The Washington Spirit, the professional women’s soccer team based at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. Launched in 2012 (formerly based in Montgomery County) added six new players to its roster through the 2024 NWSL Draft, presented by Ally on Friday night. The Spirit entered the day with four picks, finishing the day with six selections due to trades.
With the third overall pick in the first round that the team acquired via trade earlier in the day, the Spirit selected University of Georgia midfielder Croix Bethune. The 2023 SEC Tournament MVP started her career at the University of Southern California (2019-2022) before playing her final season at Georgia. Bethune, a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist (2021) and two-time Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year (2021, 2022), earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors for three consecutive years (2020-2022) and Second Team All-SEC in 2023.
The Spirit’s next pick came in the fifth overall spot, also acquired by trade. With the pick, the Spirit selected midfielder Hal Hershfelt, a five-year standout at Clemson University. The Atlanta native finished her career with 99 appearances, starting all but two games, scoring 16 goals and adding 12 assists. Hershfelt earned Second Team All-ACC honors in both 2021 and 2022, with Third Team All-ACC recognition coming in 2020. She was also a member of the 2019 All-ACC Freshman team.
Only two picks later, the Spirit selected defender Kate Wiesner with the seventh overall pick. The Nittany Lion played five seasons at Penn State, earning a Third Team All-Big Ten selection in 2023. Wiesner finished her collegiate career with 71 appearances (59 starts), six goals and 18 assists. Each season, Wiesner’s time on the pitch increased, culminating in 4,668 career minutes and a single-season career high 1,689 minutes in 2023. She has been a staple on the U.S. Youth National Teams, making the U-15, U-17, U-19 and U-23 rosters.
The Spirit selected another Clemson University Tiger, midfielder Makenna Morris, with the 13th overall pick. A Germantown native, Morris is no stranger to the District. She played for McLean ECNL, a Spirit Alliance Partnership Program team, and attended St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. In four seasons, Morris appeared in 80 games, starting in all but three, scoring 19 goals and adding 20 assists. In 2023, Morris led the Tigers squad with 26 points. Morris’ other honors include Second Team All-ACC (2020), Third Team All-ACC (2021) and ACC All-Freshman (2020) honors.
Because the club traded its two second round selections last month in exchange for expansion draft protection, the next Spirit selection came midway through the third round. With the 35thoverall pick, Washington picked forward Anna Podojil from the University Arkansas. In five seasons with the Razorbacks, Podojil appeared in 102 matches, tallying 50 goals and 35 assists. In each of her first four seasons in Fayetteville, Podojil was a First Team All-SEC member, also being named the SEC Freshman of the Year (2019) and SEC Forward of the Year (2020) in the same span. Podojil arrives in DC as Arkansas’ program leader in goals, game-winning goals (15) and points (135).
With the team’s final pick of the night in the 49th overall spot, the Spirit selected midfielder Courtney Brown of the University of Utah. In five seasons with the Utes, Brown appeared in 94 matches (90 starts), scoring 15 goals and adding 15 assists. Brown was recognized on the 2023 CSC Academic All-District team and was a member of the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll four times.
The Spirit will open training camp and announce its initial preseason roster with its new additions later this month in preparation for the 2024 season which kicks off in mid-March.
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AC Milan Academy is hosting a soccer camp at Maryland Soccerplex from March 1st through March 3rd for girls and boys aged 5 to 16 from any club who want to develop their soccer skills and learn the unique methodology of AC Milan directly from AC Milan coaches.
March 1st (Friday) 6pm-7:30pm
March 2nd (Saturday) 6pm-7:30pm
March 3rd (Sunday) 10:30am -12pm and 3:30pm-5pm
Location:18031 Central Park Cir, Boyds, MD 20841
Price: $349 + AC Milan Junior Camp Kit