(Dec 14, 2015) "Jordan Morris Leads Stanford to First National Championship" read the NCAA headline as the fall college soccer season wrapped up yesterday with the Division I men's title game. Stanford took the College Cup title in a 4-0 victory over Clemson with two goals from junior forward Morris, an Eastside FC alum. Morris was named Pac 12 Player of the Year, and recently was named to the NSCAA All-American First Team of Division I Men’s Soccer, and is a 2015 Mac Hermann finalist. The winner of the Hermann, the ultimate individual intercollegiate soccer award administered by the NSCAA, will be decided January 8, 2016.
Morris may have dominated college soccer news, but several of his contemporaries, EFC alumni from '93 and '94 teams, have also had an impressive showing in the college game in 2015.
Playing at Seattle University, Kyle Bjornethun, a former teammate of Morris on the EFC B94 team, was named NSCAA All-American Second Team of Division I Men's Soccer. He is a junior defender at Seattle University.
Congratulations are also in order for EFC alum and junior forward Audrey Thomas for earning a NCAA Div 3 women’s soccer National Championship with Williams College. (See full article.) Thomas and Morris both received National Gatorade Player-of-the-Year Awards while playing for Eastside FC. Thomas played up a year for most of her youth soccer career on the EFC G93 Red team, but spent her final year before college with the G94s.
Junior forward Katie Chandler, who played with Audrey Thomas on the EFC G94 Red team, and now plays for Washington University in St. Louis, faced her former teammate in the NCAA Div 3 women’s soccer National Championship finals. Williams College won the showdown 1-0, but Chandler, always dangerous, kept the Williams defense on its toes with a game-leading 8 shots. Chandler was named NSCAA All-American First Team of Division III Women's Soccer.
Lauren Thomas played with Audrey Thomas and Katie Chandler on the EFC G94 Red team, and was called out by the NCAA with top Goalkeeper marks in the nation. While playing every minute of every game for the University of Puget Sound, the junior goalkeeper earned an impressive 0.130 Goals Against Average (GAA) and a .940 Save Percentage, top amongst all keepers in Divisions I, II and III. While UPS fell in the second game of the NCAA tournament in PKs, Lauren Thomas led her stalwart defense to an impressive 0.864 Shutout Percentage with 19 shutouts in 22 games, tied for the lead in shutouts across all three NCAA divisions for 2015.
Western Washington University made it all the way to the the Final Four, NCAA Division II semifinals with the help of five former Eastside FC players on the roster: Delanee Nilles (EFC G93 Red), Gabby Brower (EFC G96 Red), Emily Bunnell (EFC G96 Red), Lauren Carson (EFC G96 Red), and Anna DeWeirdt (EFC G94 Red). The Western WA Vikings fell in a tight game, 3-2, to Grand Valley State. Standout senior defender Delanee Nilles was named first-team NSCAA Division II All-American. Nilles was also named first-team All-West Region by the NSCAA.
Eastside FC players are peppered across the NCAA, with approximately 150 EFC alumni playing in college in any given year. Click here to view a list of Eastside FC college players by HS graduation year.