Reiley Fitzpatrick, a sophomore at Independence High School, enjoyed the experience of a lifetime earlier this winter.
Fitzpatrick, a member of the Loudoun 04 ECNL team and US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program team, was selected as the only female soccer player from Virginia to participate in the US Youth Soccer ODP National Training Camp, Jan. 23-28 in Tampa, Florida.
The training camp was designed to take the top players selected from ODP inter-regional events and further evaluate and showcase their talents with high-level training and top-level competition.
Top players from each respective age group participated in the training camp. Throughout the event, Fitzpatrick and players around her honed their skills and gained preparation for future competitions, all while being evaluated by the ODP scouting network.
“It was a great experience,” Fitzpatrick said. “There were three goalkeepers [in my age division] so we kept rotating constantly in each game. In the last game I played, we went into a penalty kick shootout and I was able to save one of my PKs and I was really happy with myself.”
“I was very humbled and appreciative,” Fitzpatrick continued. “It was great being able to represent Virginia in a big national environment.”
One of the goals of attending the rigorous training camp was to prepare for a place on the United States national team. The athletic and educational opportunities presented during the five days helped Fitzpatrick mature on and off of the field.
During her time in Tampa, Fitzpatrick had a fantastic time and received exposure to top level college coaches, professional academy scouts and US Soccer scouts.
“It was amazing getting to play with such high-level athletes that are so dedicated to the sport as well," Fitzpatrick said. "It was a very rewarding experience getting to train with these great coaches and great players."