CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A pair of Virginia women’s soccer players were taken in the 2021 NWSL Draft on Wednesday night (Jan. 13) as midfielder Taryn Torres (Frisco, Texas) and forward Alissa Gorzak (Naperville, Ill.) were both drafted.
Torres was selected by Sky Blue FC in the third round with the 23rd overall pick, while Gorzak was taken in the fourth round by the Chicago Red Stars with the 35th overall pick.
Virginia has now had 18 players taken in the NWSL Draft in the nine-year history of the event. The duo 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, Betsy Brandon, Courtney Petersen, Phoebe McClernon and Zoe Morse as NWSL draft selections.
Virginia has had at least one player selected in every NWSL Draft.
Due to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the guidelines for the 2021 NWSL Draft have been changed from prior years. Players eligible for the draft this season are those who have either registered for the draft or who have exhausted three years of eligibility at their NCAA institution. Those who have exhausted three years of eligibility are considered seniors by the league and the requirement to register before being selected was waived by the NWSL for this year’s draft only.
The rights of any players selected on Wednesday will be assigned to the drafting team’s College Protected List until the start of the 2022 preseason. These rights are treated like the rights of professional players not currently in the league – they are an asset that can be kept, waived or traded up for this period of time. If a player isn’t signed before the 2022 preseason, the club who has their rights will waive them.
A three-time All-ACC selection, Torres has started 60-of-67 matches played in her Virginia career. She was a United Soccer Coaches All-Region third-team selection as a freshman and an All-Region second-team selection as a junior. Torres has notched 11 goals and 10 assists as a Cavalier, including three game-winning goals and she has assisted on four game winners. Torres played in two games in the fall season, battling an injury for most of the semester. She has also been named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll and the All-ACC Academic Team. In the 2018 season, she also competed with the U20 US Youth National Team in the FIFA U20 World Cup in France.
Over the past five seasons with the Cavaliers, Gorzak has seen action in 82 matches while scoring five goals and adding 13 assists. She has hit one game-winning goal and assisted on four game-winners in her career, including an assist on the game-winning goal against No. 13 Louisville this past fall. An All-ACC third team and All-Freshman team selection her first year with Virginia in 2016, she was sidelined by an injury sustained against then top-ranked UCLA just six matches into her sophomore campaign. Since returning to action in 2018, she has seen action in 54-of-56 matches. She has also been selected to the ACC Academic Honor Roll.