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2017 All-Midwest Conference Awards

07/27/2017, 9:15pm EDT
By Admin

GRFC’s Balcer & Robison top player & coach; Clem grabs defensive honor

METUCHEN, NJ - United Women’s Soccer (UWS) expanded into the Midwest for the Summer 2017 season and the seven inaugural teams who took the pitch made it a memorable season. The top four teams competed in the conference playoffs with Grands Rapids FC Women winning the regular season and post-season titles. GRFC went on to win the 2017 UWS title and were awarded top coach & player honors. An impressive netminder and future pro prospect grabbed top defensive player accolades for Detroit, who finished in second place in the Midwest race. With seven teams competing this past season, the league office was able to compile First & Second Teams for the first-year conference.

Coach Of The Year
LEWIS ROBINSON (Grand Rapids FC Women)

With a successful men’s team already in place, the Grand Rapids FC organization began a women’s team and by the end of the 2017 season, the “Ladies In Blue” grabbed the spotlight by capturing not only the Midwest crown but the UWS National Championship. Robinson took charge of the GRFC Women with a history of success in the West Michigan soccer community. For the past six years, Robinson served as head coach for the Grandville H.S. girls team, winning six district championships, three conference championships and a regional title while finishing as 2013 State Runners-Up. Lewis also works as the Director of Coaching for Midwest United FC and won a 2016 U-16 Girls National Championship last summer.

Player Of The Year
BETHANY BALCER (Grand Rapids FC Women)

Grand Rapids FC Women closed out the regular season with five consecutive wins, outscoring its opponents by a 22-2 margin. The biggest factor during that span was the outstanding play of Balcer, who was named to the UWS Team of the Week on three straight occasions. Bethany made eight appearances scoring 14 goals & three assists (31 points) to finish as the 2017 UWS Golden Boot winner. The Hudsonville, MI native is having a record-breaking career at Spring Arbor University (NAIA). The two-time Crossroads League Player of the Year - the first-ever repeat winner of the award - racked up 74 points (31 goals, 12 assists) for the Cougars during her dominant 2016 campaign, which boosted her career total to 147 points (61 goals, 25 assists).

Defensive Player Of The Year
CAITLYN CLEM (Detroit Sun FC)

Detroit Sun FC finished in second place in the Midwest this past season and with thanks to the stellar play of Clem in goal. The University of Wisconsin shot-stopper started in seven games (5-1-1 record, three shutouts, 34 saves) and allowed only seven goals for Detroit - with three of those coming in a loss to Midwest champions Grand Rapids FC. Caitlyn started out her Sun career in fine form as she made five saves in a shutout win over FC Indiana, which got her selected to the UWS Team of the Week. Clem is a two-time All-Big Ten Conference honoree as a rising junior at Wisconsin (42 starts) and helped lead the Badgers to their first Big Ten Conference championship in 20 years in 2015.

2017 All-Midwest Conference First Team

F MADISON SCHUPBACH (Detroit Sun FC)
F BETHANY BALCER (Grand Rapids FC Women)
F TORI SINGSTOCK (Michigan Legends FC)
MF/F YO TACHIBANA (FC Indiana)
MF DANI EVANS (Detroit Sun FC)
MF RYLEY BUGAY (FC Indiana)
MF ANNIE STEINLAGE (Grand Rapids FC Women)
D RACHEL WASHBURN (Michigan Legends FC)
D MICHAELA KOVACS (Grand Rapids FC Women)
D CLARE CARLSON (Grand Rapids FC Women)
GK CAITLYN CLEM (Detroit Sun FC)

2017 All-Midwest Conference Second Team

F MARISSA SWINDELL (Toledo Villa FC)
F MARIE ASHLEY JOHNSON (FC Indiana)
F SKYLAR FLEAK (Toledo Villa FC)
MF/F BRADY RILEY (Indy Premier SC)
MF RIKO SAGARA (Grand Rapids FC Women)
MF HANNAH TILLETT (Fort Wayne United Gryphons)
D AVERY HAY (Michigan Legends FC)
D ALEXA SIEGAL (Fort Wayne United Gryphons)
D KIRSTEN CATLOTH (Toledo Villa FC)
D MYKAYLA BROWN (Indy Premier SC)
GK TARAH HOBBS (FC Indiana)

Iron Women Of The Year (most minutes played)

F MARISSA SWINDELL (Toledo Villa FC)
MF/F BRADY RILEY (Indy Premier SC)
MF HIKARU NAKAMURA (FC Indiana)
D KELLEY JOHNSON (FC Indiana)

About United Women’s Soccer (UWS): UWS is a national women’s soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer through the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars. You can follow UWS on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Media can contact UWS Director of Communications Jorma Kansanen by e-mail at UWSPress@gmail.com. You can visit the league’s official website at UWSSoccer.com. Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.

Tag(s): News  Detroit Sun  FC Indiana  Fort Wayne Gryphons  Grand Rapids FC  Indy Premier  Michigan Legends  Toledo Villa