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UWS Week X: Team Of The Week

07/18/2017, 12:30pm EDT
By Admin

Final edition of weekly regular season awards highlights postseason action

METUCHEN, NJ - The final weekend of the regular season in United Women’s Soccer (UWS) witnessed one of the lighter schedules of the 2017 campaign, yet, there were the Midwest Conference playoffs and the second spot in the East Conference Final to rely on for dramatic effect. Grand Rapids FC won the Midwest Final in a dramatic contest against Detroit while Long Island were victorious in both of their weekend games to grab the second spot in today’s East Final vs. regular season conference champion New Jersey. Houston completed their 2017 slate in strong fashion at home, pushing West Conference champion Santa Clarita in a 4-3 loss while defeating So Cal Crush FC to finish the season with a win.

UWS TEAM OF THE WEEK (WEEK X)

F STEPHANIE GARCIA (Houston Aces) - hat trick in 18-minute span in win over So Cal Crush FC
F DEVYN BROUGH (Detroit Sun FC) - game-winner vs. Michigan in Midwest Semifinal
F KAYLA SAAGER (Long Island Rough Riders) * - hat trick in Friday’s win over New York Magic
MF TATIANA ARIZA (Houston Aces) # - two goals, assist in two games over weekend
MF MORGAN SANTORO (Long Island Rough Riders) # - 2 goals in 2 games, GWG vs. Lancaster as second half sub
MF CHLOE CASTANEDA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) - 2 goals in 4-3 win at Houston
MF MEGAN MCCASHLAND (Houston Aces) - 2 goals in regular season finale victory
D MICHAELA KOVACS (GRFC Women) * - game-winning header in 22nd minute of Midwest Final
D KIMBERLY MARRA (Long Island Rough Riders) # - 3 goals in 2 games, 2 second half goals vs. Lancaster
D NATALIE KUIKKA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) $ - game-winning goal vs. Houston in 77th minute
GK REILLEY OTT (GRFC Women) * - 8 saves, shutout in Midwest Final win over Detroit

* 2nd appearance on UWS Team Of The Week
# 3rd appearance on UWS Team Of The Week
$ 4th appearance on UWS Team Of The Week

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.

UWS Week X Preview: West Conference

07/14/2017, 2:15pm EDT
By Admin

Houston hosts two games to complete West regular season slate

SATURDAY, JULY 15

Houston Aces vs. Santa Clarita Blue Heat
7:30 PM CDT - Houston Sports Park

Although the conference championship has already been wrapped up, Saturday night’s contest pitting the Houston Aces (2-4 West) against the Santa Clarita Blue Heat (7-0 West) should prove to be a spirited affair - if the last two matches between the teams are any indicator. In June 2016, the Aces dealt the Blue Heat their only home loss of that season in a come-from-behind 4-3 victory. Houston scored three goals in the final 27 minutes of the match, led my forward Tatiana Ariza’s two tallies. Earlier this season, Santa Clarita hosted Houston for the second straight occasion and got a measure of revenge with a 1-0 shutout win on Saturday, June 17th.

As time ticked off the clock, Venezuelan international and Florida State University star Deyna Castellanos notched her first goal of the year on a penalty kick and Santa Clarita held on for the victory. Goalkeeper Ryann Torrero made her 2017 debut in goal for the Blue Heat, making four saves in the shutout win while Colombian international Stefany Castano made two saves for the Aces in defeat. Houston had their chances, as in the 31st minute, Ariza teamed up with Mariana Diaz Leal on a give-and-go but the Colombian international put her shot over the crossbar. In the second half, the Aces had a pair of chances of the 48th & 59th minutes before they committed a hand ball in their own penalty area in the 89th minute, opening the door for Castellanos’ game-winner.

SUNDAY, JULY 16

Houston Aces vs. So Cal Crush FC
7:30 PM CDT - Houston Sports Park

Houston will have a relatively quick turnaround in their 2017 season finale, with So Cal Crush FC (1-6 West) taking the pitch at Houston Sports Park 24 hours after Saturday night’s match vs. Santa Clarita. The Aces had an even harder hill to climb in the first matchup between the two teams this season with less than 20 hours to rejuvenate for a Sunday afternoon game at Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta, CA. The visitors bounced back from a tough 1-0 loss to the Blue Heat the day prior to notch their first win of the 2017 season in a 4-0 victory. Castano (three saves) got the win for Houston while Crush FC’s Adriana Maldonado made 12 saves in the loss.

Gisela Arrieta Betancourt was the first of four different scorers for the Aces, breaking in on goal to beat Maldonado off an assist from midfielder Megan McCashland in the 20th minute. Eight minutes later, Ariza converted on a penalty kick to make the score 2-0. Forward Stephanie Garcia broke in on goal from 25 yards out and tallied the third Aces goal in the 33rd minute. Houston put the game out of reach in the 64th minute when midfielder Mariana Diaz Leal’s cross found forward Diandra Aliaga and her header was the final goal in the 4-0 win.

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.

UWS Week IX Roundup: West Conference

07/11/2017, 12:00pm EDT
By Admin

Santa Clarita stays unbeaten; Calgary wraps up 2nd place

CALGARY FOOTHILLS WOMEN’S FC 4, HOUSTON ACES 1

CALGARY, AB - In a matchup pitting two organizations looking to finish the 2017 campaign in style - and, even more important, in second place in the West Conference - Calgary Foothills Women’s FC hosted the Houston Aces in their regular season finale at home on Saturday night. Houston (2-4 West) scored first but Calgary (4-3-1 West) scored late, specifically with four unanswered goals in the final 15 minutes of the game en route to a 4-1 win at Mount Royal University. Midfielder Kara Thompson came off the bench and had a hand in each CFWFC goal, notching three goals and an assist while goalkeeper Emily Burns (eight saves) was the #1 star for the home side. With the victory, Calgary finishes in second place in the West in their first-ever season at the pro-am level and awaits word on the wild card seed in the UWS National Championship (July 21-22) in Grandville, MI.

The opening of the match was dominated by the visitors with Burns making some big saves to keep the score level. Houston made the breakthrough in the 28th minute after a defensive mistake was punished by forward Stephanie Garcia. Calgary Head Coach Troye Flannery changed things in the 41st minute, substituting in Thompson which proved to be the difference. In the second half, the hosts pressured from the outset and were awarded for it in the 75th minute. The veteran midfielder had a shot saved by Aces keeper Maddy Talbot (three saves) but forward Joelle Gosselin was able to convert from close range for her team-leading seventh goal. Two minutes later, Thompson scored her first of the night to give the Hoops the lead after a composed finish and added goals in the 83rd minute (penalty kick) and 87th minutes to cement the victory.

SANTA CLARITA BLUE HEAT 2, SO CAL CRUSH FC 1

SANTA CLARITA, CA - While the Santa Clarita Blue Heat have already wrapped up the West Conference title, they still need to stay focused as the team builds up to defend their 2016 UWS Championship in a couple weeks in Grandville, MI. Last Friday night at The Master’s University, Santa Clarita (7-0 West) got the best of both worlds as they were tested by So Cal Crush FC (1-6 West) in their home finale but also won the match by a 2-1 score. Blue Heat midfielder Deyna Castellanos continued her strong play this season, tallying both goals including a mind-bender from 35 yards out in the second half that was good enough for the eventual game-winning goal. So Cal goalkeeper Adriana Maldonado (12 saves) single-handedly held off the Santa Clarita offense while Ryann Torrero made three saves for the hosts.

On a hot night in the Los Angeles-area, the Blue Heat came out of the gates on the front foot with Castellanos getting on the stat sheet with her first of the night on an assist from fellow Florida State University star Emily Madril. The home side kept up the pressure as forward Chandra Eigenberger forced an astute save from Maldonado in the 25th minute. The score remained at 1-0 in favor of Santa Clarita until the 72nd minute, when the Venezuelan international chipped her shot from distance past the Crush FC keeper for one of the top goals in UWS this season. Former Blue Heat defender Sydney Vermillion pulled one back for the visitors four minutes later, but they could not notch the equalizer. Both teams will travel to Houston this upcoming weekend for the last two regular season games in conference play. 

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.