March 8, 2013
WACO, Texas - After successful four-year careers with the Baylor soccer program, Hanna Gilmore and Lisa Sliwinski have joined teammate Carlie Davison the list of preseason camp invites in the newly founded National Women's Soccer League.
"Hanna and Lisa have worked really hard for this opportunity to play in the new women's pro league," said Baylor co-head coach Paul Jobson. "We are very happy for them and Carlie Davis, who was invited to Portland a few weeks back."
Both players impressed during their tryouts last week as Gilmore will be in camp with the Chicago Red Stars and Sliwinski with FC Kansas City. Preseason camp begins Monday with each team in the league having a maximum of 32 players participating. Throughout the camp, each team will cut its roster down to around 20 players by the start of the first ever season, which begins on April 13.
A midfielder from Spring, Texas, Gilmore played in all 86 BU matches during her career and finished in the top three in points for the Bears each season. In her career, she had 57 points on 23 goals and 11 assists and was twice named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. She was also a Second Team Academic All-Big 12 selection in 2011.
"Obviously, it's a great honor right now and there are two other teammates going along the same adventure," Gilmore said. "We look at each other and are excited and pumped to have this opportunity. We will give it everything we have and whatever happens, happens.
"It's cool to be a part of [a league] that could be so special. What is really interesting to me is that going into Baylor we believed in something that not a lot of people believed in. This new league is developing and we want to be a part of it. Doing this for something I love is pretty cool."
Also a midfielder, Sliwinski is coming off a fantastic season that saw her rake in Third Team Capital One Academic All-America, Second Team NSCAA All-Central Region and First Team Academic All-District honors. In 74 career matches, the Plano, Texas native tallied 73 points on 30 goals and 13 assists. She ranked in the top three in points and goals in all four years for the Bears. A three-time Academic All-District selection and two-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 choice, Sliwinski led BU in points (19), goals (7) and assists (5) as a sophomore.
"Every little girl says they want to be a pro soccer player," Sliwinski said. "You grow up, you get a realistic view of the world, and those dreams kind of fizzle. It's incredible how this league started up at the perfect time for us. We come off our most successful season we've had as a college team, and I was still in a very competitive mind set through the tryout. This came at a perfect time in my life and I'm very excited.
"We are more than teammates; Hanna, Carlie and I are really good friends. It's a blessing to share this with them. It's a time in your life when you don't know where dust will settle. It's great to have people to share your fears and excitement with."
The NWSL is an eight-team league organized and administered by the U.S. Soccer Federation. U.S. Soccer is subsidizing the salaries of the 23 American players, while the Canadian Soccer Association and the Federation of Mexican Football will each do the same for 16 players. The eight founding clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC (New York/New Jersey), the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash.
Baylor returns 22 letterwinners from a 2012 squad that was 19-1-5, while winning the Big 12 Tournament title and ending the season with a trip to NCAA Sweet 16. For updates on the Baylor soccer team follow @BaylorFutbol on Twitter.