While Duke is in the offseason, several former Blue Devils have been competing in the NWSL. The Blue Zone takes a look at some alumni who have made a big impact at the professional level:
Tess Boade, North Carolina Courage
After injuring herself in the offseason, Boade made her return to the pitch for the North Carolina Courage June 3. Playing 25 minutes in her first bout of action, the Highlands Ranch, Colo., native contributed two shots in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Current. Boade made waves with her following performance June 10, when she earned her first start of the 2023 campaign. Making the most of her 64 minutes on the field, the former Duke midfielder notched an assist in the Courage’s 5-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars. If her rookie season last year is any indication, Boade has a bright career ahead of her. Starting four games, the Blue Devil standout tallied two goals and one assist. With age comes experience, and Boade’s second year in the NWSL could set the stage for a long and successful professional career.
Quinn, OL Reign
With two starts under their belt thus far in 2023, Quinn had their first goal in a May 27 matchup against Angel City FC. In just 13 minutes on the pitch, the Toronto native scored a goal in a 4-1 victory for OL Reign. They have experienced ups and downs in terms of playing time, but Quinn continues to make their impact felt with a 79.3% pass success rate, a crucial skill for a midfielder. While this season is just taking off for them, Quinn’s long and illustrious career indicates their potential. A gold medalist in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, they played 18 games in the NWSL last year and started 15, controlling the midfield with precision for the Reign. As the 2023 campaign progresses, Quinn’s impact could prove vital as their team looks to advance in the standings, where they currently sit in the fourth spot.
Lily Nabet, Angel City FC
With two starts under her belt in her second season in the NWSL, Nabet is continuing to develop as a pro. In recent games, the Los Angeles native has seen a sharp increase in playing time, earning 76 and 61 minutes in the last two matches, respectively. While she has yet to make a real impact, Nabet’s Blue Devil career promises big things to come. Starting 55 games of the 86 she played in, the midfielder accumulated two goals and six assists in her five-year career at Duke. With her speed and skill in the middle of the pitch that was evident during her college career, Nabet could be a real asset for Angel City FC. While the team is currently second to last in the league, a young talent like Nabet could infuse some much needed energy into a struggling Angel City team.
Michelle Cooper, Kansas City Current
While she is seeing a reduction in playing time due to the return of veteran striker Kristen Hamilton, Cooper is still getting quality minutes for the Current. With seven starts in 11 games, the Clarkston, Mich., native has one goal to her name from a Challenge Cup matchup against Racing Louisville FC. In her last three games, Cooper has played 45 minutes each, using her speed and nose for the goal up top to help Kansas City salvage its season as the team currently sits in last place. The 2022 MAC Hermann Trophy winner is still in the early stages of her career, and her time as a Blue Devil demonstrated her true potential at the professional level. With 39 starts in 40 games played in a Duke uniform, Cooper garnered 31 total goals and 19 as a sophomore, making a name for herself as a lethal striker with the potential to devastate defenses. Her nods as a first team All-American and ACC Offensive Player of the Year in 2022 only hint at the way victory follows everywhere she goes. Cooper is still young, but expect to see her grow on the professional career as she ages into a veteran.
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Mackenzie Sheehy is a Trinity sophomore and Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.