Jaycie Johnson was drafted 27th overall and Caroline Flynn was taken 40th overall in the NWSL Draft at the NSCAA Convention in Los Angeles, Calif., on Thursday. Johnson, who joins the North Carolina Courage, and Flynn, who joins the Portland Thorns FC, become the seventh and eighth Huskers to make an NWSL roster since the inception of the league in 2009.
Johnson, a Lake Winnebago, Mo., native earned third-team NSCAA All-America honors as a senior in 2016 after garnering first-team NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region honors. Johnson, who played a pivotal role in helping the Huskers make the NCAA Tournament, also collected first-team All-Big Ten accolades.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to play soccer on the professional level,” Johnson said. “I’m thrilled to continue my career with the North Carolina Courage, and ready to prove my abilities in the NWSL. I want to thank the coaches and support staff at Nebraska for helping prepare me for this next step.”
Johnson led the Huskers with 11 goals in 2016, and added two assists. She started all 22 games, amassing over 2,000 minutes. Johnson finished her career with 42 goals, tied for sixth-most in program history. She had 17 career game-winning goals (second-most in Husker history) and nine career multiple-goal games (tied for seventh in Husker history).
Flynn, a Lincoln, Neb., native, made the All-Big Ten second team as a senior in 2016 after tallying one goal and one assist. She started 20 games during the season, and amassed nearly 1,900 minutes. Flynn also earned first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors after achieving Academic All-District status for the third consecutive year.
"I am so incredibly humbled and excited for this opportunity to continue playing the game I love at the next level," Flynn said. "This has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid and today I got to see that dream come true. I could not be more proud to have been drafted by the Portland Thorns, and I cannot wait to get to work in the Rose City. Go Thorns!"
A leader in the classroom and on the field, Flynn started all 78 games she played in during her Husker career, scoring 11 goals and adding seven assists. Flynn is a three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, a nine-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll choice and a three-time member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team. She served as the Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President in 2015-16, and won a coveted Nebraska HERO Leadership Award in 2016.
The six previous Huskers to make NWSL rosters are Ari Romero (2013), Jordan Jackson (2013), Carly Peetz (2010), Karina LeBlanc (2009), Christine Latham (2009) and Sharolta Nonen (2009). Eleven former Huskers played in the WUSA, a league which ran from 2000 to 2003.