The Houston Dash added to their roster with three selections in the 2023 NWSL Draft. Houston originally had the 8th overall pick but sent that pick to the North Carolina Courage in a trade that sent forward Diana Ordonez to the Dash.
Houston did end up making three picks on the night, the first of them in the second round, 20th overall. Midfielder Sophie Hirst from Harvard was the pick at 20. Hirst, who is from Seattle, spent 5 years at Harvard and was All-Ivy First Team and Academic All-Ivy in her senior season. Hirst played on US Youth National Teams at the U15-U18 levels.
19 - HOU - Sophie Hirst - MF (DMC) - Harvard— Chris Henderson (@chris_awk) January 13, 2023
Value - A-
Fit - A-
Love this pick. Hirst was one of the best DMCs in this class and has a lot of upside given she's a year behind from Ivy League not playing in 2020. Dash need center mids, so this was smart.
The 22nd overall pick was also the Dash’s and they took defender Jyllissa Harris from South Carolina, Harris, who was teammates with Ryan Gareis with the Gamecocks, is a New Jersey native and was a stalwart on defense for South Carolina. Harris could slot in immediately at centerback this season as a starter.
21 - HOU - Jyllissa Harris - D (CB) - South Carolina— Chris Henderson (@chris_awk) January 13, 2023
Value - A+
Fit - A+
Maybe one of the best picks of the draft at this point. Harris had a late first round grade on my board and could immediately battle for starting minutes.
The final pick of the evening for Houston was the 36th pick after the Dash acquired the 30th pick in the Ordonez deal and then traded back twice, picking up allocation money. Defender Lindsi Jennings from LSU was the pick for the Dash at 36. Jennings, a Conroe native, is another centerback who will compete for minutes in her rookie season.
36 - HOU - Lindsi Jennings - D (CB, RB) - LSU— Chris Henderson (@chris_awk) January 13, 2023
Value - A-
A nice projection pick if Jennings can translate her great 2022 into long-term production. One of the best passing CBs in the draft, could've gone higher with more dominant Power 5 seasons.
Update: Make that 4 players selected by the Dash in the 2023 Draft. Houston traded back in to the last pick of the draft and took UCLA defender Madelyn Desiano. Desiano was a starter for the Bruins’ NCAA Championship winning team this past season. She played in all 25 games for UCLA this season and played all 110 minutes of the NCAA Championship game. Desiano can cover at both fullback spots, which will be very useful when Allysha Chapman is with Canada at this summer’s World Cup.
48 - HOU - Madelyn Desiano - D (RB, LB) - UCLA— Chris Henderson (@chris_awk) January 13, 2023
Value - A
Great last pick. Can play either full-back spot and was very productive last two seasons after injury hit early career.