Nine-in-Ten Graduating ECNL Athletes Commit to College Soccer for Fall Season

  • February 4, 2015

AYW WhiteRICHMOND, Va. (February 4, 2015) – The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) today announced the College Impact of the league’s 2015 graduating class, revealing that 90 percent of the ECNL’s 1,357 graduating seniors will go on to play college soccer in the fall of this year. In total, 1,203 ECNL athletes will go on to play collegiately, with 920 alone in NCAA Division 1 programs.

“The unprecedented number of female athletes from the ECNL who are going on to play collegiate soccer, including 80 percent committing to Division 1 programs today, speaks to the level of play and the personal achievement of all of the players and teams across the league,” said Sarah Kate Noftsinger, Commissioner, Elite Clubs National League.  “Just as importantly, the fact that nearly all of the ECNL’s graduates are pursuing higher education is evidence that ECNL athletes are complete athletes, balancing the rigors of top level play with the demands of academic achievement.”

Since the creation of the ECNL in 2009, the league has grown to become the top youth female league in the world and has helped to elevate female soccer at all levels across the country.   Findings from the ECNL College Impact have demonstrated that the number of ECNL alumni who are playing soccer in college, as well as those attending college, has increased year over year.  It is estimated that the current ECNL graduating class will surpass the national average of students attending college by 20 percent.

The ECNL College Impact also reveals that, once getting to college, ECNL alums are making significant contributions to their collegiate teams at the highest collegiate levels:

  • The 2014 NCAA Division I Final Four featured 66 players who played in the ECNL as youth players, accounting for more than 90 percent of the Final Four rosters.
  • The 2014 freshman class of ECNL alumni swept the awards for Freshman of the Year and accounted for 38 of the 55 total 2014 All-Freshman or All-Newcomer spots in the Power 5 Conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC).
  • ECNL alumni claimed 11 different Player of the Year awards (O-POY, D-POY, MVP) and 118 All-Conference honors across the Power 5 Conferences.

Through programs like Amazing Young Women, S’Heroes and The ZONE, the ECNL is developing complete athletes and preparing them to be future leaders who will drive change. “Today, with National Girls and Women in Sports Day coinciding with NCAA National Signing Day, we are celebrating the success of these amazing young women as they continue their paths to continued success,” added Noftsinger.

Here is a look at the ECNL Graduating Class of 2015:

  • ECNL Class of 2015: 1,357
  • College Bound ECNL:  1,236
  • Total # Playing Collegiate Soccer: 1,203
  • Division I: 920
  • Division II, DIII, NAIA: 283

To view the college bound ECNL Class of 2015 , click here.

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About Amazing Young WomenTM:  The Amazing Young Women campaign is a dynamic platform of online and local market activations that showcase and celebrate female role models offering an aspirational focus for all female athletes and teens as they prepare to be our next generation of leaders.  Throughout the 2014-2015 season, the ECNL will showcase what it means to have #BeautifulAmbition as exemplified by former and current ECNL players, and will call on all of the nation’s women to join the movement to celebrate the endless potential of today’s girls.
About Elite Clubs National League:  The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in the United States through: (i) Improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league; (ii) Improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players for the U.S. Soccer youth national teams through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs.  The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer.

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Jen Woodie
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