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Three ‘Noles taken First Round in 2023 NWSL Draft

Emily Madril, Jenna Nighswonger and Clara Robbins tabbed as new NWSL players

FSU Soccer

On Thursday, the National Women’s Soccer League held their annual draft, and three Seminoles headlined the first round.

After Los Angeles and Kansas City took the first two picks, the Orlando Pride were on the clock. As the third best player pick in the 2023 draft class, Emily Madril was selected to the Pride. Madril returns to Florida after forgoing her final season of eligibility with FSU in 2022, where she then spent a season in Sweden as a professional. During her time as a Seminole, Madril was part of the 2018 and 2021 NCAA championship team. She also earned ACC defensive player of the year in 2021, was All ACC First Team and a first team All American, the same season.

Shortly after Madril was taken off the board, NJ/NY Gotham was set to pick for the 4th spot, which came after a trade with Louisville. The Gotham drafted Jenna Nighswonger to their club, seeking to enhance their midfield attack. The 2022 Mac Hermann trophy finalist lead the Seminoles in 2022, after claiming a national championship in 2021. Last season, Nighswonger was one of the best players in the country, ending her career in 2022 with ACC Tournament MVP honors, as well as a slew of First Team All-American honors.

After another trade for the 8th pick, the NC Courage went back for the 9th player overall, this time for two time ACC Tournament MVP, Clara Robbins. The midfielder rounded out the draft class for the Seminoles in 2023. In her 7 years in the Garnet and Gold, Robbins was part of the 2018 and 2021 national title teams, as well as 3 ACC championship titles.

As Madril, Nighswonger and Robbins join the NWSL ranks, they will accompany previous Seminoles Jaelin Howell, Natalia Kuikka, Malia Berkely, Cassie Miller, Carson Pickett, Toni Pressley, Tori Huster, Casey (Short) Krueger, and Gabby Carle.