2018 NWSL College Draft Review: Boston Breakers

The Breakers had four draft selections to help bolster a team that finished ninth out of ten in the 2017 NWSL season.

2018 NWSL College Draft Review: Boston Breakers
The Breakers are hoping that their four selections at the 2018 NWSL College Draft will help them reach the playoffs for the first time in their NWSL history. | @BostonBreakers

After having four picks in the first round of the 2017 NWSL College Draft, the Boston Breakers had a pedestrian four total selections in the 2018 draft. The Breakers are hoping that their new additions will push them into playoff contention for the first time in their NWSL history - they are the only one of the original eight teams that has not made the playoffs. Head coach Matt Beard is hoping to turn around the franchise with these four new players.

Savannah McCaskill, University of South Carolina

With the second-overall selection in the 2018 NWSL College Draft, the Boston Breakers selected University of South Carolina forward Savannah McCaskill. While Andi Sullivan was the clear favorite to go first-overall, the Breakers had to choose between Canadian midfielder Rebecca Quinn and McCaskill, and they opted to go with the forward. McCaskill is an excellent fit for a team that lacked offensive firepower and already has excellent midfield distribution with 2017 first-overall pick, Rose Lavelle. McCaskill was a 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy finalist and an NCAA All-American First Team selection in 2017 and 2016, and she helped the Gamecocks reach the 2017 NCAA College Cup. As a senior, McCaskill scored eight goals and added nine assists, both of which were a step down from her unbelievable 17 goals and 11 assists as a junior. The Breakers certainly see McCaskill as the offensive weapon that they have long been missing, despite Adriana Leon's resurgence during the 2017 season. 

The Breakers made Savannah McCaskill, shown here fighting off Duke's Schuyler DeBree, the second selection in the 2018 NWSL College Draft. | Photo: Andy Mead - YCJ/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images
The Breakers made Savannah McCaskill, shown here fighting off Duke's Schuyler DeBree, the second-overall selection in the 2018 NWSL College Draft. | Photo: Andy Mead - YCJ/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images

Elizabeth Wenger, Georgetown University

The Breakers looked to shore up their defense by picking Georgetown defender Elizabeth Wenger with the 17th pick in the draft. Wenger started every game from her sophomore through senior season for the Hoyas, so the Breakers know that fitness won't be an issue for the star defender. They are hoping that she can become an anchor in the middle of the defensive line, but the Breakers have relatively stiff competition on defense. The second-team All-American will have to earn her minutes on the field, but the Breakers expect that she will rise to the occasion. 

Ashton Miller, Duke University

The Breakers used the second pick in the third round, 22nd overall, on Duke University midfielder/forward Ashton Miller. Miller played 1662 minutes in her senior season, and finished near the top of the record books with 60 goals and 51 assists, both top-10 in Duke history, during her four years at the university. She projects to start the season as a substitute when the Breakers need extra offensive firepower, but she will challenge for a spot in an attacking midfielder role. 

Joanna Boyles, University of North Carolina

The Breakers took a chance with their last selection in the draft, 32nd overall, by selecting midfielder Joanna Boyles out of the University of North Carolina. Boyles suffered an ACL tear in 2015, but she came back for the 2017 season scoring six goals and adding five assists on the season. UNC has a long history of turning out excellent women's soccer prospects, so Boyles will likely be a capable member of the Breakers right from the start. Boyles had been called up to the U-20 US Women's National Team before her injury, so the Breakers are counting on her regaining international-quality form.