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Reilyn Turner, Ally Lemos of UCLA women’s soccer selected during NWSL Draft

Forward Reilyn Turner heads the ball in off a corner kick from Ally Lemos with 16 seconds left to tie the 2022 national championship, which the Bruins went on to win. Turner and Lemos were selected sixth and ninth overall respectively in the NWSL Draft. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Isabelle Friedman

Jan. 13, 2024 12:04 p.m.

The NWSL has claimed two Bruins to the national ranks.

Racing Louisville FC selected forward Reilyn Turner with the No. 6 overall pick Friday at the NWSL Draft, making her the first UCLA women’s soccer player to compete for the professional team. Midfielder Ally Lemos received the No. 9 overall pick by Orlando Pride after just two seasons in Westwood, joining former Bruin Viviana Villacorta on the roster.

Turner registered for the NWSL draft following four years with the Bruins in which she earned a host of conference and national accolades, including Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, UCLA’s first Pac-12 Forward of the Year and Most Outstanding Offensive Player at the 2022 College Cup.

The forward finished her time at UCLA with 42 goals and 15 assists after leading the Bruins in scoring during the 2023 season. Turner scored the game-tying header with 16 seconds remaining in the 2022 national championship game, setting up the Bruins to take home the title.

Lemos started every game during her two years at UCLA and led the squad in minutes played in 2023. Her corner kick to Turner to tie the 2022 NCAA championship game earned her an ESPY nomination for Best Play. She also played for the U-20 U.S. National Team at the 2023 Concacaf Championships.

Turner and Lemos join the ranks of several professional Bruins in the NWSL – including goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy and defender Madelyn Desiano, who were drafted last year.

Two UCLA players who were registered for the draft did not hear their names called Friday night: forward Ally Cook and defender Emily Pringle.

(Daily Bruin file photo)
Forward Ally Cook guides the ball past opponents. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Cook transferred to Westwood as a graduate student after three years with Oregon, where she finished ranked seventh in career goals. The Southern California local scored 14 goals for the Bruins, ranking second on the team in the 2023 season, and earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors in September.

Pringle competed for Pennsylvania in the Ivy League for four seasons, serving two years as team captain, before transferring to UCLA for her final year of eligibility. She saw action in 14 games with the Bruins and contributed to 10 shutouts.

Former UCLA forward Ashley Sanchez, who competed for the squad from 2017-2019, was also traded Friday night to the North Carolina Courage in exchange for their first-round draft pick.

Prior to the 2024 draft, UCLA had the most NWSL picks of any university with 22 players throughout the program’s history, as well as a share of the NWSL record for most players selected from one school in an individual draft. However, North Carolina overtook UCLA on both fronts with eight Tar Heels resigned for the 2024 NWSL draft and six ultimately pulled to the pros.

NWSL and Bruin fans alike can expect to see the former Westwood standouts back in action when the NWSL season kicks off in March.

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Isabelle Friedman | Editor in chief
Friedman is the 2023-2024 editor in chief. She was previously the Copy chief and a slot editor and has also contributed to Sports on the women's golf, women's soccer and gymnastics beats. Friedman is a fourth-year public affairs student.
Friedman is the 2023-2024 editor in chief. She was previously the Copy chief and a slot editor and has also contributed to Sports on the women's golf, women's soccer and gymnastics beats. Friedman is a fourth-year public affairs student.
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