In a landmark achievement for the club, former McLean Youth Soccer (MYS) players are on the rosters of all four Final Four teams in the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship. When Florida State, Virginia Tech, Virginia and UCLA meet this weekend in Cary, NC, to determine a new National Champion, 12 players who once played for MYS and trained under MYS Technical Director, Clyde Watson, will be participating.
Although MYS has placed more than 80 players in women’s college soccer programs across the country at more than 40 Division I schools since 2008 alone, this year marks a new high point in program history.
In Blacksburg, VA, over the holiday weekend, Virginia Tech blasted past Duke 3-0 after junior Katie Yensen headed in a goal thirteen seconds before halftime. The VT team put away two second-half goals to finish the contest. Yensen, along with her teammate and sophomore Delia Maresco, played club soccer for Watson on the McLean MPS Strikers team, USYS National Finalists title in 2010. Fellow Hokie and junior defender Danielle King played for McLean Azul. This marks the first time that Virginia Tech has ever advanced to the College Cup. (Incidentally, the Duke squad also featured another former Strikers player that day, sophomore Kara Wilson.)
The Virginia women's soccer team will make its first trip to the NCAA Cup in 22 years after a 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Michigan last Friday. Senior defender and All-ACC third team selection Molly Menchel provided the winner by tapping the ball over the line off a rebound from the post for her sixth goal of the season. Menchel played on Watson’s McLean Freedom team that won the 2007 US Youth Soccer National Championship.
First-year goalkeeper and ACC All-Freshman honoree Morgan Stearns made one save in goal for Virginia during the quarterfinal, posting her school-record 19th victory of the season. Stearns also played in goal for Watson on the McLean Power team that won the ECNL U17 National B-Flight Championship in 2012. The Virginia squad also features five other McLean/Watson alums: sophomore Jessie Ferrari (McLean Strikers), junior Churchill O'Connell (McLean Dragons), freshman Morgan Reuther (McLean Power), freshman Nicole Johnson (McLean Power) and freshman Tori Hanway (McLean Power).
Knocking out the powerhouse and defending champion North Carolina 1-0 in double overtime Saturday on a golden goal was No. 2 seed UCLA. And though it is far from the Northern VA suburbs where Watson trains his players, Los Angeles has suited former McLean Freedom player, UCLA co-captain and senior midfielder Jenna Richmond well. Richmond has been a perennial standout for the Bruins, recently winning her third career All-Pac-12 selection from the conference.
Finally, No. 1 Florida State rolled past ACC foes Boston College 4-0 on Friday. On Florida State’s roster is freshman Marlo Sweatman, a high school standout and Jamaican National Team player, who played for Watson on the McLean Power.
Below is a complete list of former McLean Players on the 2013 Final Four Squads.
As of Nov. 30, college coaches from 18 Division I schools have extended verbal commitments to more than 23 players from McLean's current crop of U17 and U18 players, including Stanford, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Tennessee, Villanova and William & Mary.
Background on Clyde Watson
With more than 28 years of professional coaching experience, Clyde Watson is a familiar figure in D.C. area soccer. A prominent member of the Guyana Men's National Team for more than 10 years, Watson graduated from Clemson University, where he was All-ACC all four years. He was a First Team All Star with the New York Eagles of the American Soccer League in 1979, and went on to play for professional teams in Pennsylvania and Detroit.
After transitioning from player to coach, Watson served as assistant coach of the Washington Warthogs, Coach of the University of the District of Columbia, and as assistant coach of the WPS’s Washington Freedom from 2001-2010. Clyde currently serves as both Technical Director and Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) Director for McLean Youth Soccer. In addition, he is one of six members of the ECNL Standards Committee, which is developing minimum standards regarding training frequency, coach licensing, facilities and administration/structure for member clubs and coaches within the ECNL.
Clyde was named NSCAA 2007 Youth Girls National Coach of the Year, USYS 2011 Region I Girls Competitive Coach of the Year, and VYSA 2011 Virginia Girls Competitive Coach of the Year. He was also named 1998 Boys Youth Virginia Coach of the Year. He has coached teams to 13 USYS Virginia State Cups, three USYS Region I Championship titles, a USYS National Finalist title (2010, McLean MPS Strikers), and the coveted USYS National Championship title (2007, McLean MPS Freedom). Clyde holds a USSF "B" and UEFA "A" licenses. He served as an Assistant Coach to the Washington Freedom in the WUSA 2001-3 and WPS 2009-10.
|Name||GR/Position||MYS Team||College Team|
|Katie Yensen||JR/Midfielder||McLean Strikers||Virginia Tech|
|Danielle King||JR/Defender||McLean Azul||Virginia Tech|
|Delia Maresco||SO/Midfielder||McLean Strikers||Virginia Tech|
|Mollie Menchel||SR/Defender||McLean Freedom||Virginia|
|Churchill O’Connell||JR/Goalkeeper||McLean Dragons||Virginia|
|Morgan Stearns||FR/Goalkeeper||McLean Power||Virginia|
|Morgan Reuther||FR/Forward||McLean Power||Virginia|
|Tori Hanway||FR/Midfielder||McLean Power||Virginia|
|Nicole Johnson||FR/Midfielder||McLean Power||Virginia|
|Jessie Ferrari||RS FR/Goalkeeper||McLean Strikers||Virginia|
|Jenna Richmond||SR/Midfielder||McLean Freedom||UCLA|
|Marlo Sweatman||FR/Midfielder||McLean Power||Florida State|