Two of the most iconic players in WVU women’s soccer history now rank among the top 30 professionals in the sport, according to ESPN.
The “Worldwide Leader in Sports” published its list of the world’s top 50 female footballers Monday morning. Former Mountaineers Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence each appear on that list.
Buchanan, who recently signed a transfer deal with Chelsea, checks in at No. 26 in this ranking after winning Olympic gold with Canada and another Champions League trophy with Lyon in the span of the last year. In fact, Buchanan has lifted the trophy in Europe’s top women’s soccer competition an astounding five times in her pro career. She ranked No. 33 in the 2021 version of ESPN’s list.
The defender won the Hermann Trophy, given annually to the most outstanding player in college soccer, in her final season at WVU, while simultaneously guiding Nikki Izzo-Brown’s program to its first appearance in the College Cup final.
Lawrence debuted in ESPN’s list right behind her former WVU teammate at No. 28. She wasn’t ranked in last year’s list, but has added a ton to her resume in the time since.
Like Buchanan, Lawrence also won a gold medal in Tokyo. The 27-year-old also helped Paris Saint-Germain win the French Cup during the 2021-22 season, her second such triumph with the club. PSG also edged Buchanan’s Lyon for the French league title in 2020-21.
It’s possible ESPN’s ranking undervalues Lawrence, though. The fullback finished in the top 10 in voting for the women’s Ballon d’Or, an award which has recognized the best female player in the world since 2018.
Lawrence also played a critical role in West Virginia’s run to the College Cup in 2016.