Cary, NC (April 10, 2017)- The North Carolina Courage have added two 2017 NWSL College Draft picks to their inaugural season roster, the club announced today. Ashley Hatch and Darian Jenkins, each first-round draft selections, are on the club’s roster ahead of the 2017 season. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"I am very happy to have two hard working, humble players who have embraced our team culture,” said NC Courage Head Coach Paul Riley. “They are destined for long successful careers in the NWSL, and our staff looks forward to developing all facets of their game."
Hatch played collegiately at Brigham Young University and was selected second overall in the 2017 NWSL Draft by the NC Courage. The forward has scored 47 goals and recorded 21 assists for the Cougars in her four years on the team, earning her All-WCC First Team honors. Her senior year, Hatch was the first player in the nation to score 10 and 15 goals in the 2016 NCAA Season. She was a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy Award and scored two hat tricks in 2016. The Gilbert, Arizona native was also invited to the U.S. Women’s National Team Soccer camp on October 15, 2016. She is currently in the U-23 USWNT pool.
"Ashley has the physical tools to play in the NWSL, and now it's about developing the finer details,” said Riley. “She is eager to learn, her work ethic is fantastic, and our playing style suits her strengths. I’m excited to work with her, and I think being around Jess [McDonald] and Lynn [Williams] will be massive in the learning curve. She has many similarities to the Lynn Williams of two years ago, and we are confident Ashley can develop on the same path and be a proven goal scorer in the NWSL."
Jenkins, the seventh overall draft pick, is a forward from Riverton, Utah and was a standout striker at the University of California - Los Angeles. She totaled 29 goals in four seasons and earned Second Team NSCAA All-Pacific Region honors. Jenkins was selected to the U-20 National Team’s final camp prior to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and started for the U.S. U-18 National Team at the 2014 10 Nations Tournament. She also represented the U.S. National Team in the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Championship to qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. She will be listed on the 45-Day Disabled List at the start of the 2017 season due to an injury.
"Darian is an exceptional talent with pace, skill and ability to break down defenses,” said Riley. “Right now she is in full recovery mode, and we look forward to having her healthy and firing on all cylinders. She will be a huge attacking addition and will add even more potency to our attack.”
The North Carolina Courage kick off their inaugural season on the road on April 15 as they visit the Washington Spirit. The first-ever home opener against Tobin Heath and the Portland Thorns is Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. Season tickets and individual tickets are on sale now and fans can visit NCFCTix.com or call our box office at 919-459-8144 for ticket details.
About North Carolina Courage
The North Carolina Courage is a professional women’s soccer team that plays in the NWSL (Women’s First Division). NC Courage, the reigning NWSL champion, plays their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. For more information, please visit www.NCCourage.com or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.