April 9, 2013
WACO, Texas - Former Baylor midfielder Hanna Gilmore was selected to the final roster for the Chicago Red Stars of the newly founded National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), the team announced on Monday.
"Words can't really describe what exactly I've gone through because it's been a step-by-step process," said Gilmore. "Going through the season last year and playing different roles, then coming here not knowing what is going to happen on a day-to-day, week-by-week basis, not that I've made it by any means, but I am very thankful for everything that has happened. It's very special to be where I'm at."
Gilmore made it through two different cuts as she earned a tryout, advanced to preseason camp and earned a spot on the final 20-person roster. Her contract is for one year and is not guaranteed as Chicago can waive her at any time. She is one of 152 players around the country in the league, which starts on April 13.
"My initial reaction was just being so, so pumped up," Gilmore said. "I couldn't believe it. When I went into the meeting with Coach [Rory] Dames I thought I was going to be cut, honestly. I was thinking, `this is it, I'm ready to hang up my cleats, my career is over and nice knowing you, professional soccer.' But then he told me he was going to offer me a contract. I was so excited."
A native of 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.
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.
"Obviously, there was a huge pool of players that went to a small market of teams to be selected," said Baylor Co-Head Coach Paul Jobson. "Hanna being selected says a lot about her drive to be her best. It shows that her hard work over her career has really paid off. It's really exciting for her to have this opportunity.
"The league gives those players that want to continue their career something to shoot for. For Baylor to have a player in the league says a lot about where our program has come from. Hanna was in our first recruiting class and this shows the hard work that class put in to be showcased on a national level. It shows the type of player we are producing at Baylor and will continue to produce."
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.