CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Three members of the Virginia women’s soccer team were selected in the 2020 NWSL Draft on Thursday (Jan. 16) as Courtney Petersen (Canton, Mich.), Phoebe McClernon (West Chester, Pa.) and Zoe Morse (East Lansing, Mich.) were all drafted.
Petersen and McClernon were both drafted by the Orlando Pride, while Morse was drafted by the Chicago Red Stars. Petersen was taken in the first round with the seventh overall pick. McClernon was taken in the second round with the 14th overall pick, while Morse was taken in the third round with the 19th overall pick.
Virginia has now had 16 players taken in the NWSL Draft in the eight-year history of the event. The trio joins fellow Virginia players Caroline Miller, Molly Menchel, Annie Steinlage, Shasta Fisher, Morgan Brian, Danielle Colaprico, Emily Sonnett, Makenzy Doniak, Brittany Ratcliffe, Alexis Shaffer, Kristen McNabb, Veronica Latsko and Betsy Brandon as NWSL draft selections.
The three picks in this year’s draft is tied for the most of any college team with UCLA. Virginia has had at least one player selected in each NWSL Draft.
COURTNEY PETERSEN – DEFENDER – ORLANDO PRIDE (7TH OVERALL PICK)
Through her career with the Cavaliers, Petersen played in 78 games for the Cavaliers and made 58 starts. She is a two-time United Soccer Coaches All-Region selection and a two-time All-ACC selection. As a Cavalier, she tallied 12 assists, including three on game-winning goals, and added five goals. She helped Virginia post 52 shutouts through her four years on the pitch which included a redshirt season as she competed with the U.S. U20 Youth National Team. Petersen logged 6,602 minutes on the pitch for Virginia.
Petersen On Being Drafted By Orlando
“Being drafted is a dream come true. Words can’t even describe the feeling I have right now. I am so thankful for my teammates and coaches at UVA pushing me to be the best I can be. Playing at UVA was one dream of mine and now it’s very exciting to be playing in the NWSL.”
PHOEBE MCCLERNON – DEFENDER – ORLANDO PRIDE (14TH OVERALL PICK)
In her four-year career with the Cavaliers, McClernon was a three-time All-ACC selection and was named an All-American as a junior in 2018. She was also named an All-Region selection as a junior. Through her time at Virginia, McClernon played in 88 games and made 69 career starts. She helped the Cavaliers post 48 shutouts in her career and scored one goal – the game-winning goal at No. 5 Penn State as a sophomore.
McClernon On Being Drafted By Orlando
“It means the world to have been drafted by Orlando. I am so excited to see girls I have played with the last four years get this opportunity and especially that I will be playing with Courtney down in Florida. I am so grateful to our coaching staff for all of the support. The staff and my team are responsible for me being the player I am today, and I certainly wouldn’t be in this position without UVA.”
ZOE MORSE – DEFENDER – CHICAGO RED STARS (19TH OVERALL PICK)
As a Cavalier, Morse logged 6,826 career minutes as she started 85-of-86 games played over the course of four seasons. In that time, she helped Virginia post 48 shutouts while she tallied four goals and three assists. She was named an All-Region selection by the United Soccer Coaches as a senior and also earned a spot on the ACC Championship All-Tournament team. She was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District election and has been a two-time selection to the ACC Women’s Soccer All-Academic Team. She also served as a team captain during her junior and senior seasons.
Morse On Being Drafted By Chicago
“I am so honored to be given this opportunity by Chicago to follow my dreams. There is no way I would have gotten to this point without all of the incredible people here at UVA. I am so grateful for every single person who has helped me along the way – from our tremendous staff to my loving teammates. I will forever be a proud Hoo!”