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Players to Watch: ECNL Girls National Playoffs and Showcase (Seattle 2024)

June 17, 2024, | Courtesy of www.soccerwire.com



The ECNL Girls enter postseason play on June 22 as the top teams from across the league start their National Playoffs in Seattle. (Event Homepage)


From June 22-28, the ECNL’s best teams from throughout the country will converge on 60 Acres Complex in Seattle for the postseason event. The event will include playoff competition for all age groups, U13-U18/U19.


The event will also feature the North American Cup and Showcase Cup competitions, giving 1,000s of players opportunities to compete in front of college coaches. (College Coaches List)

Ahead of the postseason action, here are some players to know from this year’s event. Players are listed according to their graduation year.


You can nominate also nominate a player who has stood out this season that will be attending the event through the following link.


2028


Ema Valiukevicius | DefenderBeach FC 09 (CA)

Started for Lithuania in their recent European under-17 qualifiers, including their 3-0 victory of Andorra. Ema uses her strength and height to dominate possession inside of the defensive third for both club and country. On set pieces, she uses her aerial skills to frame dangerous headers at goal or in spots where her teammates can shoot with a high percentage chance at goal.

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Kate Sullivan | DefenderOhio Elite Soccer Academy 09 (OH)

At 5’10”, Sullivan limits opponent’s attacking influence on the air and the ground knocking down high balls and boxing out attackers. Thanks to her work inside of the defensive third, Ohio Elite conceded an Ohio Valley Conference low ten goals en route to booking a spot in the Champions League. In addition to her defensive work, she can also help out on the attack adding a game-winning goal and multiple assists to her resume this season.

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Brooklyn Davis | DefenderSolar SC 09 (TX)

Co-Captained Solar to the Texas Conference title while leading a backline that limited opponents to just eight goals this season. Davis can anticipate what attackers are planning and provide an immediate counter to their advances, giving them little time or space to change plans and often forcing them to make hasty passes or drives. She also recently received a call-up to the USYNT Talent ID center event in April in Dallas.


2027

GRADUATION:2027

GOALKEEPER

Possesses excellent vision and can whip out long throws and passes to teammates at a variety of spots on the pitch. Reigrod works seamlessly alongside Ava Hogan to form a consistent 1-2 goalkeeping combination for PDA, who are the defending national champions and are coming off of an undefeated mark at the PDA Showcase.


GRADUATION:2027

FORWARDMIDFIELDER

VA

Sparks the Northern Virginia attack from either the midfield or the forward position, using her direct runs to force defenders on their heels. She can thread passes through the tightest of traffic, giving her teammates the best chance at scoring. Newman doesn’t give up on plays either and will make defenders work to clear out dangerous balls.


GRADUATION:2027

FORWARD

PA

When PDA 09 Legacy need a goal, they turn to Makena who has a history of clutch goals in clutch minutes. She scored the match-winner in the U14 National Championship game, which was preceded an equalizer in the previous year’s final and another game-winner off of a penalty in the 2021-2022 Round of 16. Under pressure, Lee never loses her cool and plays composed and with an energy that her teammates feed off of.


Ava Sexton | CenterbackSting 09 Royal (TX)

Captained Sting through a difficult Texas 09 Conference and into a Champions League playoff berth. What separates Sexton from other defenders is her tactical awareness-she understands when she needs to push into the midfield and when to hold back and give her team time to organize. Under pressure, her decision-making is always sound which helps Sting maintain their shape and build from the back.

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Hailey Fashinpaur | Midfielder-DefenderInternationals SC 08 (OH)

Earned the call-up to the USWYNT U-16 team for their June trip to Germany starting in their 4-2 victory on Sunday. Her call-up and start is a testament to her standout club season where she held down ISC’s right side and impeded opponent’s efforts on the counter-attack. Her diagonal cuts and long crosses were integral in opening up play on the attack and helped relieve pressure on the backline.

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Aubry Gates | ForwardTennessee SC 09 (TN)

Smashed home a brace against Indy Eleven on the final matchday to lift TSC’s conference record to 9-5-2 on 29 points. Gates can score at will in either open or closed space and is more than willing to serve as a holding forward. Her two goal efforts against Cleveland Force SC (6-2) and Internationals SC (3-3) were key contributors in the team securing a National Playoff berth.

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Kaia Carruthers | ForwardBeach FC 09 (CA)

Slices through defenses with her pointed diagonal runs and times them perfectly so that she can connect on balls on open space and immediately hammer shots on target. Carruthers has been a major reason for Beach snapping up the Southwest Conference in the 2009 division (17-4-3, 54 points), leading an attack that scored 56 goals this season. She has also proven herself in big moments, scoring or assisting on critical goals in victories over FC Stars Blue (3-2), San Juan SC (2-1), and Portland Thorns (2-0) at the recent ECNL Phoenix Spring event.

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Lorelai Landa | ForwardSporting Blue Valley 09 (KS)

Finished off a superb season with St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School by earning Class 3 Region 4 (Districts 7-8) Offensive Player of the Year honors as well as All-Region and First Team All-Conference honors. Landa is clinical inside of an opponent’s defensive third, able to hit shots with one or two touches and place them in difficult spots to reach. SBV scored 23 goals in their final five conference matches, a testament to the damage that Landa and her teammates can do in dangerous areas.

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Noelle Clabaugh | MidfielderPenn Fusion Soccer Academy ECNL 08 (PA)

Thrives under pressure and throughout her youth career has proven that she can deliver in big moments. At last’s year ECNL Playoffs, Clabaugh scored five goals providing the attacking spark that PFSA needed to advance to the Elite Eight. She is a box-to-box midfielder that makes opponents work for every inch of the pitch defensively and spark the attack with a crisp, diagonal pass.

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Savannah Jackson | DefenderSlammers HB Koge 09 (CA)

A five-time USYNT ID Center and National ID camp invitee, Savannah anchors a Slammers defense that has earned shutouts in three of their last five ECNL matches. When building out of the back, Jackson can can make the passes necessary to open up play and then make the right moves off of the ball to provide her teammates an open target. She is also an asset on the attack, using her swerving crosses to connect with opponents inside of the box or in open space.

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Aidan Kownacki | Center BackNorthern Virginia Alliance 09 (VA)

Working from the center back position Northern Virginia, Kownacki opens up play with her quick, clever touches and pinpoint passes. She has excellent vision and can often be seen scanning the field before she receives the ball, planning her next move before opponents can adjust. At 6’0″ she also dominates play in the air, winning headers on defense and supplying goal-scoring chances off of set pieces. Alliance’s defense has been on point all season, limiting opponents to just six goals in Mid-Atlantic Conference play (11-0-1, 34 points, first place).

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Alexa Newman | ForwardEastside FC 08 (VA)

Scored 15 goals in 18 matches this season for Eastside including a game-winner against the Utah Avalanche last month. In high school action, Newman received First Team All-State honors as a freshman this season for Mount Si, earning the Golden Boot on her team. She is equally effective at striking the ball on target with her left or right foot, making her difficult to defend.

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Reegan Ankenbauer | MidfielderArizona Arsenal 09 (AZ)

A strong, technical player and has exuded confidence playing out of pressure this season. She’s comfortable with the ball at her feet, has good vision in spotting out teammates on the field and is always looking to give a nice slip through pass to her forwards. She had a great showing at the ECNL NC Showcase with a well-placed weak-foot goal and an early one touch assist to help her team get three wins against strong competition.

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Kendall Watson | MidfielderNC Courage 09 (NC)

Showed off her sleek passing skills at the recent ECNL North Carolina event, assisting on the Courage’s lone goal in their 1-1 draw with the Minnesota Thunder. Watson can read and react to what the opposition is throwing at her quickly and provides support to teammates when they are facing pressure. Her fluid ball control and pinpoint passes got the Courage out many jams this season and was a major reason for their 10-6-2 record on 32 points.

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Hayley Kase | MidfielderBeach FC 09 (CA)

Featured extensively up top for Beach during their Southwestern Conference Championship run, using her tight ball control skills to hit timely goals and assists. In transition play, she is more than willing to do the dirty work prying the ball out of an opponent’s pocket and drive directly at backlines.

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Ellyana Goins | ForwardOhio Elite Soccer Academy 09 (OH)

Whether creating chances for herself or for her teammates, Goins was an attacking force for Ohio Elite this season. In tight spaces, Goins can make the necessary cuts to give herself room to either hammer a shot on target or connect with a teammate. She netted a brace in OESA’s critical 3-2 victory over Internationals SC in Ohio Valley Conference play and played a key role in the team earning a 13-1-2 record on 41 points.


2026

GRADUATION:2026

MIDFIELDER

PA

Organized a highly efficient Penn Fusion midfield that played a major role in building attacking chances (55 goals this season, most in Northeast 08 age group), while impeding opponent’s own ambitions (5 goals allowed, lowest in the conference. Reddy does not waste chances and can open up play with her simple, yet devastating ball movements.


GRADUATION:2026

MIDFIELDER

IL

An explosive midfielder that leads the midfield from a defensive posture to an attacking one, Magnone is a major addition for Rockford. During her time this season with SC Wave, Magnone dominated Girls Academy play with consistent ball control and diagonal runs at goal. Under pressure, Magnone thrives which will undoubtedly help her in the transition into the ECNL at the Sh0wcase.


GRADUATION:2026

DEFENDER

TX

Serving as Solar 08’s co-captain, Mahon led the Texas-based team to their third consecutive Conference title. The Texas conference has historically featured some of the top attacking talents and teams in the ECNL. Yet Mahon has thrived under the pressure delivering quality clearances in difficult situations and leading the team out of the back. In conference play this season, Solar allowed just eleven goals and booked eight shutouts. For her efforts, she was called up to the USWYNT U-16 camp in February.


GRADUATION:2026

GOALKEEPER

GA

Led Concorde Fire’s Premier team to their first-ever Southeast Conference title, earning seven clean sheets and a .67 Goals Against Average. Vann possesses excellent glove work, as evidenced by her 132 saves this season. She had an equally impressive campaign for Calvary Christian High School where she earned All-State, All-Region, and All-Area honors. Her time as a forward has helped her understand what attackers are thinking and made her into even more of a difficult goalkeeper to break down.


GRADUATION:2026

DEFENDERMIDFIELDER

CA

Played both center back and full back for the Blues, who allowed just eleven goals in Southwest Conference play this season. Physically, she can box out attackers cleanly while making difficult clearances on all parts of the pitch. She is also capable of winning aerial duels and using her athleticism on set pieces to create goal-scoring opportunities.

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Ava Martinez | MidfielderMVLA 08 Inter (CA)

Smashed home a goal and provided multiple pacey passes into open space for MVLA in their undefeated weekend (2-0-1, 7 points) at the recent ECNL North Carolina national event. In transition play, Martinez calmly delivers precise one-touch balls to her teammates. She is also an expert at reading defensive formations and making small, innocuous adjustments that they may not pick up on but will improve MVLA’s chances at goal.

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Peyton Trayer | GoalkeeperSlammers HB Koge 08 (CA)

Alongside fellow goalkeeper Avarie Gonzalez, Trayer held three potent attacks in Michigan Hawks (2-1), Penn Fusion Soccer Academy (3-1),and De Anza Force (2-0) to just two goals at the North Carolina Showcase. At 5’11” she can parry high shots over the bar with relative ease and has excellent form when making diving saves. In addition to her work between the posts for Slammers, Trayer was also the 2023 CIF Player of the Year for Santa Margarita Catholic High School.

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Mekenzie Rogers | Midfielder-ForwardEclipse Select SC 09 (IL)

Buried 40 goals in her first high school season for Central Rogers, helping the team finish fourth in the IHSA State playoffs. Her comfort and control both and on and off of the ball makes her difficult to defend and an asset on the attack. She can connect with teammates on passes and then immediately turn on the burners, breaking through defenses with relative ease.

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Josie Biehl | GoalkeeperSan Diego Surf 08 (CA)

Stymies opponent’s attacking ambitions with her superb technical skills and elite-level footwork. Biehl faced the best that the Southwest Conference had to offer this season and thrived, leading Surf to an undefeated record (20-0-3, 63 points) while conceding only 13 goals. She continued her strong work between the posts at the national team level, leading the USWYNT U-16 team.

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Olivia Arauz | DefenderTennessee SC 08 (TN)

Started every game for TSC this season, providing her coaches and teammates with a high level of consistency during each match. Her lock down defensive work, particularly in closing down counter-attacking chances, were critical in the club securing a North American Cup berth. TSC’s Cal Ripken is a three-time USYNT ID Center invitee and was an All-Conference First Team member last season.

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Addison Hansen | DefenderSlammers FC 07 (CA)

Organizes a stout backline that allowed just three goals in their final six ECNL matches this season, including shutouts over So Cal Blues (2-0), Del Mar Sharks (7-0), and Sporting California (0-0). In one of the toughest attacking conferences in the ECNL in the Southwest, Hansen and her line mates faced considerable pressure all season. Yet the group maintained their composure earning a Champions League playoff spot on a 14-7-3 record on 45 points.

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Ava Garvin | DefenderFC Dallas 08 (TX)

Operating out of the center back position, Garvin used her thunderous left boot and tight marking to stymie Texas’ best attackers this season. The Panther Creek defender just earned All-State Second Team and 4A District 2 All-Region First Team honors for her standout high school campaign and has continued her strong run of form into Dallas’ spring matches. Keep an eye on her set pieces as she can thread cracking crosses into the box for her teammates to capitalize on.

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Kaylee Rivera | DefenderDKSC Bones 08 (TX)

Notched an assist in DKSC’s high-scoring weekend at the North Carolina National Event, which included victories over Charlotte Soccer Academy (5-2) and Arlington Soccer (5-1). The Puerto Rican under-17 National Team member thrives as DKSC’s last line of defense coolly disposing of dangerous attacking chances while often marking opponent’s number nine. Her knack for winning key challenges and interceptions makes her difficult to break down and a nightmare for opponents.

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Mia Hurd | GoalkeeperFC Wisconsin 08 (WI)

Allowed four goals all season in Midwest Conference play, giving Wisconsin a measure of stability en route to earning a Showcase Cup appearance. Hurd is an expert at communicating with her teammates what she is seeing on the pitch and helping them make small adjustments in their alignment. With Cedarburg High School, Hurd earned All-Conference First Team honors and helped the team win the Division 2 Sectional Championship and book a spot in States.

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Zea Gonzalez | ForwardSting 08 Austin (TX)

Returning from an ACL injury sustained at last year’s ECNL Playoffs, Gonzalez is looking to provide Sting a spark in the Champions League Playoffs. In 2022-2023 she had a strong season earning Texas All-Conference honors while having a breakout High School season. Through her high school career she has also racked up multiple awards at Pieper including Newcomer of the Year, First Team All-District, Academic  All-District, Offensive MVP, and Express News All-Area Team. After ten long months of rehabilitation, Gonzalez will undoubtedly be chomping at the bit to put the hammer to shots with either foot.

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Amaya Jackson | MidfielderGSA 08 (GA)

Whether making a run off of the ball or with it at her feet Jackson controls the pace of the match for GSA. Her touches are always crisp and never heavy and she uses those extra seconds of time to drive at defenders. Defensively, she can plug holes and time her runs to collect 50-50 balls and intercept passes. Thanks to her work in the midfield GSA finished with a 12-7-6 record on 42 points across all ECNL competitions.

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Mia Wiele | Center BackSting 08 Austin (TX)

Sting’s 08s are entering their third straight Champions League appearance with Wiele’s superior defensive work playing a major role for the team’s success. She is an ace at both making the decisive stops needed throughout the match and then building plays from the back. For Westwood High School this season she earned First Team All-State honors while playing in the midfield. In leading the attack, she notched 12 assists while adding 4 goals.

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Riga Kallaba | MidfielderChicago Inter SC 07 (IL)

Whether playing for Chicago Inter or the Kosovo under-17 National Team this season, Kallaba has shown versatility this season becoming a major player in both teams midfield and attack. At Inter, she led the team in both goals and assists while slowing down opponents with her stifling defensive work.

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Lauren DeLaurentiis | WingerConnecticut FC 07 (CT)

Wreaks havoc on defenses with her long runs down the left flank, opening space for her teammates to exploit inside. She can also rip shots driving at goal, including seven goals in their last five New England Conference games. Her technique in how she approaches her shots is always on point and is highly fluid allowing for her to strike with pace.

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Riley O’Brien | MidfielderSlammers FC 07 (CA)

A high-energy, technically sound midfielder O’Brien is a constant for the Slammers 07s, helping them retain their shape as they transition into the attack. Her ability to take what sees on the pitch and adapt her style of play is a testament to her work as a three sport athlete. In addition to soccer at Beckham High School, she also plays flag football and runs track and field. In high school soccer, she recently received Offensive MVP from her team and All-Conference First Team honors.

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Allysia Iaquinto | DefenderWestern New York Flash 07 (NY)

One of the top ranked defenders out of Canada, Iaquinto has excelled for both her club and high school teams this season. The FTF Canada member is comfortable building out of the back with either foot and can turn a defensive stop into an immediate attacking gain. At the recent ECNL National Event, her lockdown defensive play helped the Flash’s efforts in allowing just two goals in three games (1-0-2, 5 points).

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Cayla Sul | DefenderWorld Class FC 08 (NY)

When facing pressure Sul thrives, leading her team out of the back and serving as a steadying presence in the defense. Playing primarily as an outside back, Sul is effective at making decisive, clean stops and then pushing her team into the midfield. In tight spaces and facing opponents who mark closely, she always seems able to break free a testament to her work rate and desire to get World Class in the best position to succeed.

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Kate Grzesek | MidfielderLAFC So Cal07 (CA)

A smart, technically sound midfielder Grzesek makes an immediate difference every time she steps onto the pitch. Her consistency in her touches allows for her to move LAFC into an attacking posture with relative ease while also opening up play for her teammates. Throughout the season she has been called upon to play multiple positions including winger, outside back, and in the attacking midfield and excelled at each point.

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Petra Bandula | ForwardWestern New York Flash 07 (NY)

Bandula had quite the 2023-2024 campaign, featuring for the Flash and the Croatian under-17 Youth National Team. She broke through for The Lionesses in UEFA EURO 2024 qualifiers and has scored multiple key goals for the Flash in the stretch run this season. In addition to her club and country exploits, she was an OFSSA bronze medalist for her high school and earned State MVP honors.

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Mechal Green | ForwardBeach FC 07 (CA)

Finished off a pass from Shannon Davidson in Beach’s 4-0 win over Davis Legacy, capping the team’s goal-scoring haul in conference play at an impressive 88. On the attack, she never wastes a step or a moment using each play efficiently and giving her teammates the best possible chance at connecting with her on a pass or a cross. In addition to helping Beach earn Southwest Conference Championship honors, Green is also coming off of her second consecutive Division 1 LA City West crown with Pali High.


2025

GRADUATION:2025

DEFENDER

CA

The captain of the Philippines U-17 WYNT and a member of their under-20 squad, Markey has been a leader all season for both club and country. In the defense and at the winger, she is always thinking about what needs to be done next and seems to be working 2-3 steps ahead of her opponents. Playing in the Asian Cup and under that level of pressure will undoubtedly benefit Slammers in Seattle.


GRADUATION:2025

MIDFIELDER

FL

A North Florida verbal commit, McCann has thrived at both as a defender and midfielder this season for JFC. She is comfortable at marking attackers closely and forcing them to make a mistake then turning it into an opportunity for the attack. She works well with her teammates to shore up gaps and ensure that their opponent’s chances on the counter are limited.


Brenna Kelleher | GoalkeeperDMCV Sharks 07 (CA)

A dynamic shot-stopper, Kelleher makes athletic saves look ordinary and is a leader on the pitch for the Sharks. Entering into Showcase Cup play, DMCV are riding high off of a 4-0 victory over Sporting California USA. With Kelleher in goal, the Sharks earned four shutouts this season across all ECNL competitions.

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Paulina Campos | DefenderRebels SC 07 (CA)

Playing primarily our of the wingback position, Campos played a critical role in punching the Rebels’ ticket into the ECNL Champions League playoffs (12-9-2, 38 points). Defensively, she tightly marks opponents giving them little space to work with and create counter-attacking chances. She can also play at full back, in the defensive midfield, and as an attacking winger giving her coaching staff options. On the attack, watch out for her strong curling crosses into the box which give opponent’s nightmares.


2024

GRADUATION:2024

GOALKEEPER

GA

The Appalachian State 2024 commit just finished off another exemplary high school season with West Cambridge booking eleven clean sheets in eighteen matches. For her efforts she earned First Team All-Region and Defensive Player of the Year honors and was named to the 5AAAAA All-State Second Team. Between the posts for Concorde Fire Platinum she has played a critical role in finishing first in the Southeast Conference with an undefeated record (13-0-2, 41 points).


Mia Devroux | ForwardSLSG Navy 06/05 (MO)

The Missouri commit is coming off of a strong stretch with Whitfield High School where she just finished third and earned her third consecutive Offensive Player of the Year award. Her speed and field awareness allow for her to breakthrough defenses with ease and create goal-scoring opportunities. In her final youth club season, she is looking to lead SLSG to their third ECNL National Championship.


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