Alex Morgan Taken First in WPS Draft by WNY Flash

John HowellAnalyst IJanuary 14, 2011

Alex Morgan for Team USA on a snowy pitch.
Alex Morgan for Team USA on a snowy pitch.Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Baltimore, Maryland (January 14, 2011)—Women’s Professional Soccer held its third annual college draft Friday at the 2011 NSCAA Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.

A surprise to few in the audience, expansion Western New York Flash selected California standout and U.S. national team rising star, forward Alex Morgan with the top pick in the draft, while also nabbing The University of Portland's Elli Reed as the first defender in the draft with the number eight overall selection.

The Flash had no selections in round two. In round three, the Flash took Notre Dame midfielder Rose Augustin and chose local favorite, a keeper, Ashleigh Bowers of Niagara.  

The Western New York club made a splash in sponsorship as well at the draft. WPS CEO Anne-Marie Eileraas officially opened the proceedings by announcing the league’s sixth national sponsor, Sahlen’s Hot Dogs. Sahlen's owner, Joe Sahlen, is also the owner of the Flash. Now his product will not only be the official hot dog of the Buffalo Bills but will be the official hot dog of WPS and will be the hot dog served at all WPS venues, as the company logo will don all WPS jerseys.

Here is a summary of bio information on the Flash's draft class of 2011.

Alex Morgan closed her career as a University of California Golden Bear in the same manner in which she began it—as the Cal women's soccer team's season-leading scorer. Morgan concluded her four years in Berkeley tied for the third all-time scorer in California history with 45 goals and in sole possession of third place in terms of points with 107. If Morgan had not been away helping the U.S. Senior National team quality for the 2011 World Cup, she would no doubt hold first place in both of those categories.

Elli Reed was a defensive standout at the University of Portland, home to WPS Chicago Red Stars and US WNT standout Megan Rapinoe (Class of '09). In addition to leading the defense for the Portland Pilots, Reed has been a leading member of the US Under 20 women's national team. She is a native of Park City, Utah.

Rose Augustin has been a key cog in Notre Dame's offense. Her strong all-around ability on the ball includes poised play with and without pressure, effective at striking the ball with either foot and she is a dynamic threat on set pieces  She has shown the ability to put shots on net from distance, and has been cited for a deep tactical understanding of the game that is equal to her functional skill. At Walsh Jesuit High School in Akron, Ohio, she was named a 2006 NSCAA high school All-American while also being tabbed the 2006 Gatorade state player of the year for Ohio.

Ashleigh Bowers Earned MAAC All-Academic honors in 2009 at Niagara University. The Liverpool, New York native set a career-high four shutouts during the 2009 season and was named to the 2009 MAAC Championship All-Tournament Team.

2011 WPS Draft
Baltimore, Maryland
January 14, 2011

Round 1
1. Western New York—Alex Morgan, F, California
2. Philadelphia—Sinead Farrelly, MF, Virginia
3. Washington—Meghan Klingenberg, MF, North Carolina (*via trade with Atlanta)
4. Washington—Christen Press, F, Stanford
5. Philadelphia—Lauren Fowlkes, F, Notre Dame
6. Boston Breakers—Keelin Winters, MF, Portland
7. Atlanta—Kylie Wright, MF, UCLA
8. Western New York—Elli Reed, D, Portland

Round 2
9. Philadelphia—Jennifer Stoltenberg, F, Oregon
10. Washington—Omolyn Davis, MF, George Mason
11. Philadelphia—Caitlin Farrell, D, Wake Forest
12. Boston—Whitney Palmer, F, Oklahoma

Round 3
13. Western New York—Rose Augustin, MF, Notre Dame
14. Atlanta—Meghan Lenczyk, F, Virginia
15. Philadelphia—Lauren Barnes, D, UCLA
16. Sky Blue FC—Alyssa Mautz, MF, Texas A&M
17. Washington—Amanda DaCosta, MF, Florida State
18. Philadelphia—Bianca D’Agostino, MF, Wake Forest
19. Boston—Katie Sheeleigh, F, Harvard

Round 4
20. Western New York—Ashleigh Bowers, GK, Niagara
21. Sky Blue FC—Lauren Alkek, D, Oklahoma
22. Washington—Katie Fraine, GK, Florida
23. Philadelphia—Teresa Rynier, MF, James Madison
24. Boston—Tanya Taylor, F, UC Irvine

Breakdown by College
Portland             2
Notre Dame        2
Oklahoma           2
UCLA                  2
Virginia               2
Wake Forest        2
California            1
Florida                1
Florida State        1
George Mason      1
Harvard               1
James Madison     1
North Carolina      1
Niagara               1
Oregon                1
Stanford              1
Texas A&M           1
UC – Irvine          1


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