The Houston Dash selected four players in the 2023 NWSL Draft and added a fifth with a pre-draft trade to start the evening.
“The day kicked off with a bang with the Diana Ordóñez trade and that was incredibly important for us,” Dash general manager Alex Singer said. “We were very prepared, and we checked every box that we wanted to check. I am very pleased with how the day panned out. Our coaches are very pleased with who we were able to select, they are great people with great characters and I’m excited to get this group together and see what happens in 2023.”
Houston began the evening with the No. 8 overall pick and agreed to a pre-draft trade with the North Carolina Courage for one of the most dynamic forwards in the league. Houston acquired Ordóñez and the No. 30 overall pick in the draft from the Courage. North Carolina received Houston’s No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 Draft, $100,000 dollars in allocation money, Houston’s natural 2024 first round pick and an international spot for 2023.
Sophie Hirst was Houston’s first selection in the 2023 NWSL Draft. The midfielder from Harvard University was the No. 20 overall pick and she finished with 60 career appearances and 56 starts in four seasons with the Crimson. The Seattle, Wash. native scored 10 goals and tallied 12 assists throughout her collegiate career. Hirst studied Neuroscience at Harvard and earned Academic All-Ivy honors in her final two seasons.
Houston selected Jyllissa Harris from the University of South Carolina with the No. 22 overall pick. The defender appeared 107 games for the Gamecocks, setting an NCAA record for most minutes played in a career at the DI level with 9,395 minutes played. Harris made 105 starts for the program in five seasons with the Gamecocks, adding 16 goals and 11 assists. In 2021, Harris 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. Harris earned her degree from USC in childhood education in May 2022.
Houston began the third round with two trades. First, Houston traded the No. 30 overall pick to the Washington Spirit in exchange for the No. 32 overall pick and $30,000 in allocation money. The 32nd overall pick was then traded by Houston to Portland Thorns FC in exchange for the No. 36 overall pick and $20,000 in allocation money.
Lindsi Jennings was selected by the Dash with the No. 36 overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft. The Conroe native finished her collegiate career with Louisiana State University. In two seasons with the Tigers, the defender made 40 appearances and 32 starts, scoring three goals and recording two assists.
Houston wrapped up the night by selecting defender Madelyn Desiano from the University of California Los Angeles with the final pick in the draft. Desiano won the 2022 NCAA D-I Championship with the Bruins on Dec. 5 and played all 110 minutes of the championship match. The San Clemente, Calif. Native anchored the UCLA defense helping the Bruins earn 14 shutouts in 2022 and a team goals against average of 0.55, its lowest since 2014.
The Houston Dash are set to return to Houston Sports Park later this month to kick off the 2023 preseason. For more information on the Dash, please visit HoustonDash.com.