All eyes were on the Boston Breakers as they entered the 2017 NWSL college draft. Through a series of trades and the fortuitous position of coming last in the league in 2016, they ended up with not just the #1 pick in the draft but three other first-round draft picks. Boston went into the draft with picks #1, 3, 8, 9, 11, 31, and 38.
The picks came quickly after the first one. Perhaps in a fit of whimsy, the Breakers took their time with that first pick despite nearly everyone waiting for the name “Lavelle.” But in the end, as predicted by most draft previews, Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin) went #1 in the draft and will undoubtedly be a key part of Boston’s revamped midfield.
Boston then took Morgan Andrews (USC) #3, also a key move for the midfield.
Boston used their #8 and #9 picks on forward Ifeoma Onumonu (UC Berkeley) and midfielder Midge Purce (Harvard) respectively.
This is a highly attacking draft class and perhaps slightly worrisome that it included no defenders. Perhaps head coach Matt Beard was more concerned about filling in the gaps left by the departure of both Kristie Mewis and Louise Schillgard, or perhaps he prefers to shore up his defense through trades or signings.
This certainly makes Boston’s attack more potent, though.
“The game field is the field I’ve played on for the past for years so that’s going to be a familiar territory for me,” said Purce.
“We’ve talked a little bit,” Onumonu said of her expected role with Boston. “I think I’m going to be continuing playing forward at either the left or the right, but I’m open to switching position. I can play in the center, the striker position, but it looks like I’m going to be playing probably on the wing.”
A common theme with Boston’s newest draftees was being asked about how they felt coming to a team that has historically struggled and is in the middle of a complete rebuild.
“I’ve watched them the past couple years and it’s going to be really amazing to be part of them changing and restructuring everything,” said Purce.
“I’ve actually watched a lot of NWSL games and talking with Matt I’m super confident going into this next season because I know he’s done a lot to make changes and ensure that coming into the next season we’re prepared,” said Lavelle.