Two members of the Virginia women’s soccer team were inducted into the draft of the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League on Wednesday night. Senior midfielder Taryn Torres was inducted into the third round when she was selected by Sky Blue FC with the 23rd overall win. Senior striker Alissa Gorzak was selected in the fourth round by the Chicago Red Stars with the 35th overall win.
Since the NWSL draft began nine years ago, 18 players have been drafted into the Virginia league, including at least one player a year. Notable favorites include current U.S. women’s team players Morgan Brian and Emily Sonnett, as well as 2020 graduates Courtney Petersen, Phoebe McClernon and Zoe Morse, each selected in last year’s draft.
Torres of Frisco, Texas, joins Sky Blue FC after four successful seasons in Virginia. The midfielder started 60 of 67 games as a cavalier and was three-time All-ACC selection. Torres saw success on the pitch early in her college career when she was selected as the third team by United Soccer Coaches All-Region and the third team by All-ACC and All-Freshman in her first season with Virginia.
Torres, who was named to the U20 USWNT at the 2018 FIFA U-20 World Cup, missed the season opener in her sophomore year but started 19 games and scored two goals with six assists in the 2018-2019 season. In total, Torres scored 11 goals and 10 assists as Cavalier and led Virginia to victory with three winning goals and four assists. Off the field of play, Torres has also been inducted into the ACC Academic Honor Roll and the All-ACC Academic Team.
In her five seasons as a cavalier, the Redshirt senior Gorzak has played in 82 games and scored five goals and 13 assists. Gorzak was named the third team all ACC selection and the ACC all freshman team selection in 2016, but only injured herself six games in her sophomore year and was sidelined for the remainder of the season. Upon his return in 2018, the striker played 772 minutes in all 22 games and had eight points a year – two goals and four assists. Since her return in 2018, Gorzak has played in 54 of the team’s 56 games, accumulating five points, one goal and three assists in 2019, and was inducted into the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
Both Sky Blue FC and the Chicago Red Stars added five players to their roster on Wednesday night. In particular, Torres joins the third pick of Brianna Pinto, a North Carolina midfielder breakout star and the young US soccer player of the year 2019. With the seventh overall win, the Chicago Red Stars picked Stanford’s Madison Haley to take on Gorzak Attack front will join.
Torres and Gorzak will report to their respective team camps on February 1st to begin pre-season training in preparation for the 2021 Challenge Cup. The tournament is scheduled to begin in mid-April and will take place at multiple bubble locations. The regular season begins in mid-May and each of the league’s 10 teams will play 24 games before the scheduled Tokyo Olympics start in July 2021.