It was no surprise when the Chicago Red Stars snatched up Julie Johnston ’14 with the third pick in the National Women’s Soccer League draft in January. An ever-rising star at Santa Clara, Johnston ended her first season as the West Coast Conference’s Freshman of the Year and her final season as WCC Player of the Year. Along the way, she racked up three first-time All-American honors, captained the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team to World Cup victory, and led Santa Clara to its first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 2009. And it wasn’t just hardcore soccer fans who noticed her talent on the pitch: In 2013, Glamour magazine named her to its annual list of Top 10 College Women.
As a Bronco, Johnston notched an assist in her first-ever regular season appearance. As a pro, she did one better, knocking a corner kick into the back of the net to seal Chicago’s season-opening 1-0 win. Since day one, she’s been a starter, missing games only due to training camps with the U.S. National Team.
Her Santa Clara teammate Morgan Marlborough ’13, the WCC’s second leading scorer last year, was also drafted this year, the 12th overall pick by her hometown team, FC Kansas City. Only the University of North Carolina, a perennial soccer power, had two players selected so high. The two women join several former Broncos in the fledgling league, including Bianca Henninger ’12, Meleana Shim ’13, and Jordan Angeli ’08.