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Players That Impressed Jun 28, 2024

Players That Impressed: ECNL Girls 2024 National Playoffs and Showcase

The ECNL Girls Playoffs and Showcase wrapped up play on Friday, as National Champions were crowned and more teams earned their spots in the ECNL National Finals. The event was held from June 22-28 at 60 Acres Park in Seattle, Washington. (College Coaches)

Teams also participated in the North American Cup and Showcase Cup events. To view all of the results from each of the competitions, click here.

Below are some of the top players from the weekend’s event sorted by graduation year. You can also nominate a player who stood out during the event through the following link.

2029

Marley Skalski | Forward
Western New York Flash  10 (NY)

Bagged six goals in pool play for Western New York Flash, including overcoming a 2-0 deficit against Western New York Flash to procure a 2-2 draw. She buried a first-half hat trick against Albion Hurricanes in their finale, showing her prowess at hitting shots on target at a variety of speeds.

2028

Haylee Ostrander

Goalkeeper
OH

When featuring between the posts for the Force, Ostrander shined earning three clean sheets during her time in goal. That measure of stability propelled the team to an opening day victory against the Wilmington Hammerheads (final score: 3-1). Her superior glove work allowed her to make multiple difficult saves

Maddie Cervantes

Midfielder
TX

In her first-ever playoff game, Cervantes showed that she was more than ready for the challenge and the pressure. Against FC Prime in group play, she hammered home a critical goal in their 3-0 victory. The Texans captain will undoubtedly look to build upon her experience in Seattle and use it ahead of next season.

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Amaya Jackson | Midfielder
GSA 08 (GA)

Provided key box-to-box coverage in the midfield against a talented Slammers FC HB KOGE and Sporting Blue Valley FC. Amaya was the key in organizing the midfield throughout the weekend, vocally supporting the team. She consistently used controlled touches to maintain possession, threading several passes through the middle and creating opportunities to score. Athletically she is hard to contend with, forcing the ball wide as opponents quickly learned to release the ball quickly as she approached.

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Tyana Thomas | Forward
GSA 10 (GA)

GSA’s spark plus, Thomas played every minute in all four matches for the Southeast Conference team helping them punch their ticket into the Elite Eight. She scored three goals throughout the weekend and tallied an assist brace in their first match against Western New York Flash, a 2-2 draw. Each of her goals came in their final three matches victories over Albion Hurricanes (2-1), SLSG Navy (2-0), and Dallas Texans (1-0).

2027

Makena Cook

Forward
CA

Buried six goals in group play to pull Slammers into the Round of 16 and playing a key role in victories against Ohio Elite Soccer Academy (1-0), Charlotte SA (4-0), and Concorde Fire Platinum (3-2). Cook is equally comfortable at using either her left or right foot when striking the ball, as evidenced by her four goals against CSA being equally from both feet. Her ability to deliver under pressure was also on display against Concorde, where her two goals spurred the come-from-behind victory.

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Kyah Smith | Forward
Virginia Development Academy 09 (VA)

Notched the equalizer for VDA in their 1-1 draw against FC Dallas to book their spot in the Round of 16. In open space, Smith devastates defense with quick, targeted runs at goal and her knack for hitting crosses and passes at exactly the right time. Smith is a four-time USYNT ID Center invitee and attended a U14 Mini Camp in 2023.

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Maggie Blosser | Midfielder
FC Stars 08 (MA)

Showed her resilience under pressure in the Stars final group stage game by hammering home a penalty kick goal against MVLA to book their spot in Virginia. Thanks to her excellent control of the midfield and on point distribution Stars went undefeated throughout the weekend and outscored their opponents 8-3.

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Julia Amireh | Midfielder
NC Courage Academy 08 (NC)

Spurred the Courage’s comeback effort on matchday two against Ohio Premier, assisting on the second goal by Riley Kennedy and scoring the game-winner in their 3-2 victory. When under pressure Amireh thrives making smart decision both on and off of the ball and always thinking two-three steps ahead of the competition.

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Noelle Clabaugh | Forward
Penn Fusion Soccer Academy ECNL 08 (PA)

Earned an assist hat trick in PFSA’s 5-3 victory over Eclipse Select SC. Against a high press, Clabaugh navigated the traffic expertly making the small cuts needed to eluded tackles and box outs. She also scored in the match and was a consistent attacking presence for Penn all weekend.

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Madison Ross | Defender
Michigan Hawks  09 (MI)

Limited opponent’s attacking influence throughout the Champions League, anticipating what they were thinking and timing her runs perfectly to intercept passes and make tackles. It paid off with the Hawks blanking Sting Dallas Royal (2-0) and Northern Virginia Alliance (0-0) in their first two matches.

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Josephine Morelli | Midfielder
St. Louis Scott Gallagher  09 Navy (MO)

Blasted a long-range strike in SLSG’s first match against Atlanta Fire United, a 3-1 victory that went a long ways towards to securing a Round of 16 spot. Morelli is an expert at the press and will constantly force opponents to make rash passes or decisions helping Navy regain possession.

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Rhea Moore | Forward
San Juan SC  09 (CA)

In a tough bracket which featured the likes of Legends FC and Solar San Juan and Moore more than held their own winning two of three matches. Against Legends, Moore netted a brace keeping the team in the match until the final minutes. She also added a goal against Solar (with the other goal coming from Maycee Kirby) Moore’s energy lifted the team during difficult stretches and helped them get out of jams on the attacking end.

2026

MacKenzie Stearns

Defender Midfielder
CA

Limited opponent’s influence within So Cal’s defensive third by providing tight, consistent marking throughout the Group Stage (2-0-1, 5 points) and in the Round of 16. It paid off with the Blues conceding only two goals and earning three shutouts against Fairfax Brave SC (4-0), Tampa Bay United (4-0), and Ohio Elite Soccer Academy (2-0). Stearns is a leader out of the back for So Cal (she plays both center back and outside back) and can find her teammates anywhere on the pitch with crisp passes.

After a sustaining a serious injury, Bickham continued her strong comeback run, not allowing a single goal while on the field for Eagles in Champions League play. Her tactical awareness and superb technical skills helped Eagles get out of jams deep in their defensive third and build possession out of the back.

Jenna Tufo

Midfielder
CA
Tallied two assists while playing both left wing and in the attacking midfield for Santa Rosa in Showcase Cup B. Her excellent communication skills and poise under pressure helped keep SRU in games throughout the weekend. She also pitched in on defense, using her speed to help recover balls in open space and shift the team into the attack.

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Dylan Steinberg | Forward
Penn Fusion Soccer Academy ECNL 08 (PA)

Organized a high press attacking effort for PFSA who outscored their opponents 18-6 in Seattle, earning their spot in the National Finals. Steinberg’s smooth dribbling skills caused major problems for defenses and forced them out of position giving her space to drop dimes in open space for her teammates to capitalize on.

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Julia Malcolm | Midfielder-Forward
De Anza Force 08 (CA)

Belted a curling strike past FC DELCO goalkeeper on matchday two, a 4-0 victory. In tight spaces Malcolm always seems able to break free and can use either foot to create dangerous goal-scoring opportunities. In addition to her shooting, she is also an expert passer and will undoubtedly play a key role in the Force’s run in Virginia next month.

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Ryder Ajeto | Forward
Legends FC 05/06 (CA)

Provided a consistent spark up top for Legends in the Champions League, scoring three goals and adding an assist. The USWYNT U-17 member blew through backlines with her lightning speed and can hit highly accurate shots on target from anywhere inside of her team’s attacking third.

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Tyler Weaver | Defender
Challenge SC 08 (TX)

Shut down four strong attacking teams in Jacksonville SC (3-0), Va Union (3-0), LAFC So Cal (1-0), and Colorado Rapids (2-0) alongside her defensive line mates to help capture the Showcase Cup A crown. Weaver primarily plays in the outside back position where she uses her speed and technical skills to halt opponents advances on the flanks and relieve pressure off of her center-backs. She can also play as an outside midfielder to transition Challenge into an attacking posture.

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Josephine ‘Josie’  Willis | Forward
San Diego Surf SC 08 (CA)

Operating as Surf’s number nine, Willis  orchestrated Surf’s explosive, high-press attack in Seattle clinching their spot in Richmond for the Elite Eight. Her dynamic left-foot proved valuable in both setting up goal-scoring chances for Surf, but also finishing them as evidenced by her goal against Concorde Fire on their first matchday (Jaiden Rodriguez scored the other goal).

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Rylee McLanahan | Forward
FC Dallas 08 (TX)

Burned through defenses in group play and in the Round of 16, scoring six goals and adding four assists for Dallas. The 2022-2023 ECNL All-American and USYNT U17 member is more than comfortable at driving at opponents and forcing them to play out of position while catching up. Dallas, led by McLanahan up top, will be a tough team to break defensively in the National Finals.

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Marlee Raymond | Defender
United Futbol Academy 08 (GA)

Although Raymod typically plays as a center-back, she took on the challenge of outside back. The USWYNT U-16 member never missed a step, using her speed and consistent ball control to break past opponents and move UFA into the midfield.

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Zea Gonzalez | Forward
Sting Austin 08 (TX)

Scored a pivotal goal in Sting’s 2-0 victory over Washington Premier, exactly one year to the day after having sustained an ACL rupture and meniscus tear. Possessing a cracking left-foot Gonzalez can hit shots with both pace and speed anywhere inside of the attacking third. With a full off-season healthy next season should be a strong season for Gonzalez and Sting.

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Cayden ‘KK’ Chowana | Forward
Eagles SC 08 (CA)

Knocked in multiple goals for Eagles during their run in the Champions League, which included a 4-3 win over NC Courage. Chowana has a knack for getting herself enough space even in the thickest of traffic to create goal-scoring opportunities. She can also win tough balls in one-on-one situations and will grind out possessions until she can find an open teammate.

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Cierra Spencer | Goalkeeper
Eagles SC 08 (CA)

Formed a roadblock in front of goal for Eagles, making difficult stops look easy. She also an innate sense for when to clear balls away and give her team time to regroup. Her strong communication skills helped Eagles maintain a tightly organized backline throughout their three matches.

2025

Zoe Anderson

Goalkeeper
OR

Earned two critical wins against Beach FC of Virginia (4-3) and Eagles (3-1) to end Surf’s run in Seattle on a winning note. Inside the eighteen yard box Anderson dominated play, using her ball control and strong command of the defense to hold down difficult attack opponents. The Santa Clara verbal commit also went full extension against the Utah Avalanche, stopping a cracking strike aimed at the upper by parrying it over the bar.

Taylor Wilson

Defender
MD

Assisted on four of NVA’s eight goals in Seattle while playing as a defender. Her work was spread out throughout their campaign, she was able to land an assist in each game. Cat Webster benefited the most, scoring twice throughout their Champions League run.

Anchored ISC’s backline from the center back position, shutting down the opposition effectively by winning balls in the air and the ground. Thanks to her efforts on the defensive end as team captain, ISC went 2-0-1 on 7 points. Her confidence on the ball and willingness to go directly at defenses helped ISC’s transition efforts and retain their shape.

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Kristen Keller | Goalkeeper
KC Athletics Academy Elite 07 (KS)

Came up with two massive saves in penalties in the Round of 16 to help defeat MVLA and book KC’s spot in the Elite Eight. The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville verbal commit was an imposing presence in KC’s defensive third throughout the weekend, helping their defense earn a clean sheet against Match Fit Academy and holding a potent Beach FC attack to just one goal.

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Brianna Keller | Midfielder
Gretna Elite Academy 07 (NE)

Added a goal and an assist to impressive scoring haul this season, lifting Gretna to a 2-2 draw against Penn Fusion Academy on matchday one of Champions League play. In addition to excelling at the midfield, Keller can also slide up top as a forward continuing to peter defenses and force turnovers. For her high school Lincoln Southwest Keller scored 16 goals and added 6 assists leading the team to their first state title.

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Sophia Stiles | Defender
Portland Thorns Academy 06/05 (OR)

A Rutgers verbal commit, Stiles was highly effective at winning one-on-one balls shutting down opponents in both closed and open space. In any situation, she always seems to give her team the best chance at making positive gains and can keep her cool in tough situations.

2024

Ella Callanan | Defender
Portland Thorns Academy 06/05 (OR)

Provided tenacious defending all throughout the Thorns run to the Final Four, shutting out MVLA in the Elite Eight. Her close defending in one-on-one situations gave attackers nightmares all tournament long and made her highly difficult to break down.

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