In a great fall weekend of soccer, the FC Wisconsin Eclipse ECNL teams went 2-2 against Vardar SC (MI) in their ECNL home openers.
The U15s and U16s led the way for the club on Saturday, with both earning very tough but deserved 1-0 victories. Taylor Kerwin scored the game-winner for the U15 team in the 60th minute, with some great skill and a precise finish from 8 yards out. For the U16s, Mary DeWalt scored her first career ECNL goal off an incisive penetrating ball from Emma Langer mid-way through the second half. On Saturday, the U13 team played Vardar to 2 ties (0-0, 1-1) in two well-contested JR ECNL friendlies. JR ECNL competition is scheduled to provide young teams with top competition and a glimpse of the future they can look forward to in the ECNL.
On Sunday, FC Wisconsin Eclipse was swept by the Michigan Hawks in a tough, but competitive day that once again showed the exceptional quality of ECNL competition. The U17 team was able to hold the Hawks off the scoreboard until the 80th minute, before dropping a close 0-1 decision. It was a similar story for the U16 team who also lost 0-1 - nearly equalizing the game with several great chances in the closing minutes. Payton Wesley, Dana Boyle, Jess Cooley and Mary Kate Simon led the U16 backline on the weekend in a strong defensive effort, supported by great ball-winning and distribution by Kate Del Fava in central midfield.
Facing a very talented U18 Michigan Hawks team, the FC Wisconsin Eclipse U18s played to a close 0-2 result on Saturday before University of North Carolina recruit and U18 National Team star Megan Buckingham iced the game in the 80th minute. Goalkeeper Elyse Hansen (University of Florida Gulf Coast recruit), and centerbacks Erin Corrigan (UW-Milwaukee recruit) and Cassidy Blanchard (UWM recruit) led a strong performance from the backline and Caroline Fink (Marquette University recruit) marshalled the midfield in attack.
"This weekend we faced some great teams and players, and saw that our teams are continuing to make significant progress at the top level of youth soccer in the US," said coach Andy Lee. "We faced youth national team players at multiple age groups, and many teams that played in the ECNL Champions League last year. I am really impressed with the performances our players put in, the results we earned, and the competitiveness we showed in all the games."
"Every weekend we are learning and getting better," said Director Christian Lavers. "It was great to see the teams supporting each other from game-to-game, seeing the great culture that the players are creating between all of the teams, and seeing our teams play the attractive, possession-oriented soccer that is not only great to watch, but will prepare them very well for the future."