TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Continuing a legacy of Seminoles playing at the professional level, three Florida State players were selected on Friday morning in the first round of the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League Draft. Carson Pickett was drafted No. 4 overall by the Seattle Reign, Cheyna Williams was the No. 7 pick to the Washington Spirit and Michaela Hahn was chosen as the No. 9 pick by the Western NY Flash.
Florida State leads all NCAA schools in the four-year history of the NWSL Draft with 10 overall draft picks and the Noles also top the country with six first-round selections. Tiffany McCarty was the highest Seminole ever drafted when she went No. 2 overall to the Washington Spirit in 2013.
It also marks the fifth consecutive year that Florida State has had multiple players chosen in either the NWSL or Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) draft. For the 2016 season, there will be 14 former Seminoles competing in the NWSL on nine of the ten teams in the league.
“Certainly, I am thrilled for all three,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “We knew going into the draft that their skillsets were very different. Cheyna may be the most athletic kid in the draft, Carson is certainly one of the best left-sided players and also Michaela in the midfield with her ability to distribute the ball. We also know that teams are looking to fill needs, so sometimes it is a matter of wanting the best player available, but it may also be that they want the best player to fit a specific need.
“I’m extremely excited for each of them as they start the next chapter of their soccer careers here in the states and also excited about Megan Campbell and Berglind Thorvaldsdottir who also graduated from the program and will have an opportunity to play as pros over in Europe.”
Pickett ended her career tied for second in FSU history with 31 assists as she played on the left side at either midfielder or defender throughout her four seasons as a Seminole. She also scored nine goals in her career, including the game-winner in the 2014 ACC Championship Game against No. 4 Virginia. Her defensive skills helped her earn All-ACC Third Team honors in 2015, as well as aid Florida State to set NCAA Tournament records this season with 10 consecutive shutouts and a consecutive scoreless streak of 931:47 in postseason play.
Williams played just two seasons for Florida State, after transferring from Vanderbilt, but was an aggressive offensive presence for the Garnet and Gold as she finished with 61 points on 24 goals and 13 assists in 51 career matches. She was named the 2014 College Cup Most Outstanding Player on Offense as she was involved in all three FSU scores with two goals versus Stanford in the national semifinal and an assist versus Virginia as the Seminoles earned their first NCAA National Championship.
Williams earned All-ACC First Team honors in 2015 and led the team with 10 goals as FSU advanced to the College Cup for the fifth consecutive season and ninth time overall. She joins several former Seminoles on the Spirit – Amanda Da Costa, Kelsey Wys and Tori Huster.
Hahn was the hub of the FSU offense and defense and a leader of a senior class that has given the Seminoles their best four-year run in program history. Playing in 103 total matches, Hahn has been a part of three consecutive ACC Championships (2013-15) and four straight trips to the College Cup, including winning the 2014 NCAA National Championship. She finished with 32 points on nine goals and 14 assists, and earned All-ACC and NSCAA All-Southeast Region Third Team honors in 2015 as she set a career high with five goals scored.
The 2016 NWSL season will begin in mid-April and run throughout the summer. The full schedule for the fourth season of the professional league will be announced in February. More information will be available on nwslsoccer.com.
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