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Players That Impressed Mar 13, 2024

Players That Impressed: Girls Academy 2024 Champions Cup Finals

The 2024 Girls Academy Champions Cup Finals were held from March 7-12 at the IMG Academy, featuring some of the GA’s top teams across the U13-U19 age groups.

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

2029

Mia Bargfrede

Forward
MA

With an impressive combination of speed and footwork, Mia Bargfrede was a handful for opponents throughout the tournament and demonstrated the versatility of a top-tier attacker. In the semi-final match vs Cincinnati United, she scored off a well-timed run in the box, then in the final minute of regulation got the go-ahead goal in the 3-2 victory with a beautiful shot to the back post off a free kick.

2028

Alana Yasuda | Midfielder-Winger
Florida United 09 (FL)

Sprinting down the flanks, Yasuda was effective at opening up play for United in their Champions Cup run. Her small runs off of the ball would often up acres of space for Florida allowing them to dominate opponents on the counter-attack. In addition to being an asset on the attack, Yasuda aided in their efforts at holding on to leads late, finding space to retain possession and force opponents to chase and eat up the clock.

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Sherlyn Palos | Midfielder
City SC 09 (CA)

Split defenses in two with her darting runs throughout the Champions Cup, leading City SC to the Champions Cup U15 title. Palos helped City maintain possession for extended periods throughout their championship run, finding small gaps in defenses and using her expert dribbling skills to break open backlines. That ability to make opponent’s chase played a pivotal role in City’s three shutout victories en route to the finals (1-0 over South Carolina Surf and South Shore Select, 2-0 over Tophat Gold) and holding on 2-1 against Florida United to earn top honors.

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Gabby Beinecke | Forward
Beadling SC 09 (PA)

Lifted Beadling past Tophat Gold in the third place game 3-2, scoring a goal and adding two assists. Beinecke’s ability to find space in the attacking third and immediately move into a goal scoring helped set up the attack throughout their Champions Cup run. She is a two-time USYNT ID Center invitee and has also been invited in the past to participate in the GA National Talent ID event.

2027

Kiera Sleicher

Midfielder
PA

Provided the assist on Ryleigh Bakley’s game-winning goal in the Ukies 1-0 win over Cincinnati United in their Round of 16 tilt. Sleicher can drive directly at defenders and force them out of position. That in turn gives her passing lanes to find her teammates with a perfectly timed pass in open space.

Alyssa Morgan

Goalkeeper
FL

In her first year in the GA, Morgan has already established herself as an elite player in the league. In her Champions Cup debut, her athletic saves and ability to challenge on each set piece led to three clean sheets against the top teams of Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals, Lamorinda and a penalty kick shootout win against Beadling to advance her team to the U15 finals.

Delaney Amato | Goalkeeper
Beadling SC 09 (PA)

Blanked Spokane Sounders (5-0) and Nationals (1-0) in back-to-back matches, booking Beadling a spot in the Semifinals. Against Florida United, Amato had another strong performance before falling just short 1-0. As opposed to letting that tough result get to them, Beadling picked themselves up and grinded out an impressive result against a high-scoring Tophat, holding on for a 3-2 win and third place honors. Amato is a two-time USYNT ID Center invitee and has previously been invited to participate in the GA’s Mid-Atlantic Conference Talent ID event.

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Lily Jeakle | Midfielder
Nationals 08 Blue (MI)

Jeakle was a key cog in Nationals’ third straight Champions Cup title, scoring 4 of the team’s 8 goals. In a 2-0 win, she collected a brace against Utah Celtic, sparked the 4-3 comeback against Florida United with a late 2nd half header, and closed the door on a Lou Fusz comeback with a 50-yard solo run. In the final against Tophat, Jeakle stayed dangerous, finding teammates with her passes, ringing a shot off the post and drawing the foul that led to the free-kick game winner.

2026

Libby Magnone

Midfielder
IL

Ended the weekend as the Wave 07s leading goalscorer on an attack that as a team scored eight goals in four games. Operating out of the midfield, Magnone can take whatever space is given to her and turn it into a dangerous opportunity on the attack. She is also more than willing to take a crack at distance, as evidenced by her brilliant strike in the Wave’s 4-3 win over Lamorinda SC.

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Jordyn Gunn | Defender
Tophat 08 Gold (GA)

Started the Champions Cup with a strong defensive performances, making multiple key tackles in their 6-0 win over LA Surf Soccer Club. In successive rounds, Gunn alongside her Tophat linemates held the line against two high-scoring teams in City SC (3-1) and NEFC (2-1), earning close victories to book their spot in the finals. The 2023 National Champion always remained calm and cool under pressure and delivered critical defensive stops throughout their Champions Cup finalist run.

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Gracie Milam | Center-back
Lou Fusz Athletic 08 (MO)

Captained LFA and led their defense to a semifinal appearance in the Champions Cup, earning two shutouts over TSJ FC Virginia (3-0) and FRAM SC (2-0). Called up to the U-16 USWYNT camp in February, Milam has worked her way to being one of the top center-backs in the 2008 age group. Her ability to build possession from the back and find her teammates with clinical passes makes her highly difficult to mark and gives Lou Fusz a strong backbone to build off of.

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Parker Dieck | Center Back
Lou Fusz Athletic 08 (MO)

Worked seamlessly with Milam and her LFA linemates to stem the opposition’s advances towards goal, tightly marking attackers and giving them little space to operate. She is also an asset on set pieces, scoring a goal off of a corner in LFA’s 3-0 against TSJ FC Virginia. Dieck is a three-time GA Frontier Conference ID Camp invitee and has previously participated in a USYNT ID Camp in 2022.

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Savannah Enriquez | Midfielder
City SC 08 (CA)

Served as a key cog in transitioning City into the attack, using her superior field vision to pick out teammates all throughout the pitch. Across all four of their matches (two Champions Cup and two consolation), City held their opponents to less than a goal in three of their four games while scoring seven. Enriquez’s ability to change the field of play and retain possession for long portions of the game proved integral in victories over Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals (3-0), Beadling SC (1-0), and Florida United (2-1).

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Maren Swan | Midfielder
Nationals 08 Blue (MI)

Buried her free kick opportunity to tie up their match against Florida United in the Quarterfinals, a game in which Nationals would win 4-3. Whether on set pieces or in the field of play, Swan poses problems for any defense. Using her pinpoint passing and tight ball control, she played a major role in leading Nationals to their third consecutive Champions Cup.

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Ava Landstra | Defensive Midfielder and Center Back
Nationals 08 Blue (MI)

Operating out of the defensive midfield, Landstra stymied attackers throughout Nationals championship run. Her ability to read passing lanes and time her runs so that can make the interceptions helped slow down traffic through the center of the pitch. In addition to her defensive work, she also helped out on the attack providing one of their two goals in the finals, a 2-1 over Tophat Gold.
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Braelyn Even | Center Back
CUP 07 (OH)

Facing significant pressure in the finals against TSJ FC Virginia, Even maintained a high-level composure and led CUP out of a one goal deficit and on to their third consecutive Champions Cup crown. Even’s tight marking and ability to force attackers to go wide helped her defense maintain their shape throughout the weekend, leading to key victories over Tophat Gold (2-1), Spokane Sounders (3-0), and City SC (2-1).

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Sam Curtis | Midfielder
Nationals Blue 05/06 (MI)

A member of the Nationals Gray 07 team, Curtis played up with Nationals Blue 05/06s at the Champions Cup. She was more than up for the task, scoring the equalizing goal against Tophat in the Quarterfinals. The right footed midfielder made precise, tactical runs at defenders creating space for her teammates to capitalize on.

2025

Izzy Reidy | Defender
South Shore Select 05/06 (MA)

Anchored the South Shore defense all the way to the top of the mountain where they held the high-scoring Colorado Rush 2-1 to win the U19 Champions Cup. Her decisive clearances and quick thinking when tracking back was integral to South Shore allowing just two goals in four matches.

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Sonya Franklin | Defender
Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 07 (PA)

Provided consistent defensive work throughout the weekend for Philadelphia, lifting them to a 3-1 victory over IMG Academy in the Round of 16 and in close wins over Spokane Sounders (2-0) and NEFC (3-2) in the consolation rounds. Her ball distribution helped them build possession out of the back and her work on the wings gave her teammates options in moving out of the defensive third.

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Madison Whitt | Defender
TSJ FC Virginia 07 (VA)

Alternating between the left back and center-back positions, Whitt provided lockdown defensive work throughout TSJ FC Virginia’s Champions Cup run. Her strong runs off of the ball and decisive clearances gave opponent’s fits in their wins over South Shore Select (2-1), Nationals Blue (3-2), and Colorado Rush (4-2). Whitt and Virginia’s attention now turns to league play where they are looking to improve upon their National Semifinals run from last year.

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Bella Coccio | Midfielder
Baltimore Armour 05/06 (MD)

Bella employed her excellent technical skills to control the middle, maintaining an excellent tempo and a rhythm throughout the week. With her high work rate, she covered space effectively and impacted games both defensively and offensively.

2024

Makenna Marshall | Defender
South Shore Select 05/06 (MA)
Shepherded the South Shore defense to the U19 Championship game, allowing just two goals en route to winning top honors. Her work lockdown defensive work was especially important in the final where South Shore held on to defeat Colorado Rush 2-1. Marshall has committed to playing college soccer next year at Iowa State.

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Nuala Rodgers | Midfielder
South Shore Select 05/06 (MA)

Organized a tightly controlled South Shore midfield that could either put the gas on the attack or slow things down and force opponents to chase when holding a lead. Under pressure, she always remained calm and collected and proved to be steadying presence as South Shore earned their Champions Cup honors. Rodgers has committed to Massachusetts Lowell for next season.

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