United States women’s soccer team stars Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelley O’Hara were among those left unprotected by their teams and are available to be taken in next week’s National Women’s Soccer League expansion draft.
The draft, scheduled for Dec. 16, will allow expansion teams Angel City FC and the San Diego Wave to select up to nine players each from existing teams in the NWSL.
Existing teams were allowed to protect up to nine players. In addition to Rapinoe (OL Reign), Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) and O’Hara (Washington Spirit), other U.S. national team players left unprotected included Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) and Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit).
Canadian all-time leading scorer Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns) was also unprotected.
The Reign announced they had protected the following nine players: Angelina, Bethany Balcer, Alana Cook, Jess Fishlock, Sofia Huerta, Rose Lavelle, Quinn, Phallon Tullis-Joyce and Ally Watt.
The Reign also announced they acquired Sinclaire Miramontez off waivers from Racing Louisville. The Reign agreed to the permanent transfer of Nicole Momiki to Linköpings FC in the Swedish Damallsvenskan.
Western falls in Final Four
TAMPA, Fla. – The Western Washington volleyball team fell short of advancing to the NCAA Division II championship match with a 3-1 semifinal loss to Washburn. The No. 2 Vikings were defeated by the third-seeded Ichabods 25-23, 25-21, 27-29, 25-11 in the Final Four.
The Vikings were led by the outside hitter combination of first-team All-American Gabby Gunterman and honorable-mention All-American Calley Heilborn. Gunterman paced the offense with 11 kills and 10 digs, and Heilborn tallied 10 kills and 21 digs.
Olivia Fairchild (six blocks) and Chloe Roetcisoender (five blocks) combining to help the Vikings out-block the Ichabods 11-8. Libero Kasey Woodruff added 20 digs. Tess Biscup had eight kills (.185), five blocks and five digs.
The Vikings (25-5) had their 20-match winning streak snapped. WWU has advanced to the NCAA championships in each of the past nine seasons and played in the Final Four for the third time in the past six seasons.
• Madison Ibale, Makena Rietz and Sophia Chilczuk, who led Seattle Pacific to the West Region championship, were each bestowed women’s soccer All-America honors by the NCAA Division II Collegiate Conference Commissioners Association (D2CAA). Ibale and Rietz were first team, Chilczuk third team.
• Alex Mejia, who led Seattle Pacific into the NCAA Division II men’s soccer playoffs with a league-leading 14 goals, was named a third-team All-American.
• Jaleesa Lawrence had 22 points and seven rebounds but host Eastern Washington (2-5) lost a 72-63 decision to Boise State (3-5).
• Henrik Rybinski had a goal and two assists as the Seattle Thunderbirds routed the host Kamloops Blazers 6-1.
• Jackson Berezowski had a goal and two assists but the Everett Silvertips lost 7-5 at the Tri-City Americans.