Friday, January 17, 2020
Former Spokane Shadow youth player Kelcie Hedge was drafted Thursday by Seattle Reign FC of the National Women's Soccer League, concluding the First Round as the ninth overall selection.
The selection for the Post Falls, Idaho native comes following an outstanding collegiate career at Santa Clara University that concluded this fall with All-West Region Second Team and All-WCC Second Team honors as the Broncos advanced to the NCAA tournament.
The Shadow was a great stepping stone in my development as a player, and I am very thankful to the club for supporting my goals and dreams," said Hedge, who spent her formative years with the club as a U12-U16 player. "Kevin Moon was my first Shadow coach. He believed in me, and he has been my mentor ever since. I wouldn’t be the player I am without Spokane Shadow and Kevin!"
Hedge was a consistent award winner at Santa Clara. As a junior in 2018, Hedge was the WCC Player of the Year, a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, First Team All-America, First Team All-West Region and First Team All-WCC. She was also named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team at Washington in 2015. In addition, she was also honored by Inland NW Soccer News as a weekly Best XI selection on five occasions over the past three years, earning Player of the Week once in 2018.
She finished her career with 13 goals and 16 assists while starting all 64 games with the Broncos over the past three years. Hedge also tallied four goals and three assists in 21 games played at Washington as a freshman in 2015 before sitting out the 2016 campaign due to representing th US at the U20 World Cup. Santa Clara went 47-16-5 overall and 22-3-2 in the West Coast Conference during her career, reaching the NCAA Third Round in 2017 and 2019 and Second Round in 2018.
"I am sure the Spokane Soccer community is as excited as I am for Kelcie! She has worked very hard for a long time to make her dream a reality," said Moon. "She made a lot of sacrifices over the years to prepare for this moment and it is fantastic to see all of it paid off.
"To have a local player playing in the NWSL is amazing, but to have her playing in Seattle is going to allow little girls with similar dreams to see her play live. That is priceless!"
Following her selection in the draft NWSL broadcast analysts praised her play and what she brings to the Reign.
"I like that she can play multiple positions," said reporter Jen Cooper. "She was West Coast Conference Player of the Year as a junior as an attacking role and moved more into a provider role this past season so she can bring different pieces to the Reign."
She's also a box-to-box midfielder [that] you don't see a ton these days," added 11-year professional and former USWNT player Lori Lindsey. "She's willing to put in the work both sides. It's the movement off the ball that [Santa Clara coach Jerry Smith] says that sets her apart. She's one that could go under the radar, be a really consistent player and fit in with this team seamlessly."