Lauren Eckerle quietly has developed herself into one of the most underrated players in high school girl soccer. She is one of the best five midfielders in the state despite not receiving the recognition I’ve watch all the film and have followed high school girls soccer for the last two years. There are so many young talented young players in the pipeline Lauren Eckerle is among the best at her postion and she hasn’t even really got started yet. White Bear Lake’s Dynamic Maestro has been overlooked and hasn’t been celebrated in the way she deserves because she has been in the shadow of three world class players. The attention has been on Claire Odmark and Erika Townley and most of all Kayla Anderson. Kayla is one of the most gifted players in High school soccer men or women. She has been a regular won the all state team since her breakout season. There has been a certain level of respect shown for those girls as they have built themselves into super star as the team continues to produce unreal talent. The team itself has historically struggled in the playoffs as that has been the topic of conversation outside of the greatest of White Bear Lake’s stars. Its a fair criticism of the team but because Lauren Eckerle doesn’t blow up of the stat sheet and doesn’t have the team success she gets ignored. Her impact and efficiency doesn’t always make the headlines generally player like Lauren that does the dirty work for the team don’t get acknowledged in the same way because the consumer wants to see goals. Her game includes them but its highlighted by all the work she does with in the team that doesn’t get her headlines but gets wins. Kayla Anderson is the teams best player and its not all that close but that doesn’t lessen the wizard in the midfield. She has the talent and dedication like no one a competitive nature that will drag her team into big moments even if its by dragging their feet she is a future captain you see the those qualities she has got that fire in her eyes. This has been Kayla’s team since she was a sophomore she just provided everything She was a player that can do everything on the pitch and off of it. Kayla was a Silent assassin even those she was a quite player she symbolized what it means to lead she has led by example. She was iconic to White Bear Lake and impacted those around her. This was her team she gave Lauren Eckerle the keys to the car. She could have given them to anyone Lauren Eckerle has been elected to drive this car for a reason. Lauren Eckerle is a swiss army knife she has everything needed to be that player in any system she can thrive. I’ve spent countless hours and days talking to Kayla when I worked on the book Lauren Eckerle’s importance to the team comes across and came up often. Lauren Eckerle is mentioned in my book quite a bit she just has that everlasting impact then when you see her play you start to understand that this is a different player to the rest. She may not get the respect she deserves and has missed out of some awards as she still hasn’t gotten the recognition but she doesn’t need it I see the potential. She is in Kayla’s class when it comes to the celling and rise of what she can accomplish. Her future may even be beyond what anyone expects and being somewhere no expects her to be. It may be in Catalonia home of the Catalan Giants Barcelona. Her home is White Bear Lake by the next decade her home might be the Camp Nou. Would I be surprised if Lauren and Kayla meet again on a football pitch in Europe? Lauren with Barcelona Kayla with Real Madrid an El Cassico battle between two Friends? I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Lauren Eckerle could wear Blaugrana Colors one day.
What the Future Could Look like
Kayla Anderson is arguably one of the best players if not the best player in the History of White Bear Lake high school. What she has been able to do in her career is nothing short of extraordinary. In my mind, she is one of the best girls soccer players we have ever seen at this level certainly one of the best in the last decade. She has the potential to be all-time great and become a problem in College soccer at South Dakota State next year with an already loaded roster. She has an incredible story that’s will be worth reading about when my book comes out about her. With all that being said she leaves White Bear Lake as a new era will start in White Bear next season. The Team is being left in good hands. The responsibility will be put on the shoulders of Lauren Eckerle who has a high level of superstar potential it’s highly likely she will be the next superstar to follow Kayla Anderson & Claire Odmark as the tradition and development of stars White Bear Lake has produced will continue. Lauren Eckerle, she will be the leader of the team going forward the midfielder will be a junior next season. The dynamic of this team is going to change Kayla’s not there anymore which will make a big difference. We can’t dress it up as something else it is a game-changer but it is something that White Bear Lake is capable of adjusting to because of the star power running through White Bear Lake’s #10. They will be a different type of team next season largely because of Kayla’s absence. Lauren Eckerle is a player that can make a difference in a team. She has been a star in the making for two seasons from her freshman year to last year it is her time now. She is a dynamic midfielder who is capable of scoring goals and facilitating opportunities for teammates. The best thing about the way she plays is she doesn’t need to score a lot of goals to be effective. This coming season she may have to but if she finds space to be effective in the game the stats or goals won’t matter in the same way. She’s played somewhat of a Luka Modric role in this team. I’m not comparing her to the Croatian genius however if she can develop that type of impact in the team this team could certainly become something special even without Kayla Anderson. The dynamic is certainly changing Lauren was a star in the making as she got to learn from Kayla for two seasons she is the star now her teammates will look to her for the answers. Whether it is Mounds View Stillwater or East Ridge the opposition will be planning to stop her. It is a role that she has yet to experience and it may be outside of her comfort zone but I’ve seen this girl play she is an ultimate competitor she has everything needed to become a superstar and leader for this team she will be ready and prepared for what lies ahead everything will flow through her. It is my belief that Lauren really should be the captain of this team. The responsibilities that she has could take this team to places in which no one will expect from them. The goals will have to come from somewhere but if they are able to figure that out White Bear Lake could be a sleeping giant again even without Kayla Anderson this team has the potential to do something special next year. Lauren also has the personality to handle the pressure that will be put on her shoulders even if it’s not directly. Lauren and Kayla used to go to battle in practice this is something Lauren enjoyed and thrived off. Every time Lauren would lose to Kayla it would drive her crazy she would get angry and frustrated that is the nature of the beast. She didn’t want anything more than to beat Kayla at her own game that is something that has driven her to greatness. Kayla was such an outstanding player in high school and Lauren never backed away from that challenge where others may have. Lauren is just a different type of Animal to step up to the plate give Kayla her best shows that certain quality. She’s battled with and against Kayla in the last 2 years they become close on the field and off of it even though her competitive nature wanted her to prove to be superior. When Lauren told me about this when I interview her through email I just could feel the energy she is ready for this she got next. She has the personality and the competitive nature to lead this team into battle every practice match day and playoff game. She has all the potential to be a Difference Maker through the Midfield. She is the team’s best player now and on a consistent basis, I think she will prove that next season. I actually believe that Lauren got snubbed for an ALL STATE selection two years in a row I could make an argument for her place. She impacts the game in a way that doesn’t always jump off the screen but she does the little things to make the biggest difference. She may have to assert herself as more of a scorer then her first two years because of Kayla’s absence who accounted for more than half of the goals last season Lauren and others will have to step up. She shouldn’t get away from what she does best but Lauren will have to adjust and become a more vocal part of the attack. She is the real deal the difference that Lauren can make in this team can’t be understated she is the difference between a 7 win season and a 12 win season White Bear Lake will be able to still compete because she is still there. She is just a phenomenal player with incredible desire and the will to win. A midfielder that doesn’t have flash but doesn’t need it a really high level of intelligence unreal vision and passing ability she see the game in a different way than most players and that’s not even to mention her scoring ability. Lauren Eckerle has the mentality of a champion and the will to win that will push the girls into the next two seasons with a goal in mind. Kayla is arguably the best ever player to play for White Bear Lake she can’t be replaced but Lauren will start to write her own story. All the eyes will be on her to deliver she has 2 years to take this team to State and she’s gifted enough to make it happen. This team may not be where they want to be and there will be some growing pains but Lauren Eckerle has everything required to be the player that White Bear Lake is hoping for. She will be the star attraction but they are other returning starters that should help this team to fulfill their potential.
Lauren Eckerle: The Story So Far
Lauren Eckerle has been a borderline Superstar from the very beginning of her High School career. She immediately made an impact on a team that was loaded with Talent. White Bear Lake’s ambitions were to make it to State and possibly have a run at the championship. White Bear Lake from top to bottom was an incredibly complete team that was capable of much more than they ultimately accomplish but they just had that sort of team that could win anything. When she started High School the team had Kayla Anderson who went on to be one of the best high school soccer players seen in the last decade. Without question the greatest player in the history of the program. On top of that, the team had Claire Odmark she was one of the state’s best players having led the team in scoring and three of her four seasons. In addition to that, they had Erika Townley a multi versatile player who in her career made an impact defensively and in the attacking sense. She was a Dynamo in the Midfield and had capabilities of playing in the backline. The three of them together made out the three-headed monster. This team had three superstars as White Bear Lake has produced Top Notch Talent with the three of them becoming regular Selections in the All-State teams as well as having the reputation of being some of the very best players in the entire state. White Bear Lake quite honestly probably should have gone to State at least once with the type of talent they had to their disposal. This is the type of team that Lauren Eckerle walked into as a freshman the team had very minimal visible weaknesses they had three Superstars and other important parts that made them one of the best teams in the state at several different points. This would have been intimidating for most young players just starting off their High School career. Lauren Eckerle was just a different breed she’s just cut from a Different Cloth. Her qualities even as a 9th grader we’re breathtaking already a phenomenal ability in a multitude of areas that made her such an efficient player most 9th graders couldn’t even get into a team like that White Bear Lake that deep in quality. for most players, there would have been an intimidation factor the team had three Superstars and now a freshman a kid really just trying to mesh with a team that had their eyes on the state tournament. Lauren Eckerle was the only freshman that made varsity that season. The young kid wasn’t just a rotation player. Being the lone freshman in a team of upperclassmen can be very intimidating it did not faze her and right away she was one of the best players. Not to the level of the three-headed monster but she was able to add another level and dimension of quality that they did not have the season prior. White Bear Lake we’re coming off their greatest season since the state championship at least statistically. Kayla and Claire accounted for over 40 goals the previous season. this was a team that everyone had their eyes on because of what they were able to achieve the year before. Freshman we’re not going to make this team unless they were so dynamic they were just too good to pass up. Lauren was viewed as a player that could make an impact on a regular basis. She was tremendous Which is why she made the team the freshman year in the first place. She got to play along with a superstar in Erica Townley in the Midfield as well getting to test herself against Kayla and Claire in practice that experienced took her up a level. She proved to make an impact right away Lauren Eckerle had six goals and five assists during her freshman season. Claire Odmark ended up getting injured early in the season. Kayla Anderson had to carry the load and Erica Townley and Lauren both became vital parts of the season. The freshman really came into her own during the back half of that season be quietly became a superstar and deserve some consideration for an All-State selection. even though the season did not go as they would have liked White Bear Lake found that player in the Midfield that was going to take them through into the future.
Lauren Eckerle isn’t a player that is going to put up flashy stats she’s a player that makes an impact even if it doesn’t show up on the scoresheet. She played a Luka Modric role in the team as I mentioned. She didn’t have to score goals to be effective she didn’t even have to supply them to make a difference. She was a superstar but unfortunately, he was not given an All-State selection largely because we live in a day and age in which we are obsessed with goals. When you look at impact and value Kayla Anderson Should have won the player of the season last year but because of goals and assists and stats that show up on the scoresheet, she missed out on several Awards which is also why Lauren Eckerle didn’t make any All-State teams during her freshman season. As a sophomore in my mind, she was already a superstar based on what is seen On film. When I was working on the book I was really only paying attention to Kayla but as you’re at these games you start to see other players who have unbelievable qualities. She was one of the first players on her team that I noticed there was just something a little bit different about her. The way she moves she kind of glides across the pitch you could see Superstar based on the way she played it didn’t take very long to figure that out. Her vision and intelligence from the very first time I saw her she just seemed like she was on another level. I knew from the first game I saw that she was going to be one of the biggest components of the team. She didn’t score nearly as much during her sophomore season. She found her identity as a facilitator. Someone who can supply service to the attackers and play that unselfish role in the Midfield. she always finds herself in the rhythm of the game which allows opportunities and space to open up for her teammates. The way she played could have massively impacted the season Kayla Anderson ended up having. Kayla Anderson is an incredible talent and regardless of who she was playing with she was going to be sensational just by nature but Lauren definitely helps. It was more than that though it would be a relationship that they have created between them on the pitch and off of it. In real life, the two of them are close friends and have helped each other reach an incredibly high level. Both girls would have had individual success but the connection they’ve had on the pitch has largely benefited both of them. Collectively as a team, they had a much more successful season. White Bear Lake won the conference and beat the player of the year on the road. Lauren Eckerle finished her sophomore season as one of the best midfielders in the state even if other people fail to realize it. She may not have been the best but she’s certainly among that Elite As she proved what she’s going to be capable of doing over her final two seasons. Lauren ended the season with five goals and 10 assists including an unbelievable display in the playoffs as she scored one and assisted on two others on their lone playoff win. She showed that she is a big game player coming up in the big games and in the big moment. Through two seasons and 36 games give or take Lauren Eckerle has accounted for 26 goals in a little over 30 games with 11 goals and 15 assists. The scary thing is she’s got two more seasons left she’s going to be an absolute nightmare. This team will stay afloat because of the unbelievable competitiveness will to win work ethic and her outstanding ability. After the season I realized something this girl could play for Barcelona. that level a club is what she’s capable of becoming. Obviously not Leo Messi’s Barcelona but she could play for the Barcelona woman I’m not saying she will achieve that or want that but from the small sample size that I’ve seen she is that level of play just like Kayla is. Both Kayla Anderson and Lauren Eckerle could play professional soccer and play for their country. That’s easier said than done but the potential is there to achieve anything they want. Lauren Eckerle is that level of player even though what I’m saying sounds crazy it is achievable if she wants that & works for it.
Player Comparison: Lieke Martens
There is one player in particular that she reminds me of in terms of her mentality for attitude and will to win. Ironically this woman plays for FC Barcelona. There are some similarities and compatibility between Lauren Eckerle and Lieke Martens. It may sound ridiculous to compare her to the Dutch genius a A Princess by appearance but a killer underneath it. Lieke Martens is the best player in the world. She is in that conversation with Ada Hegerberg. She has won the women’s player of the year, the European championships with Holland as she was the player of the tournament. She has also won four trophies in Spain with Barcelona. On top of all of that, she took the Netherlands to a World Cup final. The Netherlands made the final of the euros and the World Cup in their last two tournaments that’s just a different level and they got there because of her dynamism in that Midfield. This summer in the World Cup she got to the final against the United States. Unfortunately, the best player in the world was not at full fitness. Had she been completely healthy the United States would not have won the World Cup the Netherlands would have as much as people want to push back on that statement it’s the truth. The Netherlands was the most complete team in the entire tournament and they had the best player in the World Cup. In terms of style and mentality, Lauren and Martens have those similarities between each other. They both play a very influential role filled with the capability of going forward sitting back and playing a defensive position and being an impactful player that gets their teammates involved. Martens is the standard she is just on another level than everybody else. The way they play is so similar they obviously have their differences but when you watch them play they look a lot like each other they even move in a similar way. Their competitiveness their mentality they’re very comparable in that respect. Martens is the queen of the mountain the highest level a nearly impossible standard to reach. But she came into a situation early in her career where she was surrounded by Talent improved at a young age to be able to perform At the level of players much older just like Lauren was able to do during her freshman and sophomore seasons. Lauren Eckerle is only a sophomore in high school she will be a junior next season it is hard to project or say what she will end up becoming. I have a faith that in the next two years she will become one of the best players in high school soccer and get a scholarship to a high-level competitive soccer program. It’s impossible for me to predict what the next couple of years of her life look like in the game of football. I look at the potential and I see so much more than anybody else. She is a special talent one day the rest of the world will see that. My sample size may have been small but it’s more than enough to see what her potential actually is. She still has a bit of growing up to do but if she works as hard as she can and proves to be able to handle all the pressure that will be on her shoulders over the next two years I believe she will develop into a superstar not only and high school for beyond that. She is a player that one day will be good enough to play for Barcelona or another European giant. Her floor is college superstar her ceiling is Barcelona.