It's been an exciting fall for Omaha Marian soccer player Maddie Elliston.
First, she committed to Penn State, one of the top programs in the country.
Now she's been invited to her first under-18 U.S. women's national training camp. She'll spend Oct. 21 to 28 at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Elliston was so excited to hear she was one of 24 players chosen that she started crying.
“It's everything,” she said. “It's been my dream since I was little. I've always wanted to play on the national team.”
For Elliston, this is one step closer to the top women's squad. The camp will include a game against the San Diego SeaLions of the WPSL on Oct. 27.
Elliston has gotten lots of positive feedback from U.S. coaches, which doesn't surprise Marcus Kelcher, the technical director for the Elite Girls Academy.
Elliston plays center midfielder for the program's under-18 Maroon squad.
“She just embodies everything there is that is good about a young athlete,” he said. “She's just a soccer junkie. She trains every day at a super, super high standard.
“She's one of the most technical players I've ever coached. She's a fantastic player. If she wasn't, she wouldn't be called to the national team for all these training camps.”
Elliston's Maroon team recently won an under-18 State Cup championship in York, Neb. Elliston has been a part of five state champion teams.
NFC squads remember Fremont boy
Nebraska Futbol Club squads played with heavy hearts at the State Cup soccer championships.
Players, coaches and parents were mourning the loss of Brandon Kamphaus of Fremont, who died on Sept. 28 at the age of 16. He was on the club's under-17 team.
“He was such a wonderful kid, and he was serious about his sport,” said Paul Harvey, an NFC coach. “The kind of kid you dream of coaching.”
Kamphaus played goalkeeper in his team's opening pool-play victory. The team lost its second match and then withdrew from the tournament.
Harvey had two teams in the finals. Both games were played at the same time, so Harvey's assistants Brian Leahy and Daniel Lopez coached.
“I was kind of floating between the two fields,” he said.
His NFC 97/98 Blue team beat OFC Elite 1 97/98 3-2. His NFC 94/95 Blue squad lost to OFC Elite 1 94/95 2-1.
The younger squad won 5-3 in a penalty shootout.
“It was nice to see the 15s be able to overcome some adversity,” Harvey said.
It was a thrill to win, but Harvey said it was hard, too, when he thought about Kamphaus.
He saluted Kamphaus' coach, Dave Amdor.
“He's had a lot to contend with, dealing with grief and the kids,” he said. “It's been a big thing for him.”
Under 15: OFC Elite 1 97/98 2, Gretna Schockers 0
Under 16: LSC Elite Girls Academy U16 Maroon 4, OFC Elite 1 96/97 2
Under 17: OFC Elite 1 95/96 1, Gretna Prima 95/96 Green 0
Under 18: LSC Elite Girls Academy U18 Maroon 3, CSA Academy 0
Under 15: NFC 97/98 Blue 3, OFC Elite 1 97/98 2
Under 16: OFC Elite 1 96/97 4, CSA Phalanx 2
Under 17: OFC Elite 1 95/96 4, CSA Gold Fury 0
Under 18: OFC Elite 1 94/95 2, NFC 94/95 Blue 1
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