ECNL: The Proven Pathway to College

RICHMOND, VA (March 16, 2017) – In modern soccer, no youth platform has sent more players to college, had more alums earn collegiate honors, and had more impact on the collegiate game.  In the past two years alone, the ECNL has sent more than 2,500 graduating seniors to play women’s collegiate soccer, with 2,028 in NCAA Division I programs alone.  92% of the Class of 2017 – almost every high school senior in the league – will be moving on to play at the collegiate level.

“The ECNL provides a development environment where players can showcase their talent in front of hundreds of college scouts in the most professional atmosphere in the country,” said Jen Winnagle, ECNL Commissioner. “Players that first sparked notice at an ECNL National Event only a few years ago are now dominating every level of college soccer, and starring in the NWSL. Every year, more and more ECNL Alums move on to change the game at in college soccer, with more than 3,900 ECNL Alums in Division I this past fall.”

The ECNL Class of 2016 was comprised of Amazing Young Women who made an immediate impact in their freshmen campaigns. These 2016 freshman accounted for 49 of the 58 total 2016 All-Freshman honors in the Power 5, college soccer’s most prestigious conferences, including the Freshman of the Year in all five conferences.

  • ECNL Class of 2016 Collegiate Soccer Players: 1,224
  • Division I: 969
  • Division II, III, NAIA: 266

The ECNL Class of 2017 is expected to set an even higher standard with over 92% of this class moving on to play at the collegiate level. While the Class of 2017 prepares to make the transition to the collegiate game, they continue to improve their game against the best of the best as the ECNL Playoffs draw near, symbolizing the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

  • ECNL Class of 2017 Collegiate Soccer Players: 1,409
  • Division I: 1,059
  • Division II, III, NAIA: 350

Over the past two years, the NCAA Women’s College Cup has been dominated by ECNL Alums competing for the National Championship.

The 2015 National Champion, Penn State University, had 18 ECNL Alums on the roster, including 4 All-Conference honorees. Overall, the four teams at the 2015 College Cup (Duke, Florida State, Penn State, and Rutgers) included 68 ECNL Alums.

The ECNL’s impact in the 2016 Women’s College Cup was even more significant, with 78 ECNL Alums on the final four teams (Georgetown, North Carolina, USC, West Virginia). Champion USC Trojans featured 22 ECNL Alums, including the 2016 PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, and 6 All-Conference honorees.

With 8 different teams in the past 2 College Cups, there has been one constant – the ECNL Alum.

The ECNL College Impact shows that the number of ECNL alums playing soccer in college has increased year after year, and the future will be no different. In the ECNL’s 8th season, ECNL Alums are now also beginning to impact professional soccer, as reflected by the fact that 30 of the 40 2017 NWSL draftees were ECNL Alums.

The ECNL is the proven pathway to college.  The road for every youth soccer player to fulfill their dream of being a collegiate student-athlete is clear.  Watch what thousands of ECNL alums have experienced as they move to the collegiate soccer world.

College soccer is the destination of the ECNL path.  From there, the path continues.


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 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.   |   Facebook /theECNL  |  Twitter@theECNL

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