Houston Dash today announced that the team has signed midfielder Sophie Hirst and defenders Madelyn Desiano and Jyllissa Harris to contracts. Additionally, goalkeeper Savannah Madden, who joined preseason camp as a non-roster invitee, was also signed. All four signees are under contract through the 2023 season with an option for 2024.
“This is a group of young, dynamic talent that have come in and competed in key positions. Their competitive drive and their quality are things we look forward to seeing on the pitch this season. We’re excited that these players will start their professional careers with the Dash and look forward to seeing their development with the club,” said Dash General Manager Alex Singer.
Midfielder Sophie Hirst was selected as Houston’s first pick, 20th overall, in the 2023 NWLS Draft. At Harvard, Hirst finished with 60 career appearances and 56 starts in four seasons for the Crimson. The Seattle, Wash. native also tallied 10 goals and recorded 12 assists throughout her collegiate career. Hirst studied Neuroscience at Harvard and earned Academic All-Ivy honors in her final two seasons.
Defender Jyllissa Harris was selected by the Dash with the 22nd overall pick in the draft. Harris appeared in 107 games for the Gamecocks and set an NCAA record for most minutes played in a career at the DI level with 9,395 minutes played. The defender scored 16 goals and added 11 assists, earned CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team honors and was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region First Team and All-SEC First Team in 2021. Harris earned her degree from USC in Childhood Education in May 2022.
Defender Madelyn Desiano joins the Dash from the University of California Los Angeles with the final pick of the draft. Desiano led the Bruins to the 2022 NCAA Championship, where she played all 110 minutes of the championship match. Desiano’s goal scored in the semi-final sent her team to the championship match. The defender anchored the UCLA defense helping earn 14 shutouts in 2022 and a team goal against average of 0.55, the lowest since 2014. Desiano is a graduate of the Transformative Coaching and Leadership program of the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies.
Goalkeeper Savannah Madden joined the Dash during preseason camp as a non-roster invitee. The University of Texas product started and played all but 19 minutes of Texas’ 22 matches in 2021, posting an 11-5-6 overall record with nine solo shutouts, a 0.90 GAA (ninth in Texas single-season history) and a .806 save percentage. Madden was named Big 12 Conference Goalkeeper of the Week four times, 2021 All-Big 12 Conference Second Team and was to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team three times. Madden is a graduate of the Strategic Communication program within the Moody College of Communications at Texas.
Houston kicks off the 2023 regular season this Sunday, March 26 against Racing Louisville FC at Shell Energy Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT. Fans can purchase tickets here. The game will be televised locally on AT&T Sports Network and nationally on Paramount+.