CASL SPARTAN ELTIE U16 CAPTURE ECNL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Champions crowned as 2011 ECNL National Championship draws to a close
Final standings Challenge A | Challenge B | Final ECNL club rankings | Videos
ECNL National Championship Web page| ECNL National Championship Online HQ | ECNL website
AURORA, Colo. (July 19, 2011) – The 2011 Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) National Championship came to a close Saturday at Aurora Sports Complex in suburban Denver as teams from four different clubs earned ECNL National Championships, three additional teams won Challenge B National Championships, and Eclipse Select SC (Ill.) was crowned the overall ECNL National Club Champion.
Day 1: Highlights
Day 2: Highlights
Day 3: Highlights
The event, held July 14-16, was the culmination of the second season of the ECNL and included 164 of the country’s top female youth soccer teams representing all 52 current member clubs in what is one of the most prestigious events of the year. The teams were competing for age group championships and promotion and relegation between the Challenge A and B flights in each age group for the 2011-12 season.
“The ECNL National Championship was a tremendous success and once again displayed the high level of play that exists in the league,” said ECNL Vice President Doug Bracken. “This event will be the pinnacle of female youth soccer competition in this country for the future.”
Highlighting the final day of competition was the U-17 ECNL National Championship Game between top-seeded San Diego Surf (Calif.) and No. 2 seed PDA (N.J.), which was carried live on ESPNU and ESPN3. In a tense game, San Diego Surf found a late goal from Stephanie Hamilton to give the club its first ECNL National Championship.
“Having the opportunity to showcase the U-17 national championship game live on ESPNU and ESPN3 not only gave the ECNL national exposure and created a wonderful experience for the players and teams involved, but it also provided us a platform to show how the ECNL is trying to improve the landscape of women’s soccer in this country,“ said ECNL Commissioner Sarah Kate Noftsinger.
Overall, seven team championships were awarded during the ECNL National Championship:
U-15 ECNL National Champion: Lonestar SC (Texas)
U-16 ECNL National Champion: CASL (N.C.)
U-17 ECNL National Champion: San Diego Surf (Calif.)
U-18 ECNL National Champion: KCFC (Kan.)
U-15 ECNL Challenge B National Champion: KCFC (Kan.)
U-16 ECNL Challenge B National Champion: Carmel United (Ind.)
U-17 ECNL Challenge B National Champion: Carmel United (Ind.)
CASL (N.C.) won the U-18 ECNL Challenge B National Championship by virtue of its first place regular season finish.
Thanks in part to its third-place finish in the U-18 age group, Eclipse Select SC claimed the overall ECNL National Club Championship, beating second-place San Diego Surf by a single point. Eclipse was carried to the crown by its consistency across all four age groups, as it was the only club to boast three top-six teams in the final Challenge A standings. Defending ECNL National Club Champion PDA finished third, 10 points behind Eclipse.
“To see where the ECNL has come in only two years and where it is going next year in terms of the competition schedule, the player identification program and even in overall club and coaching development platforms is impressive,” said ECNL President Christian Lavers. “I think we have some very innovative and player-focused leaders in the ECNL clubs that are taking so many positive steps in improving the player development environment. When the grass-roots leadership is united like this, positive change can come very quickly.”
Up next for the ECNL will be the 2011 ECNL/id2 International Tour, which is scheduled for Aug. 8-15 in London, England. The 17-player roster was selected based on performances over the ECNL season and at the 2011 ECNL/id2 National Training Camp, held Feb. 10-13 in Tallahassee, Fla. The tour will include games against top European Clubs, such as Arsenal and Fulham, and training sessions at some of the top youth academies in the world.
The 2012-13 ECNL Season will begin August 1.
The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and sponsored by Nike.
About the ECNL:
The ECNL is a non-profit national youth soccer league founded in 2009 to provide the best possible developmental environment for American female youth soccer players through the creation of the highest level of national competition and an identification and development program to provide an avenue for players to participate in U.S. Soccer's National Teams. The 2010-11 season is the ECNL’s second season. Each of the 52 member clubs in 2010-11 field a team in the U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-18 age groups, each competing for the ECNL National Championship, the ECNL National Club Championship and promotion and relegation between flights. The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer. For more information, visit http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com.
About US Club Soccer:
US Club Soccer is a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop competitive club soccer in the United States. A member of the United States Soccer Federation since July 2001, US Club Soccer has grown to include member clubs and leagues in all 50 states. In addition to sanctioning and administering tournaments, leagues and other competitions as well as offering a range of programs for its members, US Club Soccer annually conducts the National Cup. US Club Soccer also directs its own player identification and development program – id2. For more information, please visit http://www.usclubsoccer.org.