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Record Five Penn State Women’s Soccer Players Selected In 2024 NWSL Draft

Five Penn State women’s soccer alumna were drafted to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Friday night in Anaheim, California, marking a program record of selections.

Kate Wiesner, Payton Linnehan, Ellie Wheeler, Cori Dyke, and Katherine Asman were drafted to four NWSL teams.

The five Penn State soccer stars selected beat a previous single-draft program record of three from 2016, when Rodriguez, Mallory Weber, and Britt Eckerstrom were drafted, and Erica Dambach boasts 22 program draft selections since the inaugural NWSL Draft in 2013.

“Draft night is such a special time for everyone in our program, especially those who reaped the benefits of all their hard work in Anaheim tonight,” Dambach said Friday. “I am incredibly proud of Kat, Cori, Payton, Ellie and Kate, and I fully believe that each of them will bring something special to the NWSL. When these young women first picked up a soccer ball when they were little and hit the field for the first time, they all dreamed of this night. It was incredibly special for me personally, as well as our entire staff, to be with them as their dreams came true.”

Wiesner, the No. 7 pick of the first round, was selected by the Washington Spirit, where she’ll join Class of 2018 Nittany Lion Marissa Sheva. The Spirit landed in eighth place in 2023 NWSL standings but features a deep roster of stars like Trinity Rodman and Ashley Hatch. Wiesner has the opportunity to compete for time right away following the departure of defender Sam Staab from Washington. Staab, a left-footed defender, was traded to Chicago in exchange for the No. 3 overall pick.

Linnehan was drafted with the No. 11 overall pick in the first round by the Portland Thorns. The blue-and-white forward will fall right into place with the team’s high-octane offense led by Sophia Smith and Morgan Weaver and facilitated by midfield Nittany Lion alumnae Rocky Rodriguez and Sam Coffey.

Wheeler was the third Penn Stater to hear her name called. The right-back was tapped by the Kansas City Current with the No. 18 pick in the second round. Should Wheeler earn a chance at a starting right-back position, she could play alongside Nittany Lion captain and 2015 National Champion Elizabeth Ball, who plays center-back.

Dyke was the next Nittany Lion off the board with the No. 22 selection by the Orlando Pride. Dyke slid from several top-five selection predictions to the second round but has the potential to serve as a high-impact player. More than half of Orlando’s midfield reserves play for their respective international teams, leaving Dyke ample opportunity to shine when international players report to camp for the Olympics throughout the summer. She’ll reconnect with teammate Kerry Abello in the Sunshine State, and the duo has already begun roommate discussions.

To complete the Penn State sweep, Asman was the final Nittany Lion selected with the No. 39 pick by the Thorns. The goalkeeper established the dominance of the Penn State-to-Portland pipeline, joining draftee Linnehan and Rodriguez and Coffey. Asman will have the chance to develop alongside storied goalkeepers Bella Bixby, Shelby Hogan, and Michigan State alumna Lauren Kozal.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a junior journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is Onward State's managing editor. She also talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese and Kevin Jonas. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @keeleylammm or send your best joke to her email [email protected].

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