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2018 NWSL College Draft Recap

01/19/2018, 12:30am EST
By Admin

Two former UWS stars drafted - Michaela Abam (L) & Elizabeth Wenger (R)

PHILADELPHIA, PA - The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) conducted their 2018 College Draft yesterday at the United Soccer Coaches (USC) Convention in Philadelphia, PA. Two former UWS stars were selected by NWSL teams: forward Michaela Abam was selected No. 4 overall (1st Round) by Sky Blue F.C.; and, defender Elizabeth Wenger was drafted by the Boston Breakers with the 17th overall pick (2nd Round).

Abam starred for the Colorado Pride during the 2016 UWS season, appearing in six of the team's eight games while notching a goal and an assist. Michaela was recently named a 2017 United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-American for West Virginia University. She finished her Mountaineer career ranked No. 3 all-time with 42 career goals and No. 4 with 100 points (42 G, 16 A).

Wenger patrolled the backline for the Lancaster Inferno last season, playing the full 90 minutes of seven of the eight games she appeared in. Wenger joined Abam on the 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team. Elizabeth was a First Team All-Midwest Region honoree after being named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year for Georgetown University.

Fans and friends can find United Women's Soccer at Booth 1405 in the Exhibit Hall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Friday and Saturday. Follow UWS on social media for live updates and more. For full information on the USC Convention, visit their official website at UnitedSoccerCoachesConvention.org.

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.

2018 NWSL College Draft Preview

01/16/2018, 7:00pm EST
By Admin

10 United Women's Soccer stars look to make their pro dreams come true

METUCHEN, NJ - The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) will conduct their 2018 College Draft this Thursday, January 18th (10 AM EST) at the United Soccer Coaches (USC) Convention in Philadelphia, PA. It will be held in the CC Grand Ballroom at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. One of the cornerstones of United Women's Soccer (UWS) is to develop talent for the professional ranks and 10 former UWS standouts have registered and are eligible for this year's draft.

The 2018 NWSL College Draft will be live streamed and is open to the public & media. For more information, visit their Draft Hub. Fans and friends can find United Women's Soccer at Booth 1405 in the Exhibit Hall at the PA Convention Center. Follow UWS on social media for live updates and more. For full information on the USC Convention, visit their official website at UnitedSoccerCoachesConvention.org.

"I want to wish all the players involved in Thursday's NWSL College Draft the best of luck in making their professional dreams come true," said UWS Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. "And I'd like to also send kudos to our UWS alumni participating as well. Our member teams strive for development and we all hope these players get a good look at the next level."

Pos. - Name - College (CLUB)
F - Michaela Abam - West Virginia University (COLORADO PRIDE)
GK - Caitlyn Clem - University of Wisconsin (DETROIT SUN F.C.)
D - Bailey Corbin - Nova Southeastern University (LANCASTER INFERNO)
F/MF - Isabella Habuda - Liberty University (DETROIT SUN F.C.)
F - Paige Hayward - Texas Southern University (HOUSTON ACES)
D/MF - Gabrielle Matulich - UCLA (SANTA CLARITA BLUE HEAT)
MF - Jessica Reinhardt - Fairleigh Dickinson University (NEW JERSEY COPA F.C.)
D - Allyson Swaby - Boston College (NEW ENGLAND MUTINY)
MF - Madison Vasquez - Siena College (LONG ISLAND ROUGH RIDERS)
D - Elizabeth Wenger - Georgetown University (LANCASTER INFERNO)

Forward Michaela Abam starred for the Colorado Pride during the 2016 UWS season. Abam was a 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team selection for West Virginia University this past fall and finished her Mountaineer career ranked No. 3 all-time with 42 career goals and No. 4 with 100 points (42 G, 16 A). The 2017 UWS Defensive Player Of The Year & University of Wisconsin goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem will also take part in the draft. Detroit Sun FC finished in 2nd place in the Midwest last summer and Clem started in seven regular season games (5-1-1 record, 3 shutouts, 7 goals allowed) as well as all three postseason tilts for the 2017 UWS National Semifinalists.

Caitlyn started all 22 matches for Wisconsin (10 shutouts) and was named to the 2017 All-Big Ten Preseason Team. She also garnered Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on two occasions for Head Coach Paula Wilkins. Bailey Corbin was also a defensive standout this fall during her collegiate campaign for Nova Southeastern University, as she was named Third Team All-American by United Soccer Coaches. Corbin helped propel the Sharks to their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, a Sunshine State Conference regular season title, and was named the SSC Defensive Player of the Year. Bailey has appeared in 19 of the 20 UWS games that the Lancaster Inferno have played the past two seasons.

In just two seasons at Liberty University, forward/midfielder Isabella Habuda proved to be one of the program's prolific scorers, ranking 11th in school history with 41 career points (16 G, 9 A). It was the second straight season that Habuda was named to the All-Big South Conference First Team. Isabella tied for second in scoring for Detroit and was named to the UWS Team of the Week (Week 1) for her 2 goals in a win over FC Indiana. Forward Paige Hayward was named to the All-SWAC Second Team for the second consecutive season after leading Texas Southern University in scoring (8 G, 18 PTS). The Australia-native and Houston Aces veteran tied TSU's all-time goals record and became the school's all-time leader in points on Senior Day this fall.

Defender/midfielder Gabrielle Matulich starred for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat during their 2016 UWS championship season. Matulich earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors for the third-straight year at UCLA and was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week (Oct. 3) after recording a goal and assist against Oregon State. In her first season for New Jersey Copa F.C., midfielder Jessica Reinhardt appeared in seven games for the 2017 East Conference regular season champions. Reinhardt would go on to be named Second Team All-Region by United Soccer Coaches for Fairleigh Dickinson University this fall and was selected to the All-Northeast Conference First Team for the third straight season. She became FDU's all-time leader in assists (23).

Defender Allyson Swaby was team co-captain for Boston College and started in all 20 games for the Eagles (started in 70 of 73 career games over her four-year career at BC). Swaby has been a member of the Jamaican Women's National Team and was named to the 2016 All-UWS & All-East Conference Teams for the New England Mutiny. Midfielder Madison Vasquez earned All-MAAC honors for the third year in a row for Siena College, making the Second Team as she started all 18 matches and tallied 10 points with three game-winning goals. Vasquez was a two-time Preseason All-MAAC selection as well. Madison appeared in eight games (2 G, 2 A) this past summer for the 2017 UWS National Semifinalist Long Island Rough Riders.

Defender Elizabeth Wenger rounds out the draft-eligible list after earning a 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team selection for Georgetown University. Wenger was a First Team All-Midwest Region honoree after being named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. She was a three-time All-BIG EAST honoree, earning a spot on the first team as a senior (78 starts over her four-year career). Wenger appeared in eight games for Lancaster during the 2017 UWS season, notching an assist.

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.

United Women's Soccer New Year's Roundup

01/04/2018, 4:00pm EST
By Admin

Villacorta trains with U.S. U-20's; Clem on NWSL Draft prelim list

METUCHEN, NJ - The holiday season has wrapped up but there was plenty of activity in the world of women's soccer as numerous United Women's Soccer (UWS) stars dotted the headlines. The United States Under-20 Women's National Team just completed their first training camp of 2018 and three UWS alums took part; the 2017 UWS West Defensive Player of the Year was honored as top player by her home country; the preliminary list of eligible players for the 2018 Draft was released by the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and UWS was well represented; and another familiar standout is featured in our New Year's Roundup.

THREE UWS STARS WITH U.S. U-20's... the last training camp of 2017 (and correspondingly the first of 2018) was just completed for the U.S. U-20 Women's National Team at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. Three UWS stars - defender Emily Madril (Santa Clarita), midfielder Viviana Villacorta (Santa Clarita) and midfielder Natalie Winters (Detroit Sun FC) - took part as Head Coach Jitka Klimkova is in the process of choosing the final 20-player roster for the 2018 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship, taking place from January 18-28 in Trinidad & Tobago. Madril played in 10 games this past summer for the 2017 West champion Blue Heat and was named to the UWS Team of the Week (Week 3) for her two-goal performance in a win over So Cal Crush FC. Villacorta started in the 2017 UWS National Semifinal & Final alongside Madril for Santa Clarita, and did the same for UCLA this past month. Winters just completed her sophomore season with the Iowa Hawkeyes, where she was a Third-Team All-Big Ten selection. For more information, click HERE.

KUIKKA NABS TOP FINN HONORS... the 2017 UWS West Defensive Player of the Year and Florida State University defender Natalia Kuikka was awarded her nation's top honors as the 2017 Finland Female Player of the Year. The Finnish Women's National Team finished 4-4-2 in international competition in 2017 (2-0-0 in FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying). While the exploits of her FSU teammate Deyna Castellanos have been much lauded, the strong two-way play of Kuikka on the flank was just as special this past summer for Santa Clarita. The Blue Heat defense allowed only five goals in eight regular season games with her leadership. She started in the 2017 UWS National Semifinal & Final alongside her FSU teammates Castellanos & Madril and UCLA's Villacorta. During her 2017 season with Florida State, she helped the Seminoles reach the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament and earned All-ACC First Team honors. For more information, click HERE.

NWSL RELEASES PRELIMINARY DRAFT LIST... the National Women's Soccer League released the preliminary list of registered players for the 2018 Draft. The draft will take place on January 18 at 10 AM ET at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia, PA. Four UWS standouts were on the initial roster of draft-eligible players, headlined by 2017 UWS Defensive Player Of The Year & University of Wisconsin goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem. Detroit Sun FC finished in 2nd place in the Midwest and Clem started in seven regular season games (5-1-1 record, 3 shutouts, 7 goals allowed). Caitlyn took part in the Sun's playoff run, starting in all three postseason games including the 2017 National Semifinal. Forward Isabella Habuda teamed up with Clem for Detroit, and was tied for second in scoring (3 goals). The Liberty University star was named to the UWS Team of the Week (Week 1) for her 2 goals off the bench in a win at FC Indiana. Hayward has been a part of the Houston Aces the past two seasons and was named to the All-SWAC Second Team this past fall after leading Texas Southern University with eight goals (18 points). Abam starred for the Colorado Pride during the 2016 UWS season. For more information, click HERE.

MORE GOLDEN BALLS FOR BALCER... 2017 was an award-winning year for Grand Rapids FC Women midfielder Bethany Balcer. The UWS Midwest Player of the Year continued her torrid run for the 2017 UWS National Champions to fall competition with No. 1-nationally ranked & NAIA National Champion Spring Arbor University. Balcer completed her trophy shelf by being named the 2017 United Soccer Coaches NAIA Player of the Year late in December. She started all 26 games for SAU and scored 86 points (37g, 12a). In the 2017 NAIA Women's Soccer Championship, the leading scorer in UWS this past summer scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Benedictine in the final. The National Players of the Year will be honored for their accomplishments at the United Soccer Coaches All-America Luncheon on January 20, 2018 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in conjunction with the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Convention. For more information, click HERE.

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.

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