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Wingate Chosen 6th Overall, Six FC Stars Alumnae Eligible for 2023 NWSL Draft

By Will Pipicelli, 01/10/23, 12:30PM EST


Six Eligible Draftees Were T-3 Most of Any Club

Olivia Wingate was chosen 6th overall in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Draft last Thursday as one of six former FC Stars players who were eligible to be selected, tied for the third most of any club across the world. 

Wingate was the first of four first-round selections by the Courage, matching the record for the most first rounders in league history. She scored 14 goals to pair with five assists last fall at Notre Dame, and was a key cog in her team reaching the Elite 8. Wingate capped off her season by being named to the All-ACC First Team and the NCAA All-American Third Team. She was recently a guest on the New England Soccer Journal’s “The Goal” podcast.

Alexis Bach, Ruby Diodati, Hannah Pinkus, Madeline Vergura, Brooke Woodward and the aforementioned Wingate were all eligible to be drafted into North America’s highest-ranking women’s professional soccer league. The six FC Stars alumnae make up a list of over 240 draft eligible players

According to data released by the NWSL, with six entrants in the draft, FC Stars had the joint third-most club graduates of any youth soccer program in the world. SoCal Blues & PDA lead the way with seven entrants, while Michigan Hawks also have six draft-eligible players. 

FC Stars has more draft-eligible players than all other New England clubs combined. 

Bach spent the last two seasons goalkeeping at Western Kentucky. Bach was named to the 2022 Conference USA All Academic First Team and the 2022 Conference USA All-Conference Third Team this season. 

Diodati spent the fall season at Michigan State University and was an integral part of a historic season in East Lansing. She led the team in minutes across the season and helped the Spartans to the Big 10 Championship for the first time in program history. Diodati was named Big Ten Defender of the Year and a College Sports Communicator First Team Academic All-American among notable distinctions. 

Pinkus used her last season of eligibility in the Big East with Providence College. The midfielder was one of ten players to play in every game for the Friars and chipped in with a combined four goals and assists.

Vergura exhausted the last season of her college eligibility at the University of Utah. The forward scored three goals and notched three assists for the Utes. During her club career, Vergura was named captain for a U18 USWNT game against England. 

Lastly, Woodward capped off her graduate season at John Hopkins by winning the Division III National Championship and scoring in every round of the NCAA tournament. Her seven goals in the tournament were one shy of the Division III record for most in one tournament. Woodward also has playing experience at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of South Carolina. 

Wingate and other NWSL stars can be watched all season long on CBS Sports Networks and Paramount +.