Rewind 12 months.
This time last year, Eclipse Select’s U16 squad was the top team in the country. The team had a 10-1-1 record in the regular season and entered the Elite Clubs National League playoffs as the No. 1 overall seed.
But something went wrong. Whether it was the Colorado air, a lack of mental preparation or an injury to a star forward, Eclipse came out flat. The team lost the first game of the playoffs 1-0 to Real So Cal.
“It was devastating,” said forward Michelle Prokof. “We never want to feel like that again.”
Her teammates agree. “It was really a very disappointing moment,” said defender Erin Holland. “We were expecting to do something big, but we didn’t finish our chances, and it was a very disappointing way to end the season.”
So now, 12 months later, the girls from Illinois find themselves in a familiar position. And this time, they say, they won’t let that happen again.