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Players That Impressed Jun 26, 2024

Players that Impressed: Girls Academy 2024 National Playoffs and Summer Showcase

The Girls Academy National Playoffs and Summer Showcase concluded on Monday, as the first two National Champions were crowned and more teams punched their tickets to the GA Finals. The event took place from June 19-25 at the Silver Lakes SportsComplex in Norco, California. (College Coaches)

The GA Spring Showcase featured U13-U19 teams from across the league playing non-conference opponents. To view the results, click here.

 

2028

Parker Maher | Forward
Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 09 (PA)

Scored four of Philadelphia’s nine goals on the weekend pushing the team into the next round of the playoffs. Maher has a high motor in the attacking third and is always moving on the pitch, either looking for a space to exploit or attempting to force defenders to make a turnover near goal. In addition to an excellent club season, she also participated in the Mid-Atlantic Talent ID event.

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Ava Adams | Midfielder
South Carolina Surf  09 (SC)

Facing tough attacking talents in Group A of the U15 Playoffs the Surf more than held their own earning victories over Beadling SC (1-0) and Columbia Premier Soccer Club (2-1) to finish second. Adams’ control of the midfield and transition play helped Surf manage the tempo of both matches speeding up and slowing down possession depending upon the scoreline.

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Gabby Beinecke | Forward
Beadling SC 09 (PA)

Netted the equalizer for Beadling on matchday three against South Shore Select and ending their playoff run on a high note. Against three strong teams in Group A Beadling never gave up, grinding out a draw against Columbia Premier SC (0-0) and narrowly losing to South Carolina. Beinecke exemplifies their ‘never say die’, doing everything she can to give her team an attacking spark against difficult defenses.

2027

Kiera Sleicher

Midfielder
PA

Orchestrated a tight, consistent midfield for the Ukies helping them earn their second consecutive Quarterfinal appearance. Sleicher ball control and passing steadied the ship for Philadelphia, giving them balance as they moved into an attacking stance. After just being edged out by Lou Fusz 3-2 on matchday one they rebounded with back-to-back impressive wins against RNY FC Youth (6-1) and Tonka Fusion Elite (1-0) to finish atop Group G.

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Rylie Schulze | Defender
Central Illinois United 08 (IL)

Dominated play inside of CIU’s defensive third, limiting opponents attacking chances and leading their defensive line in shutouts over RNY FC (2-0), Southern Soccer Academy (1-0), and SF Elite (1-0). As CIU’s captain, Schulze was tasked with taking on the difficult defensive assignments all weekend while also coordinating the coverage of closing passing lanes. She thrived in the role and showed that she can contribute on the attack, scoring a goal against RNY FC.

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Kierran Brown | Defender
Seattle Reign Academy 09 (WA)

Despite playing in rough weather conditions against three strong attacking teams, Brown held down the right side of the pitch for the Reign. Her stout defensive work and quick decision-making proved critical in their 1-0 victory over AFC Lightning and across the entire weekend, shutting down opponents on the right flank. Playing in a tough Group D will undoubtedly help in the Reign’s preparation for Surf Cup.

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Caitlin Rouh | Forward
Sporting Athletic Club GA 09 (DE)

Rouh gave defenders fits all weekend, highlighted by her hat trick in Sporting’s come-from-behind victory against Utah Celtic to win Showcase Group J (2-0-1, 7 points). Rouh’s hat trick extended her goal total to five in the Showcase and capped an electric season in which she dominated Mid-Atlantic Conference play. Her speed and agility forces defenders to backtrack and opens up space to create goal-scoring chances.

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Olivia Pisano | Defender
Sporting Athletic Club GA 09 (DE)

In three close games against Celtic, Wake FC (4-2), and Liverpool FC IA Washington (4-3) Pisano came up big during moments giving her team a chance to earn results. While sometimes those big moments came in the form of booming clearances, she also showed a marked level of patience finding her teammates with tidy, efficient passes on the outside to build lasting possessions.

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Nicole Sacek | Midfielder
Galaxy SC 09 (IL)

In just their first year in the GA Playoffs, the Galaxy showed that they belong finishing first in their group and booking their spot in the Quarterfinals. Sacek played a pivotal role in their run to the next round, using her excellent ball control to break past defenders in one-on-one situations and create space on the attack. Her dominant midfield play propelled the club past a tough Michigan Jaguars team in a tight 1-0 victory.

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Bethany Poklemba | Defender
Tophat SC Navy 08 (GA)

A dynamic force on both sides of the pitch, Poklemba played a major role in Tophat Navy going undefeated in the Group G Showcase (3-0-0, 9 points). Defensively, she limited opponents attacking ambitions on the outside forcing them into the traffic in the middle. On the attacking side, she scored the game-winner against Lonestar a 1-0 victory that set the tone for the weekend.

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Avery Williamson | Midfielder
Lamorinda SC 09 (CA)

Operating out of the defensive midfield for Lamorinda, Williamson shut down attacking chances before they could start. Her coordination with her fellow midfielders spurred the team’s attacking ambitions with Williamson making multiple quick one-touch passes to catch defenses off-guard. She has excellent field vision and can hit teammates with passes at a variety of speeds.

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Lily Heron | Forward
Phailadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 09 (PA)

Set the tone for the Ukies in the playoff group stage, opening up the scoring for Philadelphia in two of their three games. Heron can weave through defenders and hit hard, pacey shots past goalkeepers with limited time. Her constant drives at outside backs wore down defenses and gave her teammates plenty to work with.

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Mia Dillard | Forward
Oakwood SC 08 (CT)

Teeming with confidence on the ball and in front of goal, Dillard led Oakwood’s attacking charge scoring four of their five goals over the course of the weekend. In tough moments, Oakwood turned to Dillard who did not disappoint. Against a potent HTX attack, she matched them stride-for-stride scoring twice to earn a 2-2 draw. Her expert touches and confidence with the ball at her feet is due to her skills being honed on the futsal court where she has played for the US Youth Futsal National Team.

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Molly Pullar | Goalkeeper
Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 09 (PA)

Despite facing a setback against Lou Fusz in game one, Pullar and the Ukrainian defense regrouped for two consecutive strong performances allowing just one goal. Her patience with the ball and superb sense of timing helped open up play on the outside for the Ukies and gave them stability as they built out of the back. A two-time USYNT ID Center invitee as well as a Mid-Atlantic Talent ID and National ID participant, Pullar continues to elevate her game with her head-turning saves, ability to attack the ball in box, and her constant communication with her teammates.

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Kennedy Bertsch | Midfielder
Galaxy SC 09 (IL)

An aerial tactician, Bertsch buried two goals from the air against NEFC a 4-3 victory. Her work on set pieces makes her a tough mark for defenders and gives her teammates plenty to work with when hitting service into the box.

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Kailyn Whitehead | Goalkeeper
South Carolina Surf  09 (SC)

Finished off her 2023-2024 campaign with Surf by shutting out Beadling 1-0 on matchday two making multiple giant saves to preserve the victory. Under pressure, Whitehead always seems up for making the difficult dive or parry. As a freshman, she was also part of the SCHSL team that won the state championship this year.

2026

Amara Leppla

Midfielder
WI

Assisted on a critical goal in Wave’s 2-0 victory over NEFC. Leppla’s precision passing and darting runs off of the ball opened up play all weekend for Wave who booked their spot in the next round of the GA Playoffs. Her consistency and ball control helped Wave retain possession for long portions of time over the weekend and helped the team limit opponent’s time behind the ball.

Sloane Phillips

Midfielder
CA

Belted the game-winning goal on match-day one to start a big weekend for City. She continued her strong attacking form with a brace on match day two, finishing off a free kick from Caelan Kenney and a cross from Mayson Henneman. Her nose for goal and willingness to do whatever it takes will help City in the next round. She will also undoubtedly draw upon her experience with Legends FC in the ECNL Finals when City faces critical junctures in the next round.

Hailey Crabb

Defender
AR

Showed her composure and ability to deliver under pressure, hammering home an early penalty goal against Sockers FC, a 2-0 victory. Her leadership, composure and reliability led them to the top of their group in the Showcase (2-1-0, 6 points). She can close gaps inside the defense and times her runs perfectly so as to meet attackers head on.

Finley Newell

Midfielder
TX

The Irish youth international controlled possession in the midfield for Lonestar, helping them retain their shape and take chances on the attack when called upon. It paid off with Lonestar’s 07 Red (1-0-2, 5 points) finishing first in Group F and clinching a spot in the Elite Eight.

Kate Leach

Forward
GA
Tophat Navy went undefeated at the Summer Showcase thanks in part due to Leach and their attack. She set the tone in the South Shore Select match, scoring off of a thunderous strike from distance. Her ability to win difficult balls, hit challenging one-touch passes and relentless pursuit of the ball sparked Tophat all season and allowed them to end their campaign on a high note.

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Gabby Thompson | Midfielder-Forward
Lou Fusz Athletic 08 (MO)

Provided a consistent attacking force for LFAs 08s in group play, scoring five goals over the course of the weekend to book their spots in Nationals. Her stellar weekend on the attack was highlighted by a hat trick performance against Keystone FC. Whether playing as a seven, nine, or eleven Thompson dominates the attacking third creating quality goal-scoring chances for herself and her teammates (14 total goals scored).

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Olivia Kaiser | Midfielder
Lou Fusz Athletic 08 (MO)

Captained LFA to an undefeated record through group play (2-0-1, 7 points) and led possession through the midfield. Kaiser has excellent field vision and can open play with slight touches or changes. She also had a goal and an assist through the weekend.

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

Spearheaded Nationals lockdown defensive work which didn’t concede a single goal in three matches. Landstra’s timely interceptions and well-placed tackles aided Nationals efforts in their three wins. She also scored in their 2-0 win against Florida United. In addition to featuring for Nationals, Landstra will also be playing in the USLW this summer for Detroit City FC.

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Mary Kate Greene | Goalkeeper
Tophat SC Navy 08 (GA)

Booked back-to-back clean sheets against Lonestar SC (1-0) and Murrieta (2-0) to kickstart Tophat’s Showcase campaign. When under pressure Greene shines, coolly making stops with ease then starting possession with a quick pass or toss. Her technique and footwork helped Tophat Navy get out of jams and end their season on a high note.

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Caitlyn Thompson | Goalkeeper
Century United 08 (PA)

Rolled out two major victories against xx and xxx to give United a winning record in California. Thompson can make the difficult save on shots from distance then immediately collect herself for any rebounded efforts. She is a two-time USYNT ID Center invitee and just participated in the Mid-Atlantic Talent ID event.

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Sienna Goldstein | Goalkeeper
STA Soccer 08 (NJ)

Dominated between the posts in group play for STA, earning three clean sheets and a spot in the Elite Eight. Goldstein possesses excellent reflexes and has a quick reaction time making her a challenge to get past on rebounded shots.

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Olivia Stark | Midfielder
Albion SC Las Vegas 08 (NV)

Playing primarily as a midfielder in California, Stark was highly effective at retaining possession for long portions of the match and knowing when to start the attack. She also showed what she can do in front of goal, scoring two of Albion’s four goals and leading the team to a second place showing in the Group C playoffs.

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Sophie Esders | Forward
RNY FC 07 (NY)

In the attacking third Esders dominated on the pitch, highlighted by a five goal performance in their 5-1 win over Almaden FC. Across all three games Esders scored seven goals and tallied three assists in their undefeated run through Showcase Group N (2-0-1, 7 points). She runs a press on defenses and can either hammer a shot from anywhere on the pitch or deliver crisp diagonal passes in space for a surging teammate.

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Bianca Juncaj | Forward
Michigan Jaguars FC 08 (MI)

Scored the lone goal in the Jaguars 1-1 draw against SDSC Surf, continuing their undefeated run in Showcase play. Juncaj always seems to put herself in the perfect spot to give herself the best chance at goal a testament to her field awareness and situational positioning. She can make the small, quiet moves off of the ball that never catch the attention of defenders but always cause maximum damage.

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Chloe Bunton | Midfielder
Louisiana TDP Elite 08 (LA)

Added another three goals to her scoring haul this season, including a brace against SJEB FC. She showed off her versatility in how she gets her goals, with both goals coming from headers. In the midfield there are few players who have as high of a command for the game as Bunton who can take what she sees on the pitch and immediately make adjustments to give her team the best chance at goal.

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Emma Smith | Goalkeeper
Kansas Rush 07 (KS)

Made an immediate positive impression with her new club, booking two shutouts in the Showcase. Smith worked seamlessly with her defense to shore up gaps and make tactical adjustments throughout the match, no easy feat considering all parties are just getting used to one another. Smith is more than willing to mix it up with attackers in the box, skills that have been honed on the basketball court (She also plays basketball for Mokan and Thunder High School).

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Kennedy Miller | Forward
Kansas Rush 07 (KS)

Serving as Rush’s playmaker at the GA Showcase, Miller was instrumental in their goal-scoring activities in all three matches. She scored in each of their first two games against and RISE and Sockers (both 2-0 victories) while adding a goal and an assist in their 4-3 loss against South Carolina. Miller attended the 2024 Midwest Talent ID camp and is a two-time Kansas 5A State Champion.

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Stella Comparato | Midfielder
Kansas Rush 07 (KS)

Knocked home a brace against Surf to help close the gap and give Rush a chance at a result. She also added an assist against RISE, showcasing her technical prowess and on-point field awareness. In addition to her work for her club team Stella was the top scorer in both goals and assists for her high school team this spring, earning All-Conference honors.

2025

Anchored an IMG Academy defense that allowed only one goal in three matches in Group A, finishing in first place (3-0-0, 9 points). The USC verbal commit has excellent technical skills and can lead her team out of the back with or without the ball at her feet. Her quick cuts and help IMG’s efforts on both sides of the pitch and make her highly difficult to break down.

Provided a high level of creativity through the midfield in Rush’s rise to the top of the U17 Group K Showcase (2-1-0, 6 points). Her sharp, pinpoint passes across the pitch opened up defenses and led to multiple goals across all three matches. She also earned an assist on day two against Sockers FC, a 2-0 win.

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