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2017 All-United Women's Soccer Awards

08/02/2017, 3:00pm EDT
By Admin

Castellanos & Clem honored with top player plaudits; Robinson named top coach

METUCHEN, NJ - The Summer 2017 season in United Women’s Soccer (UWS) was one of measured & sustained growth, as the Midwest Conference was added and the league’s championship tournament was expanded to a four-team format. The future looks bright as work on the 2018 campaign has already begun. Yet, there is still news to announce as the national pro-am league puts a bow on the 2017 season. The All-UWS awards have been announced with individual honors going to representatives from three different organizations, all who qualified for the league’s showcase event - the UWS National Championship.

UWS 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.

“It is an honor and a privilege to receive any national recognition for our team’s success this year,” said Robinson. “We owe all of our thanks to the club and supporters for supporting our team and giving us the backing to train and compete at the highest level. The support for the women's game was amazing this year and a great reflection of the players talent and hard work.”

UWS Player Of The Year
DEYNA CASTELLANOS (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)

Castellanos came into her summer stint with the defending UWS champions Santa Clarita with a burgeoning reputation on the world soccer stage and did not disappoint. The young Venezuelan international & Florida State University star led the team in scoring (five goals, assist) which included an astonishing four game-winning goals and was named to the UWS Team of the Week on four occasions. Deyna’s skill over the ball was known, but her work rate off the ball was also a sight to see. Castellanos started in 13 games last fall with Florida State, splitting time between Tallahassee and competing for Venezuela at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.

“It’s such an honor to be named UWS Player of the Year, I am speechless,” said Castellanos. “I want to give thanks to Santa Clarita Blue Heat Owner Carlos Marroquin for the platform to showcase women’s soccer in the USA. Thanks to United Women’s Soccer for putting on a high level of competition during the summer. The quality of the league is phenomenal. I also could not have done it without my teammates. Carlos put together a great group of players. They made this past season special. I've made lifelong friends this summer.”

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

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

“I'm incredibly humbled to receive this award out of all the awesome players in this league,” said Clem. “I believe this is not just a reflection of me, it's a reflection of the Detroit Sun and our backline. So, I would like to thank my team as well. Also, I'd like to give a shout out to UWS!”

2017 All-United Women’s Soccer First Team

F BETHANY BALCER (Grand Rapids FC Women)
F CARISSIMA CUTRONA (Western New York Flash)
MF JACKIE BRUNO (New Jersey Copa FC)
MF DEYNA CASTELLANOS (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
MF ANNIE STEINLAGE (Grand Rapids FC Women)
MF KIMBERLY MARRA (Long Island Rough Riders)
D NATALIA KUIKKA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
D REBECCA RABER (New Jersey Copa FC)
D LAUREN SESSELMANN (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
D MICHAELA KOVACS (Grand Rapids FC Women)
GK CAITLYN CLEM (Detroit Sun FC)

2017 All-United Women’s Soccer Second Team

F MADISON SCHUPBACH (Detroit Sun FC)
F JOELLE GOSSELIN (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)
F HALEY CRAWFORD (Lancaster Inferno)
MF BRENNA BROWN (New England Mutiny)
MF CHLOE CASTANEDA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
MF DANI EVANS (Detroit Sun FC)
D TAYLOR GROTH (Long Island Rough Riders)
D NATALIE NORRIS (Real Salt Lake Women)
D JENNIFER CAFFERKY (New England Mutiny)
D BROOKE SALMON (New York Surf)
GK EMILY BURNS (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)

2017 All-United Women’s Soccer Honorable Mention

F TATIANA ARIZA (Houston Aces)
F TORI SINGSTOCK (Michigan Legends FC)
F/MF FURTUNA VELAJ (New York Surf)
MF/F YO TACHIBANA (FC Indiana)
D CLARE CARLSON (Grand Rapids FC Women)

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.

2017 All-West Conference Awards

07/27/2017, 9:00pm EDT
By Admin

Castellanos & Kuikka grab top player honors; Calgary’s Flannery top coach

METUCHEN, NJ - The 2017 United Women’s Soccer (UWS) season may have concluded last weekend on the pitch but the news has not stopped off of it as the annual end-of-season conference and league awards are set to be announced. The UWS West is first off the proverbial bench as 14 players were selected to the All-Conference Team. Two players from the West champion Santa Clarita Blue Heat were named Player & Defensive Player of the Year while the leader of a first-year organization nabbed Coach of the Year honors.

Coach Of The Year
TROYE FLANNERY (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)

It was certainly an uphill battle for the first-year Calgary organization this season, and Flannery’s side stepped right up to the challenge. While CFWFC were not able to get a positive result against the West champions, the team was able to nab a second-place finish ahead of two storied franchises in the Real Salt Lake Women and the Houston Aces. An alumnus of the Trinity Western University soccer program where he both played and coached, Troye has spent his coaching career expanding his knowledge and credentials for the game by coaching at a variety of levels including: CIS, CCAA, PDL/Super "Y" League and the AMSL.

Player Of The Year
DEYNA CASTELLANOS (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)

Castellanos came into her summer stint with the defending UWS champions Santa Clarita with a burgeoning reputation on the world soccer stage and did not disappoint. The young Venezuelan international & Florida State University star led the team in scoring (five goals, assist) which included an astonishing four game-winning goals and was named to the UWS Team of the Week on four occasions. Deyna’s skill over the ball was known, but her work rate off the ball was also a sight to see. Castellanos started in 13 games last fall with Florida State, splitting time between Tallahassee and competing for Venezuela at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Jordan during the season.

Defensive Player Of The Year
NATALIA KUIKKA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)

While the offensive exploits of her collegiate teammate were lauded, the strong two-way play of Kuikka on the flank was just as special. The FSU defender was outstanding on the counterattack but with her bright football mind and quickness, she still held down her defensive position. The Blue Heat defense allowed only five goals in eight regular season games with the leadership of her consistent and collected play. The Finnish international started in 19 games last fall at Florida State, playing every minute of each match and received NSCAA All-Region and All-American honors for the first time in her career.

2017 All-West Conference Team

F JOELLE GOSSELIN (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)
F TATIANA ARIZA (Houston Aces)
F HAILEY SKOLMOSKI (Real Salt Lake Women)
MF DEYNA CASTELLANOS (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
MF RACHEL OWENS (Houston Aces)
MF CHLOE CASTANEDA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
D NATALIA KUIKKA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
D NATALIE NORRIS (Real Salt Lake Women)
D LAUREN SESSELMANN (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
D MELISSA ROY (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)
GK EMILY BURNS (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)

Honorable Mention

MF NATALIA ARIZA (Houston Aces)
MF SARAH KINZNER (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)
GK ADRIANA MALDONADO (So Cal Crush FC)

Iron Woman Of The Year (most minutes played)

D MARIE-SANDRA UJENEZA (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)

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 VIII Roundup: West Conference

07/03/2017, 5:00pm EDT
By Admin

Santa Clarita captures 2017 West crown, off to UWS Championship

SO CAL CRUSH FC 3, CALGARY FOOTHILLS WOMEN’S FC 4

LA CRESCENTA, CA - So Cal Crush FC (1-5 West) opened and finished the scoring in their home finale at Crescenta Valley High School on Sunday afternoon, but Calgary Foothills Women’s FC (3-3-1 West) controlled the all the action in between, heading back north of the border with a 4-2 win. While the victory keeps Calgary in the hunt for a second-place finish in their first season in the national pro-am league, they are most likely out of the running for the wild card seed in the upcoming United Women’s Soccer (UWS) National Championship (July 21-22).

So Cal tallied their first goal since their season-opening 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake in the sixth minute with thanks to forward Jamie Bell. But Calgary responded with three unanswered goals, starting in the 10th minute with forward Nikki Furukawa’s first of the season. Forward Joelle Gosselin notched the next two tallies in the 21st & 25th minutes, the first off a toe poke shot from the top of the box and the second on a deflection. Crush FC midfielder Tatiana Zuvic cut the score to 3-2 a minute later off an assist from Alison Neveu. Gosselin completed her hat trick in the 73rd minute before midfielder Hailey James completed the scoring.

SANTA CLARITA BLUE HEAT 4, CALGARY FOOTHILLS WOMEN’S FC 1

SANTA CLARITA, CA - The Santa Clarita Blue Heat (6-0 West) locked up their second consecutive West Conference title on Saturday night at The Master’s University, tallying the first three goals in a 4-1 win over Calgary Foothills Women’s FC. With the victory, Santa Clarita have booked their spot in the four-team UWS Championship (July 21-22) and will defend their 2016 league crown. The Blue Heat received dual goal-assist performances from the forward duo of Kodi Lavrusky and Julia Hernandez. Goalkeeper Ryann Torrero made three saves in the win while Emily Burns (nine saves) picked up the loss.

In the eighth minute, defender Kelsey Gudgeon played in Lavrusky who slotted her shot past Burns for the early 1-0 lead. Twenty minutes later, Lavrusky sent her cross across the face of goal to the far post and defender Jacey Pederson fired the ball into the net for the 2-0 score. In the 34th minute, forward Chandra Eigenberger crossed from the near side to the back post to find Hernandez for her first goal of season. Former Santa Clarita defender Melissa Roy got Calgary on the score board two minutes later. The score remained at 3-1 until second half stoppage time when Hernandez found midfielder Deyna Castellanos for the final score.

HOUSTON ACES 4, REAL SALT LAKE WOMEN 3

HOUSTON, TX - The Real Salt Lake Women (3-4-1 West) almost completed the impossible on Saturday night against the Houston Aces (2-3 West), but came up just short in their comeback from a four-goal deficit in a 4-3 loss at Houston Sports Park. With the loss, the RSL Women finished their season with a losing record while Houston still has a shot at a second-place finish in the conference and a distant chance at qualifying as the wild card for the upcoming UWS Championship (July 21-22). Aces goalkeeper Stefany Castano made five saves in the victory and Rebecca Ritchie (eight saves) picked up the loss.

Houston forward Tatiana Ariza led the offense on the night, as the Colombian international started the scoring in the 22nd minute, converting a penalty kick for the 1-0 lead and the first of three goals in a seven-minute span. Midfielder Mariana Diaz Leal made it 2-0 in the 25th minute with thanks to an assist from defender Megan McCashland and midfielder Natalia Ariza notched the third goal on an assist from midfielder Gisela Arrieta Betancourt. Ariza tallied her second of the night in the 58th minute before the visitors began their comeback bid. In the 64th minute, midfielder Wesley Hamblin led the charge while midfielder McKenzie Evans and forward Colette Smith scored in the 80th & 86th minutes.

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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