Impact of ECNL on Women’s Soccer Collegiate Placements

The Elite Clubs National League was formed in 2009 with a goal of changing the landscape of women’s youth soccer.  In six short years it has certainly attained its goal in many ways but no more so than in the realm of college recruiting and placements.  When looking at college rosters it is quite startling to see the number of players who were developed by ECNL clubs. 

The league is very proud (and rightly so) of their impact on the major conferences.  Here are the stats from 2015:


  • Boston College
  • Clemson
  • Duke
  • Florida State
  • Louisville
  • Miami
  • North Carolina
  • Notre Dame
  • Pitt
  • Syracuse
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Tech
  • Wake Forest

A total of 228 ECNL alumni played in the ACC in 2015 which is almost 65 percent of the total number of players playing in the conference.  Eight out of the 11 ACC ALL-Freshman Team were ECNL Players along with the Offensive Player of the Year – Makenzy Doniak (now playing for Western New York Flash in the NWSL).

Big Ten

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Northwestern
  • Ohio State
  • Penn State
  • Purdue
  • Rutgers
  • Wisconsin

In the Big Ten, 58 percent of the players are ECNL alums (223 total) but the impressive stat is that 10 of the All-Freshman team played in the ECNL.  What’s more, 70 percent of all Big Ten honorees, including Forward of the Year Simone Kolander and Goalkeeper of the Year Casey Murphy, are ECNL alumni.

Big 12 Conference

  • Baylor
  • Iowa State
  • Kansas
  • Kansas State
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State
  • TCU
  • Texas
  • Texas Tech
  • West Virginia

A whopping 65 percent of the total players played in the Big 12 including The Offensive Player of the Year Janine Beckie (who went on to win a bronze medal with Canada in the Olympics) and the Freshman of the Year Lauren Piercy.

Pac- 12

  • Arizona
  • Arizona State
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Oregon
  • Oregon State
  • Stanford
  • UCLA
  • USC
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Washington State

In the Pac-12, 67 percent of all those players played in the ECNL and an amazing 90 percent (10 of 11 players) of the players selected for the Pac-12 First Team were ECNL girls. Plus Player of the Year Arielle Ship, Freshman of the Year Alana Cook, Defensive Player of the Year Kayla Mills and Goalkeeper of the Year Jane Campbell are alums.


  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Auburn
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana State
  • Mississippi
  • Mississippi State
  • Missouri
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas A&M
  • Vanderbilt

In the SEC, 56 percent of all players and 77 percent of the award winners played in the ECNL –including Kansas City’s CeCe Kizer who was the Freshman of the Year and Savannah Jordan the Offensive Player of the Year.

I understand that there are a ton of stats and numbers in this article but it’s clear that the ECNL has not only had a significant impact on youth soccer but also has influenced the collegiate game in a dramatic manner.

Congratulations to everyone in the girls youth world such as Christian Lavers, Doug Bracken, Jason Dewhurst and Rory dames who worked tirelessly to get the league up and growing in 2009.  The ECNL has been a great success and a fantastic platform for young female athletes.

Huw Williams

Huw is an owner/operator of GSI Sports. He has worked in sports management and soccer coaching in KC since the mid 80s. He also holds the dual roles of General Manager for FC Kansas City and Director of Operations for the KC Comets.