REDMOND, Washington — In the brief history of the ECNL, no team has ever pulled what TopDrawerSoccer.com has, today, so loftily dubbed the “Five-Fecta.” That is, no team has won all five championship trophies stretching from the U14 to the U18 age levels.
It’s far too early to determine whether the Michigan Hawks’ U15 squad is capable of becoming the first. But the stars are beginning to line up for the comically deep squad to kickstart a hearty discussion.
Just a year after winning the U14 national title, the Michigan Hawks U15s continued barnstorming through the ECNL Playoffs here Sunday with a smashing 5-0 win over the San Diego Surf. This was no pushover Surf team, either. The Hawks took apart a team that lost just five games in the regular season and entered the tournament on a heater. The Hawks’ impossibly talented team took them down with a practiced ease.
It helps that this team boasts the No. 2 IMG Academy 150 recruit for the 2018 class in Alexa Spaanstra, who’s already pledged to Virginia(w). Spaanstra put in two goals, including a penalty early in the first half, but even she was outdone by attacking teammate Camryn Evans, who rang up a hat trick.
The Hawks run a three-player front line that mostly looks like Evans in the middle, Spaanstra arrayed wide right and the quick-footed Madison Donley on the left. Those three gave Surf fits, notably when Spaanstra floated deeper to overlap on Evans, and the two rammed possession through the middle channel. There aren’t many defenses in the nation that can cope with that kind of concentrated firepower, if there are any at all.
Evans kicked off the scoring with a purely struck one-touch volley about 35 minutes into the contest, and Spaanstra doubled it just before half with a well-struck penalty. Evans scored twice more in the second half, and Spaanstra rounded out the blowout with a curling lofted shot from 18 yards.
The Hawks have a long way to go to capture four more national championships, a nearly impossible ask for any side. But they set the foundation for a run last year, and they’ve certainly lived up to the billing in Seattle.