Oak Brook, IL - On a grueling run of playing five games in six days, the Eclipse Select 2003 girls progressed to the U-14 Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) Champions League National Playoff Final against the top 16 teams in the country and ended a remarkable season as ECNL National Finalist this past week in Rockford, IL.
Eclipse defeated Dallas Texans (Dallas, TX), DeAnza Force (San Francisco, CA), and PDA (Zarephath, NJ) to emerge from Group C during the first days of the competition. The semi-final with JAYFC Armada (Jacksonville, FL) took the entire 80 minutes of regulation plus 20 minutes of extra time to clinch a birth to the ECNL National Championship match against Solar Chelsea (Dallas, TX).
A 13-2-1 regular season record earned Eclipse a spot as one of 16 teams to qualify for the ECNL National Playoffs after the team finished in first place in the Midwest Conference.
The team drew a difficult group as two of their three opponents were ranked in the top 4 of all the U-14 ECNL teams in the country. Group C was the only group to have two top four ranked teams placed together in the competition.
Eclipse's group stage performances included a 5-3 comeback win over Texans, followed up with two shutouts; 4-0 against Force and capped off with a 2-0 win versus PDA. Midfielder Korbin Albert tallied three goals while Forwards Devin Lynch, Julia Simon and Carol Fernanda Soto Diaz each scored twice. Forwards Dakota Lyonsand Alice Foley both found the net against DeAnza to make up the 11 total goals scored while only conceding three goals as a team during the three games.
Lynch saved the semi-final from going to penalties by scoring the biggest goal of her young career against Armada.
With three minutes remaining in the second period of extra time, Albert was tripped and a fouled 24 yards from goal. Lynch stepped up and placed the free-kick in the top corner and off the crossbar to send the Eclipse Select side to the championship match.
Solar Chelsea came into the final match as the top ranked ECNL team in the country and the top number 1 overall seed.
Solar scored early in the first half from a corner kick. Eclipse fought back and Albert drew the game level right before the end of the first half. Her effort from the top of the box went off the crossbar and landed beyond the goal line. Going into the first intermission, the two sides were tied 1-1. In the second half, Chelsea scored two unanswered goals and held on to win the National Championship game 3-1.
U-14 Eclipse Select SC ECNL Playoffs Roster
Carol Fernanda Soto Diaz
This Eclipse Select SC group made it to the ECNL Playoffs Final in their first year competing in the competition. It has marked the club's 5th appearance in an ECNL National Championship match and their 8th Midwest Conference title since 2010.