The FC Wisconsin Player’s Champions League final did not disappoint, as Team Aspire edged Team Develop 8-6 in a hugely competitive game, to finish the league as undefeated champions.
The game got off to a familiar start with the league’s top scorer Emma Jaskaniec opening the scoring in 3rd minute for Team Aspire, beating two defenders and finishing low past Team Develop goalkeeper Selame Caldart.
Team Aspire entered the game as favorites, having been the dominant team throughout the season, but after conceding the first goal Team Develop showed that they had other ideas. Team Develop's Rachel Dallet responded with a hat trick of goals in the first 10 minutes to stake her team to a 3-1 lead, and quickly dismiss any possibility of a repeat of the 8-1 defeat suffered the first time the teams met in league play.
With the intensity rising, Team Develop responded by pressing high and created multiple chances by creating turn-overs in advanced areas. The game plan to surround Jaskaniec every time she received the ball appeared to be working as she was limited in creating chances. Jadyn Rupnow, Audrey Poorman and Emily Ehlert led a strong defensive effort for Team Develop, and the team added 2 more goals - one from Maddie Tabor and Dallet’s 4th of the game.
Fortunately for Team Aspire, they had more than one attacking threat. Caitlin Shilling and Marisa Grzesiak combined well, with Shilling scoring twice to reduce the deficit to 5-3 at the break.
As the game went on Team Aspire began to dominate possession and in the final 10 minutes the pressure began to tell. Grzesiak and Jaskaniec levelled the game to set up an explosive finish. Maggie Starker finished a great team move for Team Develop, but goals from Kaeley Kroenke and two more from eventual Player of the Game Shilling sealed the win and the PCL Championship for Team Aspire.
In the third place match, it was a dominant performance from Team Game Changer, as they put on an offensive clinic. Team Achieve were never able to get to grips defensively, especially while Aryssa Mahrt helped herself to 9 goals in leading Team Game Changers to a 14-4 victory. Jamie Mohs struck 4 times, and Anna Francheski added a goal to cap off strong performances for both players who constantly pressed Team Achieve and created havoc in the build-up.