MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An elite soccer program in Minnesota is sending 26 girls to play at Division I, II and III programs across the country.

Minnesota Thunder Academy has three of the top 150 girls in the country on its team, and now 26 of the members have earned the right to play soccer at the next level.

These young women who make up the Minnesota Thunder Academy’s U18 elite team proudly display sweatshirts from the colleges they will play for in the fall.

Madi Yueill is going to South Dakota State University. She says being a part of MTA and playing with quality players gave her what she needed to get to this point in her soccer career.

“We definitely push each other by just like working our hardest,” Yueill said. “We just have a lot in common, like we want the same goal or we have the same goal. So we have a lot of ties together.”

Coach Mark Yueill is proud his girls will get a chance to play soccer for some of the best programs in the country. He’s says it’s not magic – just hard work.

“We talk about effort and attitude all the time, and they just, this group in particular, brings it. They are passionate about it,” said Coach Yueill. “These girls all work very hard and prioritize things in their life.”

Kylie Schwarz is an All-American, three-time All State and Player of the Year from Wayzata High School. She signed a letter of intent to play at Wisconsin.

“It’s always been my dream to play in college soccer and to be able to sign as a Badger, it’s just unbelievable,” Schwarz said.

Both Kylie and Madi say the secret to their success is attitude and drive, something all 29 girls will take with them.

“Mark’s a great coach and he pushes us so much harder every single day then we ever would. And so I think, you know, part of coaching and just our own determination to work hard off the field and the love for the game is what got us where we are,“ said Schwarz.

Minnesota Thunder Academy’s U18 elite team finished second in the nation last summer. The success keeps coming for the program. Five other players from their boys program also signed letters of intent to play college soccer.


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