The Internationals SC Girls U-18/19 team. (Kim Bruni and Internationals SC)
Internationals Soccer Club girls made quite a run through the ECNL National Playoffs, which took place at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. from June 30-July 7.
Internationals Under-18/19 ECNL finished as the national runners-up in the ECNL National Finals, falling to Eclipse Select SC (IL) 3-2 in an intense back-and-forth championship match. Goals for Internationals SC came from Erika Zschuppe and Clare Nicholas.
“Although the initial feeling after the championship loss was one of disappointment, when we reflect on the entire season and the playoff run, the feelings quickly turn to happiness, pride, and joy,” club and ECNL director Keri Sarver said. “This group has remained diligent and focused on our team goals and season plan since November. Even through adversity and distractions, they never wavered. The discipline, commitment, and belief they have in each other made the difference.”
The U18/19s advanced to the championship match after defeating McLean (VA) YSA 5-2, DKSC (TX) 3-0, and Charlotte SA (NC) 1-0.
The team won an Ohio Valley Conference championship after a 26-2 record in the regular season. The U18/19s had the unique combination of a potent attack (123 goals for) and a stout offense (23 goals against).
“Our accomplishments this year are even more special when you consider that as a club of only a few hundred members we ae standing toe-to-toe with some of the league’s mega clubs boasting thousands of members,” Sarver said. “Through relentless preparation and attention to detail and by creating a family atmosphere among players, staff, and parents, we are able to reach new levels and keep our standards high year after year.”
The U18/19s roster includes nine players that have already made their college commitment or have played collegiately, including Jordan Fusco (Tennessee), Grace Soltesz (Holy Cross), Nicole Kevdzija (Purdue), Victoria Kevdzija (Purdue), Taylor Kenna (Bowling Green), Taylor Huff (Tennessee), Emma Lerner (Clemson), Elizabeth Oberhaus (West Point), and Caitlin Bruni (University of Akron).
Internationals U-15 ECNL won Group H with a 1-0-1 record and a +2 goal differential. The U-15s defeated Real So Cal (CA) 3-1 and drew 2-2 with PDA Blue, allowing the team to continue to continue their playoffs journey in Richmond, VA from July 17-19.
Internationals U-17 ECNL finished with a 2-1-0 record. The U17s fell 4-3 to Alabama FC (AL) in their first match but followed that with a 3-2 win over Santa Rosa United (CA) and a 3-0 win over Pacific Northwest SC (WA).
In other action, Internationals U-16 ECNL finished with a 1-2-0 record in Showcase Cup A. Internationals U-14 ECNL finished with a 1-2-0 record and a +1 goal differential.
A total of five ISC teams competed in the ECNL National Playoffs. Three of these teams also won ECNL Ohio Valley Conference championships through regular season play.