Players that Impressed: ECNL Girls 2024 Florida Winter National Event
The ECNL Girls held their fifth National Event of the 2023-24 season over the weekend in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. The event featured 230 teams from the league’s U16-U18/U19 age groups. (View Results)
Below are some of the top players from the weekend’s event sorted by graduation year.
Marleigh Frazier | Goalkeeper
FC Alliance 08 (TN)
Earned two clean sheets and two wins over Atlanta Fire and Concorde Fire Premier (both by 2-0 scorelines) to start Alliance’s run in Florida, making multiple key saves. A five-time USYNT ID Camp invitee, Frazier works seamlessly with her defense to snuff out any goal-scoring chances. When under pressure, she can make the long throw out wide to force the opposition to stretch out and chase.
Noelle Clabaugh | Midfielder
Penn Fusion 08 (PA)
Hit home the game-winning goal for Penn Fusion in their 1-0 win over Solar SC to start their stay down in Florida. On the attack, Clabaugh can find the small gaps in between defenders to either hammer a shot on target or find one of her teammates with room to work. In addition to her goal, she also tallied two assists to lift PSA to an undefeated record (2-0-1, 7 points).
Lily Jeakle | Forward
Midwest United 08 (MI)
Guest playing in her first ECNL event, Jeakle was dangerous across all three games, utilizing her skills and alarming pace to disrupt opposing defenses. Against HEX FC (3-2), she scored the game-winning penalty as well as made a 50-yard dash that left two defenders in her wake. For the second game, a defeat at the hands of United Futbol Academy (2-3), Jeakle assisted on both goals, drawing the penalty for the first goal and then finding an open Irelyn Sheldon for the second. In the last match (3-2 vs. VA Union), she scored one and assisted on the game-winner by forcing a steal in waning moments, beating three defenders then slotting a pass to an open teammate on the 6.
Scored both of Solar’s goals in their 2-2 draw against United Futbol Academy. Working out of the forward, Strawn can connect with a teammate on the pass and then immediately turn it into a goal-scoring opportunity. She possesses a strong right foot that can direct shots anywhere inside of the goal.
Anchored Solar’s 08 defense allowing just three goals (two of which were in a 7-2 victory against Concorde Fire Platinum) and earning a shutout over De Anza Force. Whether playing in the defense or in the midfield, Mahon helps set up Solar’s shape and can help them retain possession with a quality pass to a teammate or a run into open space.
Popp’s one-on-one skills in the final third gave the team multiple opportunities to create goal scoring moments. Her speed and tenacity also differentiated her from other opponents. Her work in creating strong goal-scoring opportunities paid in SLSG Green’s second game against Maryland United paid off with her earning the assist in a 1-1 tie.
Danielle Chaump | Forward
Sting SC Dallas Black 08 (TX)
Bagged a brace on day two lifting Sting 4-1 over Bethesda SC. Facing multiple defenders, Chaump always maintains her coolness and composure and can make a play even out of the smallest of spaces. She started her scoring barrage on Sunday with a cracking strike in their 3-1 win against PDA Blue. Chaump was an ECNL All-American last season for Sting and currently serves as their captain.
Lauren Alvarez | Midfielder
FC Dallas 08 (TX)
Operating as Dallas’ number seven, Alvarez was highly effective at transitioning The Hoops from a defensive posture to an attacking. Her passing skills were particularly on point during matchday three where she assisted on Lena Junior and Fenley Hubbard’s goals in their 2-1 win over CESA. Alvarez has participated in USYNT ID Camps in the past and had previously been invited to participate in the ECNL Conference Cup.
Mackenzie Mentzer | Forward-Midfielder-Outside Back
FC DELCO 08 (PA)
Crushed a a high, curling shot from well beyond the eighteen yard box in DELCO’s 2-0 win against Cleveland Force. Mentzer’s ability to see where the opposition is lined up and make immediate adjustments to DELCO’s attack paid dividends for the Northeast team. DELCO outscored their opponents 6-0 en route to winning all three of their matches.
— Mackenzie Mentzer (@KenzieMentzer1) January 10, 2024
Charli Harris | Forward
FC Dallas 07 (TX)
An offensive danger for Dallas’ opponents, Harris led her team in goals with three. She netted a brace in the first match, a 5-2 against the Wilmington Hammerheads. She added another in their 4-1 win over World Class. Harris has a high motor and even on matchday three was able to keep up with the opposition (she played in all but 15 minutes of Dallas’ action down in Florida). Her constant pressing kept defenders on their toes. For Independence High School last season, Harris racked up multiple awards including the Golden Boot as well as First Team All-State and Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Mackenzie Canady | Midfielder
South Carolina United 07 (SC)
Set the tone in the midfield for South Carolina on matchday one against Kings Hammer, creating long sustained possessions from which the attack can build off. She was also integral to them holding onto their lead, slowing down the opposition with her timely tackles and interceptions. Canady added a goal to her Florida portfolio in their 2-1 loss against Racing Louisville and helped them rebound to end the weekend with a 0-0 draw against La Roca FC.
Tyller Grimes | Defender
Sting Dallas Black 08 (TX)
Dominated at the center-back position in all three matches, working alongside her defensive line mates to allow just three goals (3-1 against PDA South and SUSA FC, 4-1 against Bethesda SC). At 5’11” Grimes can hold her own in the air, clearing crosses into the box with just a flick of her head. She is also an asset on set pieces, as evidenced by her goal against Bethesda.
Rising up above the rest #LeadersPlayHere
— ECNL Girls (@ECNLgirls) January 10, 2024
Hailey Smith | Goalkeeper
Florida Elite Soccer Academy 08 (FL)
The versatile 5’10 keeper was outstanding with her communication and controlling the backline all weekend for Florida. Against La Roca, Smith came down with a critical double save to hold onto a 1-0 win and the clean sheet. In addition to her exploits between the posts she recorded an assist in 3-1 win vs Michigan Hawks Magic.
Riley Nicholson | Midfielder
Virginia Union 08 (VA)
Led her team’s attack with two goals and one assist in three games down in Florida. Nicholson scored a brilliant goal against Match Fit Academy by skillfully controlling the ball over a defender before firing it past the goalkeeper into the lower right corner. Showed versatility throughout the event with her quick combination play and strong defensive work rate as both a forward and midfielder.
Amaya Jackson | Midfielder
GSA 08 (GA)
Slotted in as a number six and four throughout the weekend and excelled at both positions for GSA. At the six, she protected her backline while also breaking lines while in the attack. Her delivery was always on point and she provided pinpoint especially against the National Champions Michigan Hawks (a 0-0 draw). At the four spot, she made two key clearances off of the line. GSA played four matches over the weekend with Jackson never missing a minute.
Julianna Milward | Forward
FC Stars Blue National 08 (NJ)
Scored twice in the Stars’ 4-0 win over Sting Austin to start their undefeated run down in Florida (2-0-1, 5 points). Her speed on and off of the ball caused major problems for defenses all weekend, forcing them out of the position and giving her teammates space inside to operate.
Olivia Arauz | Defender
Tennessee SC 08 (TN)
An Ohio Valley ECNL All-Conference defender, Arauz had a solid showing in all three games with her performance on matchday two against FC Stars standing out. She held off their attack and made an incredible defensive play where she caught up with an attacker in open space and laid down a solid, professional tackle to preserve the 1-1 draw.
Amelia Clark | Midfielder
Sting SC Austin 07 (TX)
Facilitated the Sting Austin attack in superb fashion across all three games, using her tight ball control and precision passing to help outscore opponents 9-1. She scored their first goal in the 5-0 win over Ohio Elite and added a second in the finale, a 2-0 win over SLSG Green.
Showcase this weekend, pulling off two amazing plays and connecting seamlessly with my teammates on the field. Spot-on Teamwork! Check out my Hudl Highlight – Goal!Sting ECNL 07G vs SLSG Green,on@Hudl at –#ECNLFL https://t.co/XubfSYJOkA @ECNLgirls @ImYouthSoccer
— Amelia Clark (@ameliaclark2026) January 10, 2024
Kaylee Rivera | Defender
DKSC Bones 08 (TX)
Played a crucial role as a defensive catalyst for DKSC during the course of the weekend. Over three matches, she made significant contributions with her defensive stops, passing, and composed play. Rivera’s consistent defensive work, persistence under pressure, and success in winning 50/50 balls were invaluable.
Kieran Bradley | Forward
Wilmington Hammerheads 08 (NC)
Scored four goals over the course of the weekend, giving the Hammerheads critical wins over CESA Liberty (2-0), Connecticut FC (3-0), and Sting Austin (3-1). With even the smallest of spaces, Bradley can turn them into goal-scoring opportunities. A Mid-Atlantic All-Conference First Team selection last season, she has helped Wilmington jump out to a 7-1-3 record on 24 points this season.
Logan Smith | Midfielder
NCFC Youth ECNL 08 (NC)
Showed a calm presence in the midfield throughout the Florida event. Technical on the ball, receiving under pressure and passing out of it. Consistently moving the ball with one touch passes to switch the point of attack or turning with the ball and breaking lines to spark a direct attack to goal. Smith also showed the ability to choose when to move forward pressing and stealing the ball, taking shots, or making runs into the box. She is a solid two-way midfielder showing both defensive capabilities and offensive prowess.
Mackenzie Majors | Forward
Dallas Texans Academy 08 (TX)
Played three solid games and contributed to key plays all over the field. She is a forward that can create her own shots at goal with her dynamic runs and positioning while being the focus of multiple defenders. She leads the attack and provides defensive pressure up top for the Texans, prohibiting the opposition from forming possessions out of the back.
Olivia Rubinich | Defender
Penn Fusion 08 (PA)
Co-captain and leader of the Penn Fusion defense that had a shutout and only allowed three goals in three games (2-0-1). Rubinich, a 5’9” center-back, is a strong and speedy defender who drives forward on the dribble after winning tackles to link passes with her attacking teammates.
Anchored the midfield’s efforts on both sides of the pitch by winning difficult balls and immediately looking for creative space in the attacking third. Defensively, she gave the opposition little space to maneuver, forcing them to take risky passes or go to the outside. Her ability to think 2-3 steps ahead and create long, sustained possessions gave Prime structure and organization along their spine from which they could build off of.
Working from the outside back position, Sidorsky provided consistent defensive work for Orlando while also helping change the field of play on the counter-attack. Thanks to her efforts, Orlando earned a hard fought 3-1 win on matchday one against Midwest United FC. Their defense, led by Sidosrky, had an equally impressive showing in their finale against Northern Virginia Alliance, holding a team that had scored 19 goals in conference play goalless (in their second match they drew Gretna Elite Academy 2-2).
Selected to participate in the ECNL National Selection Game, Thompson had a strong weekend in the midfield for FC Dallas. Thompson’s organization and control helped Dallas retain possession for long periods in all three matches, outscoring their opponents 11-4. On the defensive end, she made multiple key interceptions and was critical to Dallas winning all three matches.
Scoring 2 goals, burying a free kick in the top bin from just outside the box against Jacksonville and hitting a scorcher from 25 yards out against Albion. She was also a constant threat creating chances for her teammates from both the midfield and the left wing with her touch and acceleration into the attacking zone.
Rotated through three positions (center-back, right back, and left back) over the course of the weekend and was successful at limiting the opposition’s attacking ambitions at each spot. Herfindahl made multiple clearances on the defense, including a header that helped save a goal against Orlando City (a 2-2 draw). She also helped on the attacking end, scoring a goal in their 6-1 win over Tulsa SC.
Erin Hodge | Midfielder-Defender
Bethesda SC 05/06 (MD)
Slotting in at both as an attacking midfielder and at right back, Hodge was a difference-maker during BSC’s time in the Sunshine State. Her crisp ball control and dangerous runs helped spur the counter-attack. Her nose for goal provided proved integral in their 3-0 win over Racing Louisville Academy, scoring the first and setting the tone for the match.
Lyla Hinchey | Defender
Colorado Rapids 07 (CO)
Operating at the outside back position, Hinchey halted the opposition’s advances and on the outside forced them into traffic to end scoring chances. Her consistent defensive work and persistence on 50/50 balls was integral to an undefeated weekend for the Rapids (2-0-1, 5 points). She was also effective at changing the field of play, breaking past her marker and leading the counterattack.
Sierra Bennett | Forward
Colorado Rapids 07 (CO)
Provided consistent pressure in the attacking third, including drawing a the eventual game-winning penalty kick in their 2-1 win against Florida West. Her relentless effort and timely passes helped create multiple goal-scoring opportunities. On the defensive end, she aided her backline’s efforts at disrupting the flow of play, making interceptions across all three matches.
Payten Cooper | Forward
Solar SC 07 (TX)
Led the the Solar attack with three goals, including a brace in their 3-1 finale against the Wilmington Hammerheads. She also showed that she can provide goal-scoring opportunities for her teammates, finding Kamdyn Fuller with a perfectly timed pass to seal up an undefeated weekend (2-0-1, 5 points). Cooper participated in last February’s National Selection Game and was integral to their ECNL playoff run last season.
Lucy Kelser | Midfielder
La Roca FC 05/06 (UT)
Captained La Roca to three strong victories over FC Prime (4-1), GSA (3-2), and Michigan Hawks (1-0). She led by example, pulling her team together during crunch time and ensuring that they retained their shape and made key adjustments based off of what she was seeing on the field. Her work on the attacking end was particularly impressive, scoring a brace on matchday one against Prime and burying the game-winner over Michigan.
Brooklyn Phongsavath | Midfielder
Utah Avalanche 07 (UT)
Capped an impressive weekend for the Avalanche with a cracking strike from distance in their Michigan Hawks match (a 5-0 win). Orchestrating Utah’s attack from the number seven position, Phongsavath can find the gaps in a defense and exploit them. Utah won all three of their matches down in Florida and Phongsavath played a major role in creating goal-scoring opportunities. She is a two-time USYNT ID Center invitee and she has won the Utah 6A State High School Championship at Davis.
Thank you to all the coaches that came to watch our team play!
We ended up undefeated, 3-0, at #ECNLFL, a huge improvement from last year. Also ended up in the top 5 teams from the event!
Back to work! pic.twitter.com/CkrfY3XUW4
— Brooklyn Phongsavath (@BPhongsavath07) January 10, 2024
Chloe Benik | Midfielder
SUSA FC 07 (NY)
A Cornell University 2025 verbal commit, Benik scored two goals over the weekend against Indy Eleven Pro (2-2 draw) and Wilmington Hammerheads (1-1 draw). Benik possesses a hammer of a left foot which she can also use to create goal-scoring chances for others.
Lizzie Thornton | Goalkeeper
Northern Virginia Alliance 07 (VA)
Thwarted several attacks and defended close to 20 shots to earn the clean sheet against an aggressive Eclipse SC team. NVA bested Eclipse 1-0 with a brilliant header by Foley Robertson. At 6’2″ Thornton can parry high shots over the bar and make the difficult diving efforts. Thornton has verbally committed to playing college soccer in 2025 at Wake Forest University.
Reese Montgomery | Midfielder
Arlington Soccer Association 06/05 (VA)
A stalwart defender, Montgomery was constantly on the winning end of 1v1 battles in the midfield. She was the glue that held the team together and was integral to many of the goals scored across the weekend. Reese stood out in each contest with her intelligent play, attacking passes, and gritty defense.
Sanai Banya | Defender
Arlington Soccer Association 06/05 (VA)
Led the Arlington back line against three strong opponents in Ohio Elite, Minnesota Thunder, and Gretna Elite. She was a defensive presence, interrupting play and winning battles across the back line. Her ability to drive forward on the dribble and connect with accuracy to break lines was a key factor in the team’s attacking success.
Provided three outstanding performances between the posts for Concorde’s Platinum team, allowing just three goals while earning five points (2-0-1, 5 points). She made multiple critical saves in their 3-1 victory against Maryland United on matchday two. Her superior glove work, sharp decision-making, and ability to think and react under pressure make her a leader on the pitch for Concorde.
Gabrielle Justiniano | Defender
East Meadow SC 06/05 (NY)
Led EMSC’s backline to back-to-back shutouts over Cleveland Force and Sporting Blue Valley (4-0 and 2-0 respectively) while grinding out a 1-1 draw with Penn Fusion. Operating in the defensive midfield, Justiniano seamlessly linked EMSC’s defense with their attack using her strength and quick passing to aid in the transition. She is coming off of a strong high school season and will undoubtedly play a major role in EMSC’s climb through the North Atlantic Conference.
Emily Davidson | Forward
Portland Thorns Academy 06/05 (OR)
Showed remarkable tenacity and a willingness to take on difficult challenges for the Thorns against two defensive-minded teams in Colorado Rapids (3-0 win) and FC Stars Blue (2-2). Davidson is more than willing to dig down and do whatever it takes to win the small battles on the pitch and can create attacking chances out of nothing. Davidson has committed to playing college soccer next fall at Western Washington University.
Ella Callanan | Defender
Portland Thorns Academy 06/05 (OR)
A University of San Diego commit, Ella was a dynamic force in the attack, exhibiting impressive skill and agility that left opponents struggling to keep up. Her 1v1 defending was particularly noteworthy, as she consistently shut down opposing players with her ability to anticipate and win the ball. Throughout the event, she maintained a dominant performance, not only contributing significantly to her team’s offensive efforts but also solidifying her reputation as a player with exceptional defensive capabilities.