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Players That Impressed Jul 22, 2021

Players That Impressed: Girls Academy Finals 2021

The Girls Academy (GA) held the 2021 GA Finals from July 16-18 at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. as the league’s opening season came to an end.

SoccerWire is highlighting top performances from the event with a new Players That Impressed feature. Additional nominations are currently still being accepted. Coaches, parents and athletes are invited to submit nominations for up to two (2) players per team.

Continue reading for a listing of some of the top players at the culminating event for GA teams across the U15-U17 age groups. Players are listed by graduation year.

Class of 2022

Alexa Gianoplus | Goalkeeper
TSJ FC Virginia U-17 (VA)

Made numerous impressive saves to help lead her team into the title match, where TSJ FC Virginia recorded another clean sheet during a scoreless draw against Nationals, before falling 5-4 in penalty kicks. Her saves, communication and distribution, elevated the team in the finals and kept them in the championship game.

Class of 2023

While the Tophat U-17 squad has plenty of forward talent, the player on the team who impressed us the most sits on the backline. During two games at the GA National Finals, Shores was ever-present, constantly feeding her teammates scoring opportunities. Behind her stellar defensive play and two assists, Tophat was able to take home third place overall in the U-17 age bracket.

Roy made her presence felt all over the pitch in her two games at the GA National Finals, which ended with her team being crowned the U-17 champions. She scored a goal in the first game, and played an integral part in her club’s scoreless draw against TSJ FC Virginia, and slotted home the first of her team’s attempts in kicks from the mark.

Ella Carter | Forward
TSJ FC Virginia U-17 (VA)

In a tense back-and-forth game with a trip to the championship on the line, Carter delivered a clutch performance. Deep into regulation against Tophat, tied 1-1, Carter put the ball right in her teammates’ lap to assist on the go-ahead goal. After Tophat equalized late in regulation, Carter capitalized on her opponent’s mistake in extra time, slotting home the eventual game-winning goal to send her team to the final.


Sophie Johnson | Defender
TSJ FC Virginia U-17 (VA)

Scored the equalizer for TSJ FC Virginia in the semifinal against Tophat and played a major role in her side’s clean sheet effort against Nationals in the title match.


Kennedy Clark | Midfielder
Cincinnati United Premier U-16 (OH)

An active influence throughout the tournament, Clark had either an assist or a goal on multiple occasions throughout Cincinnati United’s two-game run to the championship. A midfielder able to take on multiple challengers and still make the correct decision, Clark helped run an explosive CUP offense that scored seven times across the finals.


Amanda Schlueter | Forward/Midfielder
Cincinnati United Premier U-16 (OH)

When Kulpa played the role of the hero for Oakwood against Schlueter in the U-16 semifinal (see above), it was Schlueter who played spoiler to make sure CUP continued their undefeated season. Assisting on the equalizer, then putting home the go-ahead goal, Schlueter quickly helped turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead that was good enough to send CUP to the championship game.

Class of 2024

Chloe Shimkin


Consistently beat opposing players down the line, winning her 1v1 matchups and helped spark the attack for national finalist IMG Academy by getting crosses across the 18.

Leah Varela | Midfielder
IMG Academy U-15 (FL)

After putting up an assist in her team’s semifinal 2-1 victory, Varela equalized in the final against IMG early in the second half with a goal to help send IMG to extra time against eventual national champion NEFC.


Isabella Meadows | Forward
NEFC U-15 (MA)

Constantly present around the ball and generating opportunities for herself, Meadows broke the scoring open in the championship game against IMG Academy, leading her team to a 2-1 victory in extra time.


Abigail Gemma | Defender
IMG Academy (U-15 FL)

The center back and captain of IMG’s U-15 squad kept her defense organized as they shut down opposing offenses throughout their playoff run. Gemma made great passes out of the back to set up IMG’s attack, and she even made an appearance at center-mid to help close out a victory.


Aubrey Kulpa | Forward
Oakwood SC U-16 (CT)

Despite Oakwood falling in both their games at the GA National Finals, Kulpa had one of the most impressive individual efforts of the entire event. With her team coming out of the second half down 2-0 in the semifinal against eventual champion Cincinnati United, Kulpa scored a hat trick, with all three goals coming within four minutes total.

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