Photo by Tiffany Taylor, courtesy of IWLCA.
Unwavering Support to Jumpstart Fall Tournament Series
Back in full swing, the IWLCA Southwest Cup and the first annual IWLCA Leaders Cup showcased an outstanding amount of talent and support from all involved. From player performances and coaching recruiting efforts to families and fans contributing to the growth of the game, the IWLCA Tournament series has once again proven to be a prominent showcase for young talent on the rise.
Wrapping up regional tournaments for 2023, the two events ran simultaneously on November 4-5, with Southwest being held in Tucson, Arizona at the Kino Sports Complex, while Leaders debuted at the River City Sportsplex just outside of Richmond, Virginia.
Year three in Tucson drew nearly 900 prospective student-athletes across 50 teams, representing 13 states and Canada. Despite a slight dip in college coach attendance from last year’s numbers, the talent remained steady and strong as 102 games were carried out over the two-day time span. “Year three in Tucson provided a great experience for athletes and coaches, but we are incredibly excited to move the 2024 IWLCA Southwest Cup to Scottsdale, Arizona,” announced Elite Tournament Director Caitlin Schmelz. “We hope this move will help continue the growth of the tournament by providing a more accessible destination, while still providing a great venue.”
In its first year as an addition to the IWLCA Tournament Series regional lineup, the numbers for Leaders Cup checked off all boxes and provided confirmation that Richmond was a desired destination for the series to break ground. “Year one of the IWLCA Leaders Cup was a great success,” added Schmelz. “The Richmond region always welcomes IWLCA events with open arms, making it a no-brainer destination for this new event! With weather of 70 degrees and sunny all weekend, the smiles on and off the fields were contagious throughout the event. I look forward to seeing this event grow next year.”
In 554 games, 14 states and Canada were represented, while 26 officials appeared in this year’s launch. Sixty teams consisting of 945 prospective student-athletes tackled 112 games across the nine pristine fields.
“Elite Tournaments did an outstanding job rolling out the first Leaders Cup tournament,” stated Tiffany Taylor, IWLCA Director of Communications and Marketing. “It was an amazing venue, great atmosphere, and an outstanding amount of support from the parents, players, and coaches. Sixty teams in action was a fantastic start to this tournament and we are very optimistic about the trajectory of this tournament in the years to come.”
Southwest Cup, By The Numbers
19 IWLCA Member Coaches
102 Games Played/Officiated
894 Prospective Student-Athletes
13 States and Canada Represented
8 Fields (Maryland SoccerPlex, OBGC Complex)
Leaders Cup, By The Numbers
37 IWLCA Member Coaches
112 Games Played/Officiated
945 Prospective Student-Athletes
14 States and Canada Represented
9 Fields (Maryland SoccerPlex, OBGC Complex)
The tournament circuit comes to its final stages as the IWLCA Presidents Cup and IWLCA Debut will close out the 2023 series this November in Tampa and Bradenton, Florida. Visit https://iwlcarecruiting.com/tournaments/ for more details.