Irmo’s Savannah McCaskill drafted #2 overall in NWSL Draft
PHILADELPHIA – Former South Carolina striker Savannah McCaskill was selected by the Boston Breakers with the No. 2 overall pick in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft Thursday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
“I am so excited to have been drafted to the Boston Breakers,” McCaskill said. “I want to give thanks to my family, coaches and teammates for helping me get to where I am. Without them I wouldn’t be the person or player I am today. It is definitely an exciting time, and I can’t wait to get started.”
McCaskill becomes the program’s highest selection in the NWSL College Draft, which began in 2013.
The Chapin, S.C., native is the second Gamecock to be drafted in the league and the school’s third player to be selected by a professional soccer league. Former Carolina goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo was picked by the Western New York Flash in the third round of 2015 NWSL Draft, while defender Blakeley Mattern (2006-09) was selected No. 21 overall in the now-defunct Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPS) 2010 collegiate draft.
D’Angelo led the Flash to the 2016 NWSL Title and was tabbed the championship match’s MVP after recording five saves in the game.
McCaskill, who is currently training with the U.S. Women’s National Team in California, closed her storied career at Carolina this past December as the only player in school history to garner three All-America honors. The two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year ranks third all-time among Gamecocks in points (114) and goals (40), and her 34 assists stand as the second-best mark.
McCaskill led Carolina to the SEC Regular-Regular Season Title in 2016 and 2017, delivering fifteen of her program-best 17 game-winners during that stretch. Her historic four-year stretch with the Gamecocks was highlighted by a junior campaign that saw the striker set a single-season school record with 17 goals.
Carolina reached the NCAA Tournament in each of her four years in Columbia, and the team made the program’s first Women’s College Cup appearance this past season. McCaskill was selected as a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy and Honda Sport Award as a senior, and she was nominated for U.S. Soccer’s 2017 Young Female of the Year Award in December.
The Breakers, who have been a part of the NWSL since the league was founded, finished last season with a record of 4-13-7. Their best finish in the NWSL came in the league’s inaugural season in 2013 when they ended the year in fifth place.
The 10-team NWSL will feature a 24-game slate for the 2018 season. Preseason training camps get underway on Mon., Feb. 19, before the regular season kicks off the weekend of March 24-25.
USC Athletics contributed to the writing of this article.