Portland Thorns FC have signed two of their 2023 NWSL Draft picks.
Forward Izzy D’Aquila signed a three-year contract with an option for 2026, while goalkeeper Lauren Kozal signed a one-year contract with an option for the 2024 season.
“We were very happy with how our 2023 NWSL Draft played out, and we are thrilled to sign Izzy and Lauren ahead of this upcoming season,” said Thorns FC general manager Karina LeBlanc. “We have a deep and talented team, and the addition of these two players strengthens this group heading into a World Cup year, while also helping to build toward the future.”
D’Aquila, 21, was selected by Thorns FC in the first round of the 2023 NWSL Draft (No. 12th overall) out of Santa Clara University. A national champion in 2020, D’Aquila concluded her collegiate career with 50 goals and 16 assists in 78 games played for the Broncos. As a senior, D’Aquila finished with 19 goals – the second most in the country. She wrapped up a decorated career with second team All-America honors, first team All-Region recognition and first team All-WCC honors for a third consecutive season.
“Izzy has come in with a quiet confidence about herself and her abilities,” said Thorns FC head coach Mike Norris “She is committed to doing the work, and it is clear to see that she has an eye for the goal as well as natural finishing abilities. She is an exciting player, one that we look forward to pushing and challenging more and seeing what impact she will have on and off the field.”
Kozal, 22, was drafted by Portland in the third round of the 2023 NWSL Draft (32nd overall) out of Michigan State University. Kozal was the Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year and an All-American pick in each of her final two seasons at Michigan State. She finished her career with a 0.78 save percentage, 227 saves and 1.10 goal-against average in 70 appearances. As a senior, Kozal registered 10 shutouts with a 0.68 goals-against average, posting a record of 17-3-3.
“Lauren has a very high ceiling and I’m excited to see the progress she will make here in Portland,” said Thorns FC goalkeeper coach Nadine Angerer. “She’s athletic and smart, but what has impressed me most is how quickly she has learned and her ability to pick up new things. Most importantly, she is an amazing human being who is willing to grow and support Bella [Bixby] and Shelby [Hogan] at the same time.”
Thorns FC will open the 2023 season at Providence Park against the Orlando Pride on Sunday, March 26; kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (Pacific) with a local television broadcast on FOX 12 PLUS and streaming available on Paramount+.