ECNL Preview: Virginia Rush
The start of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL - Girls) and US Soccer Development Academy (Boys) seasons are coming up. This week, rushsoccer.com will run a series of Season Preview articles for the Rush clubs participating in these Elite leagues. Today, Virginia Rush ECNL.
As a member since the inaugural season of the ECNL, the Virginia Rush Girls season kicks off September 9, 2012 at the Hampton Roads Soccer Council against the Richmond Strikers. An opponent familiar with the Rush, based upon previous seasons and one of the only similarities for 2012/2013.
The ECNL sports a new look to its divisional alignments, league structure, playoff qualifications and opportunities for greater training to game development. This year will see the Rush move to the Mid Atlantic Division marking the beginning of new opponents Free State, Bethesda, Carmel, Ohio Premier, Internationals, FC Virginia, Richmond Strikers, McLean and Ohio Elite. The Rush leaves the South East division with the addition of new clubs in that area.
2011/2012 Season Recap:
While our 2011/2012 won loss records for the teams were not impressive, there certainly were some great individual performances and overall improvement in every teams play. Caroline Casey, US U18 National Team player, secured All-Event team honors at Sanford, FL in December of 2012. Caroline will be pursuing her college playing career at William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Nikki Bottoms, U16 NIKE, was named to the All-Event team for the Frisco, TX, February 2012 contests. Both young ladies are goalkeepers.
A number of our players also were identified and have made college commitments prior to their final year:
Rush Players To Watch: (pictured above)
Payton Ormsby- Campbell University
Meredith Reisinger- US Air Force Academy
Ashley Whited- Radford University
Riley Mahoney- Marshall University
Hannah Velloney - Cedarville University
Brianna Nagle - University of South Alabama
Ashley Weidner - Longwood
Thoughts on the upcoming season:
“We are looking forward to our new opposition and schedule” remarked Jay Hoffman, Virginia Rush’s DOC Academy Coaching and Head Coach of the U18 NIKE ECNL Girls team. “This new alignment allows us to not only play in the ECNL but also honor our commitment to the VCCL, our local league which is of great benefit to all of our player’s development. Given this fact, this has allowed us to schedule our girls 18 ECNL games, 7 VCCL games plus the ECNL showcases/playoffs (6-12 games), 31 to 37 games over the next ten months at a very high level of competition. As we look to develop players this is a very positive step to enhancing their training to game ratio and individual development”.
"Improvement was recognized as the (2011/2012) season progressed and our players became more aware of the demands of this level of competition. This level of play and the consistency of our opponents was not something our teams were accustomed to. I thought we would be able to adapt much earlier in the schedule. However, while it took longer, when we finally did, even though we were still unable to get the desire results at times, the learning curve for our girls was tremendous. We competed more consistently, were able to impose our game on the opposition and gave our teams confidence. These points are what I am looking forward to as we build for the 2012/2013 ECNL Season,” said Jay Hoffman.
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