Two Broncos Taken in Top-12 Picks of NWSL Draft
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Coming off a great season with a run to the Sweet 16, Santa Clara women's soccer had two players drafted in the National Women's Soccer League College Draft on Friday. Senior Julie Johnston went No. 3 overall to the Chicago Red Stars while senior Morgan Marlborough went No. 3 in the second round to FC Kansas City.
"I am so excited to be drafted in the NWSL and be able to play professional," said Johnson. "Santa Clara has really helped me reach and exceed my goals. It's exciting to move to the next chapter in soccer with Chicago and keep enjoying this beautiful game."
"I am very excited for my new professional journey," said Marlborough. "I couldn't be happier to play for FC Kansas City and my hometown. I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to live out my dream"
"I'm very proud that two of our players were taken in the top-12 spots," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "The only other program to accomplish that was North Carolina and everyone has a tremendous amount of respect for their success. I'm optimistic both Julie and Morgan will go on to have professional soccer careers that ultimately help them reach their goal of playing for the national team. Julie is already in training camps with the national team and Morgan gets to play in her hometown while developing into a great pro that will hopefully be involved with the national team in the future."
Johnston was named the WCC Player of the Year and was a First Team All-American for the third time. She tied for the conference lead with eight assists while finishing third in goals with 12 and points with 32. Johnston was also a semi-finalist for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy for the third straight season.
In her time at Santa Clara Johnston also captained the U-20 Women's National Team to a World Cup Victory in 2012 while winning the Bronze Ball as the third best player in the tournament, was named the 2012 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year, and was the 2010 WCC Freshman of the Year.
Marlborough, a Missouri native who will play for her hometown team, scored 15 goals and had 37 points, both second in the WCC, while adding six assists in her lone season at Santa Clara after transferring from Nebraska. She added three game-winning goals on the year and registered three hat tricks (Sept. 12 vs. Iowa State, Oct. 27 vs. San Francisco, and Nov. 3 vs. Pepperdine).
At Nebraska Marlborough racked-up a pile of awards including 2009 Big 12 Rookie of the Year, 2010 Big 12 All-Tournament Team, 2010 Big 12 Tournament Offensive MVP, 2009 and 2010 First Team All-Big 12, and 2009 and 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year.
Johnston and Marlborough join a long list of former Broncos playing in the NWSL, including: Bianca Henninger, Marian Dalmy, Meleana Shim, Jordan Angeli, and Leslie Osborne.