On June 8, in a glimpse of hopefully many future contests, FC Wisconsin Eclipse and Eclipse Select faced off in 2 ECNL games with massive impact on post-season qualification for the 2012-2013 season.
In the first match-up between FC Wisconsin Eclipse and Eclipse Select in the inaugural ECNL U23 League, college all-stars from across the Midwest faced off against each other, with the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Marquette University, Loyola University, and the University of Notre Dame represented with multiple players on the field. The game was fiercely competed, with both sides creating quality chances all game. Cara Walls (University of Wisconsin - Madison) scored first for FC Wisconsin Eclipse with a rocket off an assist from Mady Vicker (Marquette University) half-way through the second half. The lead would stand up until the 93rd minute, when, in the third minute of stoppage time, Eclipse Select drew even with a well-taken volley from inside the penalty box. The teams settled for a 1-1 tie, an important result for both in the Midwest Conference ECNL U23 League.
Immediately following the "college all-star" contest between the sister clubs, the next generation of college stars faced off in a U14 game that would determine the qualifier for the ECNL U14 National Championship. With several dramatic games over the prior weeks for both clubs, and with FC Wisconsin Eclipse eliminating Sockers FC from post-season play only 6 days earlier, the stage was set for the biggest derby yet in the match-ups between Eclipse Select and FC Wisconsin Eclipse.
Heading into the game, Eclipse Select sat on 34 points in Midwest Conference play, with FC Wisconsin Eclipse on 33 points. A win for FC Wisconsin Eclipse would see them finish second in the Midwest Conference, and qualify for the ECNL National Championships. A win for Eclipse Select would see them win the Midwest Conference championship and qualify for the ECNL National Championships. A tie would see the Michigan Hawks win the conference, but would give Eclipse Select enough points for second place and the National Championship berth.
The game that went back and forth, with nerves and drama on both sides, before the players collapsed to the ground exhausted at the end of a 0-0 tie. The third game between the rivals finished the season record against each other at 1 win for each, and a tie.
"We are exceptionally proud of the performance this season of the U14s," said FC Wisconsin Eclipse coach Monica White. "To be playing on the final day of the season for a berth in the National Championship is tremendous, and it sets the mark for us for future years. This is a great learning experience about the importance of every game throughout the season - one goal more would have made the difference."
"Congratulations to Eclipse Select on a very deserving berth," said Christian Lavers. "We look forward to some great match-ups between these teams for years to come. These are the types of games that our players dream of playing in, and to see us go head to head with Eclipse Select in 2 ages today was a great sign of the progress of our club, and the tremendous quality at Eclipse Select."
The FC Wisconsin Eclipse U14 team finished 2012-2013 in 3rd place in the Midwest Conference, only 3 points away from a championship, and 2 points away from a National Championship berth. As recognized by the players immediately post-game: The 2014 season started on 6/8/13.