With the third pick of the third round and the 21st pick overall, the Orlando Pride selected Denver defender Cheyenne Shorts. She is the fourth player taken by the Pride in the 2020 draft that can play defender.
A native of Denver, Shorts played in the Colorado Olympic Development Program before enrolling at her hometown school. She immediately made an impact on the team, starting 17 games during her freshman season. After starting 10 of the team’s first 11 games in 2017, the sophomore suffered a season-ending injury. However, she bounced back in her junior year, starting 21 games and started 20 during her senior year.
While Shorts didn’t recorded a goal during her four years at Denver, she assisted once during her freshman year, once during her sophomore year, twice during her junior year, and three times during her senior year. In total, she started 68 games for the Pioneers, playing in 69, and recorded seven assists.
Shorts picked up plenty of accolades during her college career. She was named to the Summit League All-Freshman team after her first collegiate season. Returning from injury for her junior year, she was named to the Summit League First Team and Summit League All-Tournament Team during her junior year. In addition to repeating those accolades for her senior season, she was named the Summit League Defensive Player of the Year and to the Summit League Academic All-League Team.
What It Means for Orlando
The Pride have once again taken a center back in an attempt to add depth to their back line. Unlike the team’s first- and second-round selections, Konya Plummer and Courtney Peterson, the path to making the team for Shorts is a little more murky — especially since this will be the fourth rookie taken in the draft.
Unlike previous selections, who have a little more versatility, Shorts has solely played center back in the past so she will be expected to do the same if she plays at the professional level. While she suffered a difficult injury during her sophomore year at Denver, she recovered strong and there don’t seem to be any lingering problems. She may not be seen much during the early part of the season but could be brought back into the fold when the 2020 Summer Olympic Games take away several Pride players.