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The Girls Academy Mar 22, 2024

See the 7 Girls Academy players who caught one scout’s attention at the Jefferson Cup

The 2024 Jefferson Cup Girls Showcase Weekend delivered an action-packed slate of cross-league competition between some of the top teams in the country.

Girls Academy teams went head-to-head with ECNL squads and other high level opponents from different leagues, providing new challenges for players and a great environment for college coaches evaluating potential recruits.

Longtime scout Jerry Penkala, owner and operator of JTF Academy, provided SoccerWire with a rundown of 7 players from Girls Academy clubs who stood out the most during his time watching the action in Richmond.

Continue reading for a look at Penkala’s GA standouts. To view more top performers from the Jefferson Cup, check out SoccerWire’s ‘Players That Impressed‘.

Lilli Lubic


TSJ FC Virginia ’07 – Jersey #11

Lilli (a Penn State commit) was the best overall player on a club that produces incredible players each year – smart, impactful, dangerous and has a knack for the goal each time she got into the 18. Perfect positioning when the ball was far side, and had some of the best services all weekend long.

Krystina Wolf


STA Soccer ’07 – Jersey #0

This Pitt commit showed why she was an early commitment and one of the best keepers in the entire GA. She has size, athleticism, speed and timing off her line. She completely controls her 18. When she was tested, she came up huge all weekend.

Anna Nelson – Winger (2025)
Syracuse Development Academy ’07 – Jersey #77

This right winger had the speed in open spaces that all D1 colleges look for, plus had a service into the box that she could land on a dime, plus often cut it back and got quality shots off all game.


Tommi-Rose Valenti – Midfielder (2026)
Cedar Stars Academy Bergen ’07 – Jersey #8

One of my favorite players to watch all weekend, Tommi-Rose plays up on this ’07 team and was the best overall player and hardest-working player on the field for both games I saw her play. She literally never gets tired, plays all over the field (wherever her team needs her), has some of the best control of any 2026 I saw all weekend and a rocket shot/cross as well. A flexible 2026 to keep an eye on.


Taylor Morrell – Forward (2027)
TSJ FC Virginia ’08 – Jersey #9

A USYNT roster pool member, Taylor does not look like a 2027 based on her outstanding offensive skillset already. She is lightning fast, can beat defenders 1v1 to create space any time she wants and has the field vision to find her teammates when she starts getting extra attention in the final third.


Ashley DeLeo– Defender / Midfielder (2026)
STA Soccer ’07 – Jersey #6

Ashley is usually an outside back but played holding mid and center back all weekend. As a center back, she might have found her perfect college position. Her size, strength and athleticism fit a center back at the D1 college level perfectly, and her ability to shut down any offensive player like she showed this weekend, plus the ability to calmly pass out of the back shows that she could to be a huge gem in the Class of 2026.


Karli DaCosta – Midfielder (2025)
Keystone FC ’07 – Jersey #42

One of the better attacking midfielders I saw all weekend, Karli used her outstanding 1v1 offensive skillset and exceptional field vision to create space and issues all over the midfield. She has good size and a really high soccer IQ, plus had speed in open spaces and was extremely smooth on the ball.

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