Three North Carolina women's soccer players had their professional careers began in earnest on Thursday, with senior defender Julia Ashley, senior midfielder Dorian Bailey and redshirt senior midfielder Alex Kimball all getting selected in the 2019 National Women's Soccer League Draft.
Ashley was the first Tar Heel taken, selected 6th overall by Sky Blue FC. Ashley earned a second-team All-ACC nod in her senior season, and is a member of the U.S. U23 National Team. During her last year at UNC, she started at right back in all 25 games, lead the team in assists with 10 and tied for the team lead in points with 20.
Two selections later, Bailey was taken by the Washington Spirit with the draft’s 8th pick. Bailey is also on the U.S. U23 National Team, and was a third-team All-ACC selection this past season. She notched five goals during her final year at UNC, making her tied for third-most on the team.
Rounding things out for UNC was Kimball, who was taken 32nd in the 36-player draft by Utah Royals FC. After sitting out the 2017 season due to injury, Kimball returned in 2018 and was instrumental for the Tar Heels in place of sophomore forward Alessia Russo, who suffered a broken leg on Oct. 25 against Wake Forest. Kimball was also a key cog in the Tar Heels’ NCAA Tournament run. Against Virginia Tech in the third round, she scored the game-winning goal in the 8th minute and assisted on Brianna Pinto’s insurance goal in the 49th minute.