RHgR7HMdRv pic.twitter.com/QjNw1kj5sv
Rounding out Duke’s stellar draft class was the North Carolina native Reid, who was senior leader on one of the nation’s top defensive lines. The senior started all 26 matches during Duke’s run to the NCAA College Cup. Reid played 2,311 minutes on the year, standing second on the squad while going the distance in 21 total matches.
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