While the Development Academy gets several weeks of league play off, there is no rest for the best of the ECNL.
No games are scheduled over the coming holiday weekend, but shortly after is the next big event, as several teams and college coaches will descend on Florida for another Showcase.
Still, as the end of the year approaches, for many clubs, this marks about the halfway point of the season. With that in mind, here’s a rundown of some of the standouts in the fall of 2012:
F Ruvimbo Mucherera, Orlando City YS U16
The numbers are gaudy for Mucherera, one of three players on Orlando’s U16 team to reach double digits in goals scored. If her 13 goals and 10 assists haven’t caught the eye of college scouts yet, her chance comes at the end of the month when the nearby Showcase takes place.
MF Camryn Dyke, Colorado Rush U14
One of many promising youngsters at Rush, Dyke has played in all possible age groups so far on the year, an indication of the level of talent she’s showed off from her midfield spot.
D Kelsey Hamer, FC Virginia U14
Hard work pays off, and Hamer, a center back for a very stout FC Virginia defense has put in the work to not only become a huge part of the team's success, but to also get on the team itself. She started on a lower team earlier in the year, though she put in the effort to become a starting central defender on the ECNL U14 side that has eight shutouts from its first 12 games.
D Kaleigh Kurtz, Carolina Elite Soccer Academy U18
A tough, hard-working outside back, Kurtz has displayed consistency throughout the fall that shows Richmond is picking up a player in 2013. She’s a good tackler, and strong in the air, indicated by her seven goals, not to mention five assists to go with that.
MF Adrianna Orozco, SC del Sol U15
A two-way midfielder who can also find the back of the net, Orozco claimed a hat trick earlier in the season against Sereno SC in a November win. Her team is currently on a break until February.
D Alexis Urch, Lonestar U17
Conceding only seven goals in 13 games, Urch is one of the leaders on the back line and will compete for playing time at LSU in 2014. Lonestar’s U17s have rolled to a 12-0-1 record along the way, and are attending the Florida Showcase next weekend.
F Alexandra Rice, Carmel United U14
Having wrapped up her ECNL season until March, Rice was one of the most dynamic offensive players on Carmel and in her division, scoring 13 goals and notching 10 assists through the first half of the season.
MF Caroline Corbett, Utah Avalanche U16
After switching positions entering this year – Corbett played as a forward – the move to central midfield has gone so well that she hasn’t swapped back. Displaying a tenacious defensive ability, Corbett is a perfect two-way midfield, able to get forward and join the attack or deliver the killer pass to unlock a defense.
D Rebecca Koch, Eclipse Select U15
Another defensively strong team, Eclipse’s defensive record so far is 11 goals conceded through 15 games, Koch one of the standouts on the back line so far. Her side is heading to Florida next weekend to see how they stack up against some opponents from outside the region.
MF Julie Mackin, Real Colorado U15
Her team is well past the halfway mark of the season, and doesn’t play again until February, but that’s no diminishing the quality of Mackin, who notched four goals and 13 assists for her Real Colorado side that posted an 11-0-0 mark in the Mountain West.
F Alexis Thomas, Gwinnett Soccer Association U18
A striker who has come a long way this season, the UNC Greensboro has shown real all around ability for Gwinnett so far, scoring eight goals and providing eight assists. Her club’s ECNL regular season will wrap up with three more games at the Florida Showcase at the end of the month.
D Nicole Lyubenko, Colorado Storm U14
The Storm’s entire U14 back line deserves plaudits for only conceding five goals in its 10 ECNL games, Lyubenko one of the key cogs in the machine that has enjoyed success in the fall so far.
F Jamie Cheslik, Michigan Hawks U17
Big goals have been a theme for this Michigan State-bound forward, as Cheslik’s scored nine times in 11 games, seven of those the decisive goal on the day.
MF/F Dorian Bailey, Sporting Blue Valley U17
The leading scorer on her second place Sporting Blue Valley side, Bailey is a dynamic offensive threat, able to play both out wide and up front, where she’s scored eight goals and notched four assists.
D Tegan McGrady, MVLA U16
Despite this being MVLA’s first season in the ECNL – and the team only playing two months so far – one of many bright spots has been McGrady, a left-footed left back with great speed and athleticism, that troubles the opposition on both sides of the ball.
Other players: MF Joanna Boyles (CASL Chelsea U18), GK Alexis McMullen (Carolina Elite Soccer Academy U14), MF Stefani Doyle (Lonestar U15), F Elizabeth Keester (TSC Hurriance U18), MF Taryn Torres (Solar Chelsea U14), D Nickie Zuckerman (Michigan Hawks U16), D Lauren Kelly (FC Virginia U15), MF Alexa Ben (Eclipse Select U17)