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Arizona goalkeeper Lainey Burdett joins Orlando Pride for NWSL preseason

UA’s all-time shutouts leader is getting a shot in the NWSL

Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics

Lainey Burdett is in Orlando for spring break this week, but it’s for serious business.

The former Arizona Wildcats goalkeeper has joined the NWSL’s Orlando Pride for the preseason as a non-roster invitee, the club announced Monday.

Burdett is one of three goalkeepers in training camp, which began Monday. The Las Vegas native went unselected in the NWSL Draft in January, but is considered one of the top goalkeepers in her class.

TopDrawerSoccer listed Burdett just outside its NWSL Draft Top 40. Only 36 players are drafted.

A four-year starter, Burdett wrapped up her UA career in the fall, departing as the program’s all-time shutouts leader. She made the All-Pac-12 Second Team as a junior and the All-Pac-12 Third Team as a senior.

The Pride finished in seventh place in the nine-team NWSL last season. Their roster features U.S. Women’s National Team stars Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux and Ashlyn Harris.

“If you would have told me at the beginning of my college career that this is a possibility, I would have told you that you were insane,” Burdett said in January of going pro. “I wasn’t as confident in my abilities as I am now. And definitely being here (at Arizona) and training with (assistant coach) Paul (Nagy), he really instilled so much confidence in me.”

Burdett is believed to be the first Wildcat to get a shot in the NWSL. She hopes she can be the first of many.

“Being the first one, that’s a cool thing. But then it’s cool to be that starting point,” she said. “Like, hey, I got here and now you know that everything you’re doing here works and it can get you somewhere if you’re serious about it, you love it, and want to keep doing it.”