Area soccer players headed to Northwestern

Hannah Davison, Kayla Sharples and Aspyn Repp

Aspyn Repp poised to join Northwestern with Eclipse Select Soccer Club teammates. According to the following release:

Eclipse Select Soccer Club U-17 Elite Clubs National League defensive midfielder Aspyn Repp (Lake Bluff, Ill.) has always had her eyes on Northwestern’s soccer program, having watched their games growing up.

“One of my best friends’ dads used to play at Northwestern, so when I was younger I’d go to the men’s games and spend some evenings at Lakeside Field,” Repp said. “I thought it was great – the lake, the atmosphere, and the men’s program is pretty strong. I remember them going to the Elite Eight one year, so it was pretty exciting.”

Now, Repp will have a chance to strengthen the Wildcats’ women’s soccer team. Repp is one of three Eclipse Select players to commit to the Northwestern program for 2015, joining fellow club defenders Hannah Davison and Kayla Sharples.

“I’m super excited about it,” Repp said. “I love Kayla and Hannah, and to know that I will be spending the next five years between club and college playing with them, that is comforting.”

Repp was the second Eclipse Select player among this trio to commit to Northwestern, shortly after Davison’s commitment early last year. The NU program was always high on Repp’s list.

“I think Northwestern was always on my radar,” Repp said. “My family wanted me to go to a college where they were strong academically. I looked at other schools with similar academic standing, and I knew I always wanted to be close to home. I also have three younger siblings, and I want to stay involved in their lives.”

In making the transition to Northwestern, the Wildcats will be getting a cohesive defensive group that earned second place in the country during the 2013-14 ECNL season.

“In our 4-4-2 formation, I am the defensive midfielder in the diamond, so it’s my job to screen the line and prevent the ball from getting to the forwards’ feet,” Repp said. “Our defense is very athletic, with Kayla at outside back and Hannah at center back, so we’re strong at winning the ball.

“I’m hoping that I can play the position I am at now when I’m at Northwestern,” Repp said. “It’s a position that I have been playing since I came to Eclipse. I’ve always played holding midfield, and I think one of my strengths is ball-winning. Defensive center midfield is a crucial spot.”

When Repp visited Northwestern, she had a glimpse of how things run under head coach Michael Moynihan and assistant David Nikolic.

“Their style definitely matches Eclipse,” Repp said. “Michael and David like possession, technical work and finishing. In the practices that I saw, they did a lot of 5v5, transition drills and other similar training that we have at Eclipse. They won’t play a game of kickball. I had a chance to go to their training before I committed and interact with their drills. It was great.”

Fitness and footwork are two areas that Repp says she is honing in as she continues to build her game for the college realm in a little more than a year.

“Right now, fitness is very important because you need to be quick and change direction easily,” Repp said.

“Speaking with Michael and David, they were quick to say that is one of the biggest changes in college, because you’re also going against players who are several years older than you who are going to be fast and strong. You need to compete with them. That’s definitely a focus for me, as well as working on my foot skills and being cleaner with the ball.”

Repp credits the Eclipse Select environment to helping her get to this stage and knows the work continues in her game and her club’s success.

“Being a part of this ECNL team has been really important,” Repp said. “You’re practicing with and playing with the best. They’ve really enhanced my understanding of the game. I still have a lot to work on. But it’s definitely exciting looking ahead to Northwestern, being teammates with Hannah and Kayla at the same college, which I think has made us closer. I’ve always wanted to be involved in their program, play college soccer and have a chance to play for national championships.”

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