DURHAM, N.C. – In the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) draft on Friday in Philadelphia, Pa., the Boston Breakers selected a trio of Blue Devils – Natasha Anasi, Mollie Pathman and Kim DeCesare – in the first 34 picks.
Anasi was selected with the 13th overall pick in the second round, Pathman was taken with the 23rd pick in the third round and DeCesare was the 34th selection in the fourth round. Duke was one of only three schools that featured three selections on Friday.
“It is so exciting to see those young ladies get drafted,” commented head coach Robbie Church. “They have worked so hard and had such great careers at Duke. All three have been major players in really taking our program to another level over the last four years at Duke. They have been wonderful ambassadors for the university as well.”
Anasi, a product of Arlington, Texas, played in 97 contests and started her final 73 straight matches, while leading Duke to 39 shutouts on the defensive end. She collected four career goals and six assists to go along with three game-winning tallies. Anasi’s 97 matches played set a new Duke career mark along with fellow senior Laura Weinberg. She is one of only two multiple All-America selections in school history, was a 2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Duke’s first finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy in 2011.
"I am super excited," Anasi said. "Boston is a great organization. I'm really excited to be a part of it."
After moving to the forward position as a junior, DeCesare flourished as a scorer for the Blue Devils posting 22 goals over the last two seasons. For her career, she finished with 29 goals, 15 assists and 73 points. DeCesare’s 29 goals ranked sixth all-time at Duke and her 73 points were ninth. As a senior, she earned All-ACC Third Team accolades, while being selected to the All-ACC Second Team her junior campaign. DeCesare, who is out of Massapequa Park, N.Y., concluded her career with nine game-winning goals and six contests with two more tallies.
"It's just a privilege and there's so much excitement to getting drafted," DeCesare said. "I'm extremely excited. I love Boston. And with my (Duke) teammates, it can't get much better than that."
One of the best distributors to ever put on a Blue Devil uniform, Pathman played 87 career contests, while totaling 83 starts in the defense, midfield and forward slots. Pathman, who is a native of Durham, N.C., collected 29 assists, 17 goals and 63 points over her four years. Her 29 assists ranked third on the Duke career record books and Pathman’s eight assists in NCAA Tournament play was a Blue Devil record. Pathman was a two-time All-ACC selection and member of the 2011 NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team. She helped lead the U.S. U-20 squad to the gold medal at the 2012 U-20 World Cup.
"I am so excited, honored, and humbled to be part of such an amazing organization," Pathman said, noting that she's looking forward to playing alongside her fellow Duke and U20 teammates. "It's so exciting that some of my best friends get to come along with me."
Over the last four years, the trio posted a 57-27-13 mark, led Duke to the 2011 NCAA Championship match, three straight NCAA Elite Eight appearances and the ACC regular season title in 2011.
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