RICHMOND, VA (December 18, 2018) – The Girls Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) has announced the first recipients of the 2019 H.E.R. Referee Scholarships (Health & Education Resources). Congratulations to Kennedy Capps, Jayla Espinosa and Tatum Sutherland for being selected as winners of scholarships to continue their referee development and education!

The H.E.R. Scholarship Program was launched in 2015 with a focus in supporting coaching education. After three years of helping female coaches earn coaching licenses and participate in additional unique educational programs, the program has now grown to offer support for referee development and to help encourage current and former female players to enter into, and develop within, the referee profession.

Kennedy Capps is currently a member of the NC Fusion ECNL U18/U19 team out of Greensboro, North Carolina. She is committed to play collegiately for Western Carolina University next fall. Capps began refereeing two years ago, earning her Grade 8 license, and plans to continue officiating in the off-season. She looks forward to continuing her referee education and growing her knowledge and experience as an official.



Jayla Espinosa is a current ECNL player for the Orlando City ECNL U14 team. While she is just beginning her playing career in the ECNL, Espinosa is determined to continue learning and to stay engaged with the game in multiple roles. She is currently a certified USSF referee, and aspires to referee at the collegiate level.



Tatum Sutherland is an ECNL Alum from Solar Soccer Club in Dallas, Texas. She currently holds her Grade 8 and Grade 7 licenses, and looks to gain more game experience and connect with other female referees. Sutherland is an avid student of the game and wants to continue her education to gain confidence as she takes on more head referee assignments.



To be eligible, H.E.R. scholarship applicants are required to be current or former ECNL players, current female coaches within ECNL Member Clubs, or females that aspire to referee at the club or college level. Each winner will receive financial assistance to attend either the US Soccer Federation National Grade 8 or Grade 7 course in 2019. To apply for a H.E.R. Referee Scholarship, click here.

“We are thrilled to offer these scholarships to make it easier for more young women to begin their career as officials, and to progress within the referee career path,” said Jen Winnagle, Girls ECNL Commissioner. “The ECNL mission is to positively impact the game in every area, and raising standards across the game includes helping to create opportunities for young referees.”


About Girls Elite Clubs National League The Girls 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 college and 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.   |   Facebook /theECNL  |  Twitter@theECNL