From November 9-12, the FC Wisconsin ECNL teams from U15 to U18/19 were at the ECNL Phoenix National Showcase - one of the biggest collegiate showcases in the country. The teams arrived for a light training on November 9, before playing 3 games over the following 3 days against some of the top clubs and players in the country.
Beyond the competition, the event provided incredible collegiate showcasing opportunities. In the U17 age group, more than 50 different college programs watched the FC Wisconsin players as they went through the event undefeated.
Every game across all 3 age groups was competitive, and the club finished with a 4-7-1 combined record. There were stand-out performances at every age group, and every team showed bright spots and periods of extended possession:
- Emma Jaskaniec: Jaskaniec stood out as one of the top players in the event, scoring 6 goals in the 3 games, and hitting the post mutliple additional times. She was a constant attacking threat - on the dribble, in the air, and in combination with other players.
- Payton Steffen: Steffen was a rock at centerback, and set a strong defensive tone in every game.
- Nicole Norfolk: Norfolk's leadership and presence kept the team organized, and her penetrating passes set-up numerous attacking moves.
- Aryssa Mahrt: Mahrt was a midfield workhorse for the U16s, keeping possession well, and regularly drawing mutliple defenders to contain her attacking runs.
- Emily Ehlert: Ehlert played as the #6 for the U16s, and initiated many good attacking sequences while also being an effective screen in front of the center backs.
- Maria Nordness: Nordness' individual defending and tackling were impressive in every game, and she consistently kept possession building from the back.
- Jordy Rothwell: Rothwell made a great partner for Maria Nordness as the workrate of both players set a tone for the U18 team.
- Dri Alberts: Alberts was a box-to-box midfielder in the first two games before tiring on day 3. She disrupted play and launched great counters from center midfield.
- Sydney Kalinger: Kalinger was a brick wall in goal, making some great saves on day 2 and day 3, but also had a good connection with her back four in possession and in organizing the defense.
- U18: 1-2
- 3-0 vs. Utah Avalanche - sluggish start but dominant second half saw a deserved 3 points.
- 3-4 vs. Florida Krush - the team jumped out to a strong start, lost concentration, and were disappointed not to take a point
- 0-2 vs. Richmond United - a slow start doomed the team despite extended periods of dominance that could not be converted into goals.
- U17: 2-0-1
- 5-5 Tie vs. San Juan (CA) - perhaps the game of the event in terms of excitement, end-to-end action, and lead changes.
- 2-0 vs. DMCV Sharks (CA) - dominant performance that could have had more goals
- 2-0 vs. Arsenal (CA) - professional result, with the team showing sophistication in managing the game.
- U16: 0-3
- 0-2 vs. Classics Elite (TX) - two early goals were the difference in a game that otherwise saw very even play and chances on both sides
- 0-2. vs. Carolina Elite (SC) - again, early goals reflected a slow start in a game that should have been at least a draw
- 2-4 vs. Heat FC (NV) - the U16s took an early lead twice but couldn't hold it, and were caught on a late counter as they pushed for the equalizer
- U15: 1-2
- 5-0 vs. Alabama FC - a strong first game with a hat-trick from Haley Johnson
- 0-1 vs. Sereno (AZ) - a big advantage in possession for the U15s, but they could not find the net before a corner goal proved the difference
- 1-2 vs. Santa Rosa (CA) - two exhausted teams struggled to find a rhythm and the team that finished their chances took the points.
Check out some of the photos below to get a sense of the incredible environment of the ECNL! And of course, the Annual FC Wisconsin Dance Contest didn't disappoint on Saturday night, with creative and hilarious performances by every age group.