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Duke women's soccer's Ella Stevens drafted by Chicago Red Stars of NWSL

Ella Stevens will be heading to Chicago.
Ella Stevens will be heading to Chicago.

Despite the disappointing end to its year, the women’s soccer team still has had recent success in terms of post-season accolades.

Former Blue Devil Ella Stevens was selected 24th overall by the Chicago Red Stars this past Thursday in the third round of the 2020 National Women’s Soccer League college draft in Baltimore, Md. 

Stevens, who has dreamed of playing professionally since high school, was joined in Baltimore by her parents and past coaches. She now joins a talented, crowded group of Chicago midfielders, and will be fighting for some of the Red Stars’ first-backup midfield minutes. 

“I’m going to be playing with great midfielders, and they’re gonna make me better,” Stevens told the NWSL. “Hopefully I can make them better a little bit, so we’ll see.” 

Stevens was projected to go in the third round, but with several draft day trades, there was no clarity on where she might end up until her name was finally called. The Red Stars themselves traded away most of the picks they originally held before draft night. But after trading away four of the top five picks—mostly for future picks and allocation money—they kept the 24th pick, which would turn into Stevens. 

Funny enough, though, Stevens hasn’t even been to Chicago before. But she’s “heard really good things.” 

“I went to this school in Durham, which is only six hours away from my home,” Stevens said to The Chronicle. “So, I’ve never really made that jump where I was so far from my parents and family, so that’ll be interesting.” 

Stevens, who graduated last semester, received All-ACC honors three times and is featured among countless Blue Devil women’s soccer records, including ranking sixth in points and third in assists. Her 2017 and 2018 seasons are tied for the seventh-most assists in a season, and she was a member of the 2017 team that set the club win record of 23. 

“Duke was the greatest choice that I’ve made so far,” Stevens told the NWSL. “I think I became just a better person all around—better student, better athlete…. It was the best three-and-a-half years of my life.”

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