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Pro notes: NWSL draft expected to include state players, led by Lavelle

01/12/2017, 8:15am CST
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Several players with state ties could hear their names called Thursday afternoon as the National Women's Soccer League holds its annual college draft in Los Angeles.

Midfielder Rose Lavelle (UW) surely will be selected by one of the league's 10 teams, and most likely very shortly after the draft begins at 2 p.m. (Watch live stream on Facebook or YouTube)

Chris Henderson of All White Kit has the three-time All-American ranked as the top player available in the draft, while Travis Clark of Top Drawer Soccer lists Lavelle second. Both writers have Lavelle being selected by the Boston Breakers with the No. 1 pick in mock drafts (All White Kit mock draft | Top Drawer Soccer mock draft).

Lavelle has starred for U.S. youth national teams and has been part of several full national team camps, though she is yet to earn her first cap. The Cincinnati native finished her UW career with 22 goals and 24 assists in 84 appearances (83 starts), and is tied for fourth in program history in assists, tied for seventh in games played and tied for fifth in starts.

A pair of players who have been teammates for many years, first at Cedarburg-based club North Shore United and then in college at Minnesota, also are projected to be among the 40 players chosen in the four-round draft.

Defender Rashida Beal (Germantown) is 26th in Clark's rankings and 32nd on Henderson's draft board, while midfielder Josee Stiever (Cedarburg) is ranked 27th by Henderson and 32nd by Clark. Beal was a second-team All-American and the Big Ten Conference Defender of the Year for the Golden Gophers last fall; Stiever had 21 goals and 20 assists in 86 career games and was a two-time all-region selection.

Midfielder-defender Morgan Proffitt (Marquette) is another possible draftee. The Columbus, Ind., native was the Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior last fall and finished her career with 10 goals and three assists in 85 games (83 starts). She is currently taking part in a U.S. Under-23 national team camp in Carson, Calif., and checks in at No. 44 in Henderson's draft rankings.

Forward Natasha Minor (De Pere) also is eligible for selection following a standout career at Southeast Missouri State. Minor, who played club soccer with Beal and Stiever at North Shore United, had 28 goals and 13 assists in 66 appearances (62 starts) and was a three-time, All-Ohio Valley Conference honoree for the Redhawks.

On Twitter: @roselavelle @joseestiever @MorganMorg09

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