Breakers Select 6 at NWSL Draft

The Boston Breakers welcomed six new faces to the club following Friday’s NWSL draft in Philadelphia.

Michigan forward Nkem Ezurike (8th overall) headlined the Breakers draft class after she was taken in the first round, while Duke defender Natasha Anasi (13th overall) followed in the second round.Virginia Tech forward Jazmine Reeves (21st overall) and Duke forward Molly Pathman (23rd overall) were selected in the third round, while Villanova goalkeeper Jami Kranich (32nd overall) and Duke forward/midfielder Kim DeCesare (34th overall) had their names called in the fourth round.

“We accomplished what we set out to do,” Breakers Head Coach Tom Durkin said in a club release on Friday. “We were looking for some options up front for breakaway speed with the loss of Sydney Leroux, and we were looking for a left-sided player at midfield to add more balance to our team. And we were looking for cover at center back. I think we’ve got some very good, young talented players coming in. Next stop, preseason.”

Ezurike, a 5-11 forward from Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, is Michigan’s all-time leader in goals (49) and points (118). A semifinalist for the 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy, Ezurike is a three-time NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region (2013 – first team; 2012 – second team; 2010 – third team) selection. Internationally, Ezurike has played for the Canadian U-20 (2012) and U-17 National Teams (2007-08). She played in the 2008 U-17 Women’s World Cup.

Anasi, a 5-6 defender from Arlington, Texas, played 97 games at Duke (7,873 minutes) and tallied four goals and six assists over the course of her four-year career with Duke. Anasi was the first of three Blue Devils selected by the Breakers in Friday’s draft.

Reeves, who hails from Dover, Delaware, is coming off a season that yielded NSCAA All-American honors. She finished her career at Virginia Tech with 25 goals and 19 assists and helped lead the Hokies to the NCAA national semifinals this past fall.

Pathman, a 5-4 forward form Durham, N.C., scored 17 goals and 29 assists in 87 career games with Duke. She was a member of the U.S. team that won the U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Japan in 2012. She also played for the U.S. in the 2010 U-20 Women’s World Cup, alongside current Breaker Kristie Mewis

Kranich was Pathman’s teammate on the 2012 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team. At Villanova, the Hamden, Conn., native finished with a career 12 shutouts and a 1.59 goals against average. She was a 2012 Third Team All-BIG EAST selection.

DeCesare, a native of Massapequa, N.Y., captained the Blue Devils in 2013, and scored 29 goals with 15 assists in her Duke career.

The Breakers will open the 2014 season in April, with the league expected to finalize the schedule in the coming weeks. The club will play its home matches at Harvard Stadium.

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About Brian O'Connell

Brian O'Connell serves as editor and staff writer at New England Soccer Today. He's also the Revolution beat writer for ESPNBoston.com, and is Officer at Large for the North American Soccer Reporters. He regularly contributes to The Associated Press, and has been featured on MLSSoccer.com & RevsNet.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianOConnell21 or contact him via e-mail at BOConnell21@aol.com