SEATTLE, WA –– (Reign release) Seattle Reign FC has selected four players in the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft: Maddie Bauer, Katie Johnson, Arielle Ship, and Kristen McNabb.
Bauer was selected with the sixth overall pick of the first round. The defender started all 88 matches she played at Stanford, helping the Cardinal to four NCAA tournaments, including making the College Cup in 2014, and two Pac-12 championships.
The Newport Beach, California native earned NSCAA All-America first team honors for her senior season, and was also named to the All-Pac-12 first team. Bauer has played extensively for the U.S. youth national teams, and was most recently called into camp for the U-23s this month.
“I was nervous just to be here and to hopefully hear my name called,” said Bauer. “When it actually happened I was like ‘okay this is really happening.’ I couldn’t be happier to be going to Seattle.”
“Maddie has been someone we have looked at all season,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “She fills a position of need for us. I think she can help us on the backline and in the midfield. The college that she played at plays a similar style of soccer to us so it’s been easy for me to see the things she’s good at and areas for improvement.”
Reign FC received the 16th overall pick from the Chicago Red Stars for a 2018 NWSL College Draft pick. Seattle selected Johnson with that pick. During her four years at the University of Southern California (USC), Johnson scored 24 goals and tallied six assists.
In her senior season for the Trojans, Johnson scored two goals in the NCAA College Cup final to help USC to its second ever national title. Internationally, Johnson competed in 2016 Rio Olympics qualifying for the Mexico women’s national team.
“Seattle has been my dream team since day one,” said Johnson. “Hearing my name called was the most relieving and exciting thing. I’m so thrilled to start this new chapter in my life.”
“Katie Johnson is someone that I felt has been a standout this year,” said Harvey. “She’s been flying under the radar and I didn’t think that anybody would know about her, then she did it on the biggest stage in the College Cup. She was someone that I felt we couldn’t miss out on.”
With the 26th overall pick, Reign FC selected Ship out of University of California, Berkley. Ship lead the Golden Bears in goals (11), assists (6), and points (28) in her senior season, her second straight season to do so.
The Westlake Village, California native scored 29 goals in her collegiate career, with 14 of those goals coming in her 2015 season. Ship was named the 2015 Pac-12 Player of the Year, becoming the first Cal player to earn the honor.
“It was one of the best days of my life,” said Ship. “I’ve been dreaming of being a professional my whole life. I’m over-the-moon happy.”
“Ari Ship is a creative midfielder who can score goals and has great movement off the ball” said Harvey. “She was in the Pac-12 so we got to see her quite a lot, and I think she can impact the squad. Obviously attacking midfield is an area we want to improve so I’m super excited we could get her involved.”
Seattle selected McNabb with the 37th overall pick, their fourth and final draft pick in 2017. McNabb played in 89 games during her career at the University of Virginia, starting 71. The defender scored 13 goals and tallied three assists for the Cavaliers.
McNabb was named to the All-ACC second-team after her senior season. In her four years at Virginia, McNabb helped the team to four NCAA tournaments, including a championship game appearance in 2014.
“Kristen is a steady, consistent defender,” said Harvey. “She played for a college team that likes to keep the ball and possess. She has multiple positions she can play and she’s a left-sided player which is something we always look for. I didn’t think she’d be there in the fourth round so I’m really happy we could get her.”
About Seattle Reign FC:
Seattle Reign FC is one of ten teams in the National Women’s Soccer League. The NWSL is the premier women’s professional soccer league in North America, featuring many of the top players from the United States, Canada and around the world. Seattle Reign FC train and host home matches at Memorial Stadium, located in the shadow of the Space Needle on the Seattle Center campus. For more information on the club visit reignfc.com.