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Utah Royals FC Select Three Players In 2019 NWSL College Draft

Utah Royals FC forward Katie Stengel (24), right, hugs defender Becca Moros (3) after Stengel scored, putting the Royals up 2-1 over the Chicago Red Stars, during a match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – The Utah Royals FC selected three players in the 2019 NWSL College Draft, making selections in the third and fifth round.

They selected Michelle Maemone with the fifth pick in the third round, defender Madeline Nolf’s name was called with the ninth pick in the third round and Alexandria Kimball was picked in the fourth round with the fifth pick.

All three players will join the club before the preseason begins in March.

“Having such low picks that we had in this year’s draft, we went deeper in our scouting process than we would’ve with higher picks,” Utah Royals FC Head Coach Laura Harvey said. “We identified each of the three picks as players we wanted to select with those picks. We’re happy that we were able to get the players we wanted. Now we’re just looking forward to getting back onto the field with the all players. We have competition at every position and right now and that’s a good problem to have.”

Michelle Maemone

She was selected in the third round with the fifth pick from Pepperdine University. Maemone started her college career in 2015, playing in 78 matches with 69 starts. The San Jose, California native scored three goals and had four assists. During her senior season in 2018, she helped the Waves’ defense lead the West Coast Conference with 0.82 goals-against average in her 19 starts during the season.

Maemone can play three different positions on defense, midfield and forward.

“The first thing I thought was obviously excitement, but I was also extremely humbled by this opportunity and the fact there are coaches out there who believe in me and who are willing to take a chance on me,” Maemone explained. “I am so excited to come in and play wherever they want me to play. I just got off the phone with Coach Harvey and said she can always count on me giving 100 percent, no matter the day. My coaches kept encouraging me in this process and this is just another reminder that there are people out there who believe in me. I am so excited for this journey and I cannot wait to get there and get after it with my new teammates.”

Madeline Nolf

Nolf was selected with the ninth pick in the fourth round from Penn State University. She spent five seasons with the Nittany Lions, including a redshirt year in 2016. She started all six matches for the United States U-20 Women’s National Team at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2016. Her senior season, the Nittany Lions defense recorded 14 shutouts and allowed 13 goals in 25 starts on the backline. The Omaha, Nebraska native started 77 games in her collegiate career.

“I feel really blessed and I am so grateful to be picked by Utah,” Nolf said. “I just want the opportunity to train with the best and learn from the coaching staff, especially in Utah.”


Alexandria Kimball

Kimball will be returning to Salt Lake City and the North Carolina Tar Heel was selected by the Royals with the fifth pick in the fourth round. She appeared in 92 matches, including 13 starts in her college career. Kimball totaled 994 minutes on the field in a North Carolina uniform. She has previously spent time training with the Portland Thorns of the NWSL in the summer of 2013 and Utah Royals FC last season.

“I was born in Salt Lake City and my whole family is there, but I actually grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where I went to school,” Kimball explained. “Getting back to Utah with the opportunity to play in front of my family, has always been a dream of mine. Especially now with Utah Royals FC being a part of the NWSL. I am just excited to get to work, improve my game, and hopefully be a piece for Laura [Harvey] to use this season coming up.”


Utah Royals FC will enter their second season after finishing their inaugural campaign with a fifth place finish in the league. They were two points away from a playoff berth.