Not having a pick until the second round of the 2010 WPS Draft didn’t phase the St. Louis Athletica this morning. With the 17 pick overall, Athletica began their day by selecting UCLA midfielder Kristina Larsen, then finished out their second round with the choice of University of North Carolina goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris as their No. 19 selection.
Following the second round, Assistant General Manager Tim Owens stated, "We feel that we have gotten two first round caliber players at the end of the second round. We are extremely satisfied thus far."
Kristina Larsen, in training with the U-23 National Team in Carson, California, followed the draft online. “Each time another pick was made I got more and more nervous,” she told WPS press. “I have heard that Athletica is a great environment to come to, and I hear that the fans are really welcoming. I am also excited to be moving out of California, I am ready to branch out.”
Athletica announced Friday morning that they had acquired US international midfielder Lindsay Tarpley in a trade for goalkeeper Jillian Loyden. With a goalkeeper position available, St. Louis had an easy choice with the selection of Ashlyn Harris, who was still available after 18 picks.
"This is a great opportunity for me to work with Hope Solo and learn from her,” said Harris to the WPS. “I also get to join a team that has a lot of North Carolina blue on it. Getting to work with Lori Chalupny, Kendall Fletcher, and now Lindsay Tarpley will help me elevate my game.".
St. Louis’s third pick in the draft was Amanda Poach, an attacking forward/midfielder from Santa Clara University. She was selected for her strong attacking mentality and technical play, assets that the Athletica look to improve on.
“I am looking forward to going to a new city and playing for Athletica,” said Poach from Northern California. “I have played with a few Athletica players before like Kia McNeill and Angie Kerr (Woznuk).”
With the 37 overall selection, St. Louis selected midfielder Veronica Perez from the University of Washington. In the fifth round, St. Louis chose midfielder Carolyn Blank from West Virginia. Blank has ties to the Athletica, having played for former Athletica athlete Lisa Stoia, who is assistant coach at WVU. In the sixth round Sarah Teegarden, a midfielder from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was selected. Finally, with their 64th and final pick, St. Louis rounded out their successful draft with the selection of forward Elisabeth Redmond, of Duke University.
Order of St. Louis Athletica draft picks for the 2010 WPS Draft
2nd Round 17th Selection Kristina Larsen Midfielder UCLA
2nd Round 19th Selection Ashlyn Harris Goalkeeper North Carolina
3rd Round 28th Selection Amanda Poach Midfielder Santa Clara
4th Round 37th Selection Veronica Perez Midfielder Washington
5th Round 46th Selection Carolyn Blank Midfielder West Virginia
6th Round 55th Selection Sarah Teegarden Midfielder UW-Milwaukee
7th Round 64th Selection Elisabeth Redmond Forward Duke
About Saint Louis Athletica
Saint Louis Athletica is a founding member of Women’s Professional Soccer, WPS. In their inaugural season Saint Louis Athletica finished in second place in the WPS, and reached the WPS Super Semifinal. The Athletica plays their home matches at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in suburban St. Louis. The 2010 home opener will be on April 11 against FC Gold Pride.
About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)
Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is the premier women’s soccer league in the world and the global standard by which women’s professional sports are measured. The Inaugural Season kicked off in March 2009 with seven WPS teams based in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The league’s eighth and nine franchises, Philadelphia and Atlanta, will begin play in the 2010 WPS Season, which begins April 2010. For more information, visit www.womensprosoccer.com .
Photo courtesy of the5thcorner.com
This story was excerpted from a press release by the St Louis Athletica and reworked by freelance writer Lauren Salter.