1 national finalist and another team within a goal of the same feat. A dozen players in college soccer. Many more recognized for their performances in id2 camps, ECNL Player Development Programs, and more. This is Program 1 of FC Wisconsin Eclipse. Read why this year is record setting for most clubs, and only year 1 of FC Wisconsin Eclipse.
The first year of any new enterprise is always full of growth, challenges, and excitement. In youth soccer, the first year of a new club is typically quiet and uneventful as players and teams get used to each other and a new culture. But the normal standards don’t apply when the new club is FC Wisconsin Eclipse, and when the teams are playing in the highest level of youth soccer in the country.
The first year of FC Wisconsin Eclipse saw incredible excitement, a constant path of progress, and massive changes in youth soccer culture in Wisconsin. FC Wisconsin Eclipse players and teams found new levels of performance individually and collectively, established a new culture of development and club support, and set the foundation for future opportunity for themselves and the next generation of aspiring players. Below are only some of the highlights of the season:
- U14 Team Finishes 1 Goal Short of the ECNL National Finals: In their first year in the ECNL, the U14 team went to the final day of the season with a berth to the ECNL National Finals still in play. Only 16 teams in the country qualify for the U14 ECNL National Finals, and on June 2 the U14s played Eclipse Select for that opportunity. Needing a win to secure the finals berth, the U14s fell 1 goal short in a 0-0 tie that could have gone either way. Over the course of the season, the team set new highs in quality of soccer, grit, and skill – showing that the future of FC Wisconsin Eclipse is very bright.
- U16 Team Finishes Second in ECNL North American League Play-Off Group: The U16 team was one of the most improved teams in the country in 2012-2013, qualifying for the ECNL North American League Play-Offs in June in Denver, CO, where they finished in 2nd place – 1 win shy of qualifying for the ECNL North American Finals. Competing in one of the best conferences in the ECNL during the regular season, the team showed that they have embraced new standards of toughness and intelligence, with a roster of players that will be showing their ability in college soccer in the coming years.
- U23 Team Qualifies for ECNL National Finals: With a roster of players that have won the only youth national championship in Wisconsin history 2 years ago, and several that played in the WPSL Final Four in 2010, the U23 team showed that great teams maintain their quality over time when they clinched a berth in the ECNL U23 National Finals. The team will attempt to win the club’s first ECNL national championship when they travel to Richmond, VA on July 10.
College Exposure and Opportunity:
- Real College Showcasing Means Hundreds of Colleges: Playing in the ECNL National Showcase events all year, FC Wisconsin Eclipse players saw what real college showcasing and recruiting exposure looks like. At the ECNL National Play-Offs in Denver, CO over 450 college coaches were in attendance to watch the country’s best players square off – and sidelines packed with 30+ different colleges were the norm. At the ECNL National Showcase in Sanford, FL in December, the U16 team had more than 50 different colleges attend the same game!
- Real College Opportunity Means Roster Spots and Signings: On signing day in February, the first graduating class of FC Wisconsin Eclipse saw 12 players accept roster spots in top college soccer programs across the country. Players went to schools in the Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Horizon League, and more. As stated by graduating senior Michela Ongaro (Oklahoma State): “This club is going to produce superstars – I have no doubt about that. I was only able to be a part of it for a year, but I wish more than anything I had the opportunity to train with this club longer.”
- Alumni Success – “The Proof in the Pudding”: Two alumni of the FC Wisconsin Eclipse training program finished their college careers in style, as Ally Miller (Marquette University) was named Second Team All-American and Dana Larsen (Baylor University) was named Third Team All-American. Both players credit their youth training and development as a key part in helping them understand the requirements for personal success, and setting the foundation for their long-term success.
Over the course of the year, almost every player in the program found new levels of personal performance, new depths of grit and toughness, and new standards of quality in their play. Being a part of the FC Wisconsin Eclipse program means learning how to set, achieve, and pursue ambitious goals – and the culture of the club propels aspiring players to new heights. This was objectively recognized by the individual accolades earned by many different players in the club throughout the year:
- Cami Davre (id2 Training Camp – AZ)
- Jen Wandt (id2 Training Camp – AZ)
- Taylor Kerwin (id2 Training Camp – AZ)
- Madeline Hoitink (id2 Training Camp – CA)
- Lindsey Weiss (id2 Training Camp – CA, AZ)
- Cassidy Blanchard (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Erin Corrigan (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Michela Ongaro (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Chloe Knudtson (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Gabby Dorsey (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Jessica Cooley (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Allison Jacobson (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Jordyn Bloomer (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Brianna Jaeger (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Kenzie Challoner (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Caroline Fink (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Steph Fabry (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Christina Feller (ECNL PDP – Madison)
- Brooke Szafranski (ECNL All-Event Team – Phoenix)
Overall, the first year of FC Wisconsin Eclipse saw 1 team qualify for the ECNL National Finals, and another within one goal of the feat. A dozen players earned the opportunity to play in college, and dozens more set the stage for doing so in the future. For most clubs, these accomplishments alone would constitute one of the club’s best and proudest years ever. At FC Wisconsin Eclipse, this was only year 1. Program 1 set the foundation for the future. Beginning June 29, the players of Program 2 will begin to build upon it.
Program 2 is ready to RISE.