Jan. 17, 2014
Three members of the Virginia women's soccer team were selected in Friday's National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Draft, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Defenders Molly Menchel (Alexandria, Va.) and Shasta Fisher (Saugus, Calif.) were selected by the Washington Spirit, while midfielder/defender Annie Steinlage (Grand Haven, Mich.) was chosen by the Western New York Flash.
Menchel was the selected by Washington in the third round with the 26th overall selection. A three-year starter at left back, she is Virginia's all-time leading scorer among defenders, recording 13 goals and 17 assists for 43 points. Eight of her 13 career goals were game-winners. In 2013, she was a second-team NSCAA All-Southeast Region honoree and a third-team All-ACC selection.
Steinlage was selected by Western New York in the third round with the 27th overall selection. She transferred to Virginia after playing three seasons at Michigan State, twice earning first-team All-Big Ten honors. In her one season as a Cavalier in 2013, Steinlage had one goal and six assists while starting every game as a holding midfielder. Her lone goal of the season was the overtime game-winner vs. Florida State on Oct. 27 that clinched Virginia's first ACC regular season title.
Fisher was selected by Washington in the fourth round with the 29th overall selection. A two-year starter on back line, she was a member of a defensive group that posted 16 shutouts in 2013. She had four goals and five assists over her career, including three game-winning assists during her senior season.
The three players join nine other Virginia alumni currently on NWSL rosters. Menchel and Fisher join Chantel Jones (2007-11), Lori Lindsey (1998-01), Caroline Miller (2009-12) and Julia Roberts (2009-12) on the Washington Spirit, while Fisher joins Sarah Huffman (2002-05) on the Western New York Flash. Becky Sauerbrunn (2003-07) and Nikki Krzysik (2005-08) play for FC Kansas City, Sinead Farrelly (2007-10) plays for the Portland Thorns and Kika Toulouse (2007-10) was selected by the Houston Dash in the recent expansion draft.