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Arsenal CO Player, NJL Fund Recipient, Proud to Reach Nat’l Final

You may have recently heard about the Arsenal Colorado Academy 99 team making a run to the 2017 USYS National Championship Final. Winners of the CSA State Cup five out of the past six years, they were crowned GU18 Far West Regional champions and finished runners-up in the championship game at Nationals in Frisco, Texas this past summer.

One of the players that has played a vital part in this team is Madison Williams, who has been a member of the Arsenal Colorado Academy 99 team since 2010. What makes the Rocky Mountain High School senior unique is she was the proud recipient of the Nick J. LoRusso Scholarship Fund.

The fund, named in memory of Nick J. LoRusso, who served on the CSA Board of Directors as well as Fort Collins Soccer Club, aims to provide financial support to Colorado children who have goals and aspirations of making soccer a significant part of their life.

Williams applied for the scholarship while recovering from a broken leg suffered in the final of the 2014 Real Colorado Cup, just a few months after helping Arsenal Academy finish as runners-up at 2013 Far West Regionals and win their second of five CSA State Cup titles in Fall 2013.

Broken Leg 4

Williams had no doubts about being able to recover from the broken leg, which she received while scoring a go-ahead goal in the final of the GU14 bracket. “I had a long road ahead of me but I knew that I had it in me to overcome it,” Williams said.

Upon receiving Madison’s application for the Scholarship, Nick’s son, Joe, knew that she’d be a worthy recipient.

“First and foremost, what stood out to the NJL board was her [Maddie’s] dedication to the application process,” LoRusso admitted. “Maddie’s application went above and beyond the requirements. We really felt like we knew her and her family after reading her packet. Simply put, she is a well-rounded Colorado soccer player who certainly proved that she deserved our support.”

The Scholarship’s aim is help players financially that are doing well in school, volunteers in the community, and are a valued member of their soccer team. “We consider each recipient to be a representative not only for the NJL Fund, but also for the state of Colorado,” said LoRusso.

During Williams’ recovery in 2016, Children’s Hospital, where Maddie had her surgery, asked her to act as an ambassador for the hospital.

Ambassador 2

“I spent last year volunteering and fundraising for the hospital. It was an amazing experience to help the hospital raise money and share my story.”

While she was still out recovering from surgery, Arsenal Academy finished as runners-up in the GU15 CSA State Cup final, the only season since 2012-2013 that they failed to win the tournament.

During her recovery process, she was officially named a recipient of the NJL Scholarship Fund in October 2015 and was able to rejoin her team to win the Fall 2015 CSA State Cup for the GU16 age group, being named MVP in the process.

“I was back to playing like my old self and my hard work paid off. I was offered a full ride scholarship to play soccer at Cal Poly!”

After finishing as semifinalists at the 2016 Far West Regionals, Maddie suffered another injury, tearing the ACL in her left leg. After undergoing surgery for the ACL tear, she watched from the sidelines as Arsenal Academy won CSA State Cup in Fall 2016.


She was able to begin playing again in time for the 2017 Far West Regionals, which was won by Arsenal thanks to a 3-2 overtime win against La Roca FC from Utah and saw Maddie finish tied for second in the tournament for goals scored. Their victory in this tournament clinched them a berth in Nationals, where they made their previously mentioned run to the final, ultimately losing 2-1 to TSC Showcase from Tennessee.

Just this past month, Arsenal Colorado Academy 99 won their third State Cup title in a row, making it five first-place finishes in the last six State Cup tournaments.


More than just receiving financial support from the LoRusso family, Maddie has formed a lifelong friendship with Linda LoRusso, Nick’s wife.

“I have formed a close relationship with Linda,” Maddie admitted. “Her support and encouragement have been such a positive influence in my life! Crazy enough, she even flew out to Texas to watch our semi-final game and final game!”

Regionals 1

After finally clinching the elusive Region IV champions crown and marching all the way to the National Championship final, Williams goals are pretty obvious- stay healthy, win the National Championship, and to make an impact playing for Cal Poly.

As for Joe, Linda, and the rest of the Nick J. LoRusso board, they are always looking to make a positive impact on aspiring soccer players that may be hindered by the financial burden the sport places on families.

“We believe that no child should miss out on opportunities to play due to financial hardships outside of their control,” Joe told CSA. “We also understand that the love and passion for soccer must be cultivated. Therefore, our scholarship fund also provides funding to grass roots programs to assist in that endeavor.”


To complete an application for the Nick J. LoRusso Scholarship Fund, visit to complete an online application or request a hard copy of the application. ANYONE can complete an application on behalf of a potential recipient. So coaches, players, and parents: if you know of someone who needs help, please fill out an application. Anonymity is an option if requested. 




Arsenal Colorado Academy 99 (formerly known as Arsenal Academy Colorado Gold 99/00)

Seasonal Year

CSA League Finish

CSA State Cup Finish

Far West Regionals Finish

National Championship Finish

2010/2011 (GU11)

GU11 Premier 1




2011/2012 (GU12)

GU12 Premier 1

2nd Place

Spring 2012




2012/2013 (GU13)

GU13 Super League

1st Place

Spring 2013




2013/2014 (GU14)

GU15 Premier 1

2nd Place

Fall 2013


3rd in group


2014/2015 (GU15)

GU16 Super League

1st Place

Fall 2014




2015/2016 (GU16)

GU18 Super League

1st Place

Fall 2015




2016/2017 (GU18)

GU19 Champions League Premier 1

3rd Place

Fall 2016




2017/2018 (GU19)

GU19 Champions League Premier 1

Fall 2017 Champions