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COLLEGE WOMEN’S SOCCER: MSU’s Lauren DeBeau, Lauren Kozal selected in NWSL draft




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EAST LANSING – Two Michigan State seniors were selected recently in the National Women’s Soccer League Draft.

It is the first time in program history that two Spartans were drafted on the same day. Lauren DeBeau was chosen in the second round and Lauren Kozal in the third round.

DeBeau, a graduate of Utica Eisenhower, was drafted eighth in the second round and 24th overall. The senior forward was selected by the Portland Thorns FC. She was a two-year starter after starting for two seasons at Central Michigan University.

Kozal, who is from Ada, Michigan, and attended Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, was selected as the ninth pick in the third round and will be headed to Portland FC as well. Portland traded up to choose Kozal.

Both players have accomplished careers at the high school, club and collegiate level.

DeBeau was named Big Ten Forward of the Year and All-America Second Team in 2022. She racked up five game-winning goals – tops in the Big Ten Conference -- with 11 goals, four assists and 26 total points.

DeBeau was a scoring machine at Eisenhower, where she scored 63 goals with 41 assists in her career and earned multiple Division 1 All-State honors.

Kozal, a standout goalkeeper, was a two-time All-America by the United Soccer Coaches – just the Spartans’ second two-time All-America honoree. As a senior, the four-year starter recorded a single-season school record 17 wins, captured the Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year award for the second consecutive season. Between the pipes, Kozal notched five clean sheets, allowed 15 goals for an 0.80 goals against average, posted a .808 save percentage after recording 63 saves in 78 chances.

In high school, Kozal backstopped her Midwest United club team to a pair of MYSL state cup titles. On the prep scene, Kozal led Forest Hills Northern to multiple championships at the conference OK Conference White Division), district and regional crowns, and finished as a two-time state runner-up in the MHSAA Division 2 tournaments as a junior and senior. She was named All-State Honorable Mention as a senior.

In 2022, Michigan State enjoyed one of its most successful seasons to date on the pitch. The Spartans finished 17-3-3 overall, including 9-0-1 in the Big Ten regular season to earn the crown for the first time in the 36-year history of the program. The Spartans also reached the Big Ten Tournament finals before falling to Penn State (2-1) in the championship match.

In the NCAA Division I College Cup, Michigan State finished 1-1. The Spartans toppled Milwaukee (3-2, 2OT) in the Round of 32 before succumbing to Texas Christian University (1-0) in the second round.

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