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The Girls Academy Apr 29, 2024

Scout’s View: Class of 2027 standouts from the Girls Academy Spring Showcase

The Girls Academy held its final showcase event of the 2023-24 regular season in North Carolina last weekend, amid a critical period for players looking to make a strong impression on college coaches.

Longtime scout Jerry Penkala, owner and operator of JTF Academy, a well-known recruiting management service, provided SoccerWire with a rundown of players from the Class of 2027 who stood out the most during his time watching the GA action in North Carolina.

Continue reading for a look at Penkala’s 2027 standouts. To view more top performers from the Jefferson Cup, check out Penakala’s list of 2026 standouts, and SoccerWire’s ‘Players That Impressed‘ feature.

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Lauren Miller – Goalkeeper
Murrieta Soccer Academy ’08 – Jersey #30

Lauren was not only the best 2027 keeper I saw at the event, she is one of the best keepers I have seen in a couple of years. Strong, good size, fundamentally outstanding, dynamic, smart, great at angles and a great shot stopper. She has very good communication and is insanely athletic. She thrived on making the impossible saves and did all weekend.

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Averie Layman – Outside Back
Cincinnati United Premier ’08 – Jersey #10

Best outside 2027 defender I saw all weekend, as she played up with the CUP ’08 squad. Calm and smart in every defensive situation, a true shutdown 1v1 defender, completed all of her passes out of the back in both games I saw her play. She has great toughness and good size plus loved getting forward and did at the exact right times. Averie was impactful in the final third every time she went on the attack.

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Alexis Fragnito – Forward / Winger
Syracuse Development Academy ’08 – Jersey #17

Another promising prospect who played up an age group, Alexis is a rare talent with natural and instinctive scoring prowess. Good size and heigh, sneaky fast and a great first step / burst. She had outstanding off-ball positioning and support to her other offensive teammates, which often put her in the perfect place at the exact right time, which resulted in a couple of easy finishes. Plus had a rocket shot from distance that resulted in a goal. Comfortable in and near the goal, Alexis never panicked and was a nightmare for defenders to handle for large parts of both games I saw her play. Could be a future offensive star.

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Julia Grzynkowicz – Holding Midfielder
Sockers FC Chicago ’08 – Jersey #40

A strong, intimidating beast of a player in the midfield that controlled the center of the field. Julia was outstanding at clogging passing lanes and making it difficult for the opponent to run the game through their attacking midfielder. Shewas just as talented at linking the back to the front on her Sockers team.

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Leah Raab – Attacking Midfielder
Skyline Elite ’08 – Jersey #14

Offensively, this talented Skyline team went as Leah went. She was the glue that kept everything going, and was their best player. She was the most calm and impactful player on the ball when she was pressured that I saw all weekend, always finding a way to complete the correct pass, even when under heavy pressure. Plus she could drive into open spaces and create opportunities when she had room to move forward with the ball at her foot. Great vision and creativity, and was extremely accurate in her distribution all weekend.

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Emma Strunk – Outside Back
PA Classics ’08 – Jersey #20

One of the better 2027 outside backs at the event, Emma had an incredibly high work rate, got up and down the left flank all game and never tired, and continued to be impactful in the offensive third. She had some outstanding services into the box, plus had the speed to get back and never leave her back line in jeopardy on a counter attack.

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Alise Martin – Holding Midfielder
Lonestar SC ’08 – Jersey #26

Alise had a great physical presence to her and was one of the best natural ‘links’ from back to front I saw all weekend. She had great field vision and the ability to find the correct and most dangerous player to start the attack, and at the same time was able to switch her mindset and turn on a dime to be a shutdown defender immediately if needed.

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Bridget Petrus – Forward / Outside Winger
Syracuse Development Academy ’08 – Jersey #7

Bridget worked perfectly off the other extremely talented SDA player (Fragnito) mentioned above, whether it meant she made the perfect cross or slot pass to her, or used the space that was created to drive on defenders herself and put a shot on frame. Outstanding effort and work rate on the flank and chased down opponents when SDA lost possession and harassed very well.

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Camryn Rossi – Left Winger/ Forward
Cedar Stars Academy – Monmouth ’08 – Jersey #30

Brings incredible toughness and overall effort to the table. Camryn was always looking to drive forward, take players on 1v1 or at the right time send over a perfect service into the 18 if overplayed or doubled.

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Maren Gannser – Left Back / Winger
Lou Fusz Athletic ’08 – Jersey #9

Maren was another outside back that had the perfect knack of getting forward at the exact right times, but never left her back line in jeopardy when she did, and was fast and hard=working enough to get back if a counter started happening. She was technically sound, had a great 1v1 defensive stance and great patience of when to step in for a tackle, and when to wait.

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Rylan Levengood – Forward / Attacking Mid
SC del Sol ’08 – Jersey #12

*Class of 2028* – Rylan was also included on SoccerWire’s list of Players That Impressed, and for good reason. She might have been the best overall prospect at this entire event. A huge talent, especially as young as she is and playing up two levels, you could never guess it by her size, athleticism, technical ability and soccer IQ. For someone so naturally talented, she was outstanding at all details of her game: control, (smooth on the ball), tough and gritty when she needed to be, put the ball exactly where it should go, and outworked everyone. Another future star for sure.

Honorable Mentions

  • IRIS MARTIN – #22 (Center Back) – Indy Premier ’08
  • LAUREN VAUGHN – #15 (Forward / Winger ) – CUP ’08
  • PARKER BORCHES – # 44 (Holding Midfielder) – Skyline Elite ’08
  • ELLA PIERCE – #11 (Outside Back) – Nationals Grey ’08
  • SAMANTHA LYNN – #27 (Midfielder) – Lexington Sporting ’09

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