CINCINNATI – Today is the fulfillment of a dream for Rose Lavelle.
The former University of Wisconsin soccer standout and 2013 Mount Notre Dame graduate was selected first in today’s National Women’s Soccer League Draft in Los Angeles by the Boston Breakers.
“Being the No. 1 pick is mind-boggling,” said former Mount Notre Dame coach Doug Conway. “It’s a rarity.”
Lavelle, who is from Kenwood, was in Los Angeles for the draft with family and friends for the draft.
"What an amazing accomplishment for Rose," said Bobby Puppione, Cincinnati United Premier Girls Director of Coaching. "She absolutely deserves this because she has put the work in throughout her years as a youth player at CUP, national team player, and student athlete at Wisconsin. We can't wait to watch her continue to excel as she takes on the NWSL and international soccer."
Lavelle thanked everyone who supported her.
"Everybody back in Cincinnati -- my club, my high school -- they've all supported me throughout my soccer career," Lavelle said after being drafted.
NWSL draft broadcaster Aly Wagner praised the decision during live coverage of the event.
"I think she's the best player in the draft. I think she's a difference-maker for Boston," Wagner said of Lavelle.
Lavelle will likely report to Boston in March, said Wisconsin coach Paula Wilkins.
"As a coach anytime you get a player drafted No. 1 you are definitely excited for them," Wilkins said. "We're very proud."
On Friday, Lavelle, a 5-foot-4 midfielder, will be in Carson, Calif., as she starts to train with the U.S. soccer team at its training camp. Lavelle is one of 29 players, including 11 midfielders, called up by head coach Jill Ellis.
Lavelle, one of Cincinnati's top soccer stars the past decade, helped to change the Wisconsin program. She led the Badgers to two Big Ten titles during her career. She was named the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Lavelle became the program’s first three-time All-American. She recorded a team-leading 16 points, six goals, 74 shots, 31 shots on goal and two game-winning goals in her senior season. She also ranked second on the team with four assists.
Lavelle garnered many other awards this season including being named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List and as the No. 1 preseason player of the year by TopDrawerSoccer.
Lavelle was a four-year varsity starter for MND and became the Cougars’ all-time leading goal scorer (57 goals). She had 28 career assists. Her 18 goals her junior year set a single-season school record.
“It’s really neat,” Mount Notre Dame athletic director Mark Schenkel said. “She is so humble about (the success).”
Puppione, who has known Lavelle since 2009, said the former MND standout is an intelligent player who can create opportunities on the pitch. She is also a tireless worker.
“She is a skillful player,” Puppione said. “She is dynamic with the ball with her feet."
Conway said he saw Lavelle’s work ethic from an early age.
“You never saw her without a ball at her feet,” Conway said. “She was always working on her skill level.”
Lavelle has always used her quickness to her advantage. She was never hesitant to show up early for practice.
“For her to play at a professional level is a remarkable accomplishment,” Conway said.