Published: October 7, 2011
It’s back to the national stage for the ECNL this weekend as the first national event of the season kicks off on Saturday at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Arizona.
The gathering will be the first of five that precede the ECNL National Championship June 25-30 in Waukegan, Illinois.
It will also mark the continued title defense for a few powerhouse clubs.
U16 Lonestar SC, the returning champion from last season’s U15 age group, is off to a strong 6-1-1 start to the year – good enough for first in the Flight A Texas Conference.
, our No. 26 ranked player in the 2014 Top 100, is one of the team’s leaders and is clearly thriving again this season. She has three goals thus far while teammate Katherine Uhler paces the team with four. Hannah Meyer
is a key cog in a defense that has allowed only three scores so far.
On the U17 side, the early season spotlight belongs to defending U16 champ CASL. Joanna Boyles
is clearly the headliner of the squad, and the entire country for that matter as she sits No. 1 on our Top 100 2013 Ranking, with her extensive U.S. National Team experience and mature game.
CASL midfielder Alexis Shaffer, No. 54 on the Top 100, presents her own challenges for opposing teams while goalkeeper Taylor Francis
(No. 92 in Top 100) holds down the fort in net.
The U18 San Diego Surf are the returning U17 champs and feature well known names like Maya Theuer (No. 6 in Top 100), Laura Liedle (No. 3 on Top 100) and Kodi Lavrusky (No. 18 in Top 100).
And while they’ll face tough competition even within their division from the likes of Arsenal FC and Slammers FC, the road to the title will go through the Surf.
We’ll learn which clubs are poised to challenge the title-holders this weekend.