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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.

UWS Week VIII Preview: West Conference

06/30/2017, 1:00pm EDT
By Admin

Three teams go into this weekend’s action with high hopes

METUCHEN, NJ - It is a very intriguing weekend in the West Conference of United Women’s Soccer (UWS), as one match will decide the tenor of the remainder of the regular season. The Santa Clarita Blue Heat are on the cusp of capturing the West crown for the second consecutive campaign. But if Calgary Foothills Women’s FC can pull off the road upset over the defending UWS champions, the race will go on not only for CFWFC but possibly for the Houston Aces as well. As the third conference winner, the West champion qualifies for the 2017 UWS Championship, but with a wild card spot open for the fourth team, there is still much to play for. 

SATURDAY, JULY 1

Houston Aces vs. Real Salt Lake Women
7:30 PM CDT - Houston Sports Park (Houston, TX)

After a two-week layoff, the Houston Aces (1-3 West) return to conference action in a much different climate than the last time they took the pitch. The stakes are as do-or-die as ever, which is something they are used to especially after their late yet unsuccessful run for the title last season. But if Houston wants to capture the West crown this season, they will need to win out their remaining four games while at the same time hoping that Santa Clarita (5-0 West) loses their last three games. And than the Aces would have to wait out the tiebreak procedure as well. If results go Houston’s way this weekend, the Saturday, July 15th rematch against Santa Clarita could be a cracker. 

For the Real Salt Lake Women (3-3-1 West), Saturday’s road match will serve as their 2017 season finale. There were high hopes for Real Salt Lake going into this year, but after a 2-0 loss to So Cal Crush FC (1-4 West) to start the campaign, the team was not able to get on a roll. Santa Clarita can be thanked for that, as the RSL Women suffered two close 1-0 losses to the defending UWS champions. For fans of the sport, they can hope that this RSL v. Houston rematch will be as exciting as their first encounter. On Saturday, June 10th, the Real Women came back from a 2-1 deficit and scored three unanswered goals in the final 16 minutes of the match to secure a 4-2 home win.

Santa Clarita Blue Heat vs. Calgary Foothills WFC
6:00 PM PDT - Master's Univ. (Santa Clarita, CA)

When it comes to postseason implications, its simple math for both teams in Saturday’s match between the Santa Clarita Blue Heat (5-0 West) and Calgary Foothills Women’s FC (2-2-1 West). If Santa Clarita wins, they capture the West crown for the second straight season and will go on to compete in the 2017 UWS Championship (July 21-22). If the Blue Heat are victorious in any of their remaining three games, they win the conference. For Calgary, they need to win out their remaining three games for a shot at the postseason: on one hand, CFWFC still have a chance to win the West but need the Blue Heat to stumble; on the other, if they don’t capture the conference crown, a 5-2-1 final record will put them in position for wild card consideration in the league championship.

The rubber match of the season series between these two teams could be an exciting one. In their first meeting on Saturday, June 10th, Calgary hosted Santa Clarita north of the border and they went toe-to-toe for all 90 minutes. Forward Chandra Eigenberger’s first half goal would prove to be the decider, as the Blue Heat came away with the 1-0 win. It was not only an even match (10-9 shots in favor of the visitors) but a physical one as well with a total of 24 fouls called. In the 25th minute, Eigenberger took advantage of a loose ball in the penalty area and finished her shot past CFWFC goalkeeper Sarah Dilling (nine saves) for the eventual game-winner.

SUNDAY, JULY 2

So Cal Crush FC vs. Calgary Foothills WFC
1:00 PM PDT - Crescenta Valley H.S. (La Crescenta, CA)

If Calgary can pull off the upset against the defending UWS champions on Saturday, they will have a tough turnaround to deal with for their rematch against So Cal Crush FC (1-4 West) on Sunday afternoon. The one thing in CFWFC’s favor is they tallied their highest single-game goal total this season against SCCFC, and that was in last Sunday’s 3-0 win at home. Forward Joelle Gosselin netted her team-leading third goal while goalkeeper Sarah Dilling (three saves) notched the shutout. In the 18th minute, Gosselin put her stamp on the match after she collected a pass from midfielder Chelsie Oddan and fired a rocket inside the upper 90 from the top of the penalty area. The So Cal defense held firm until the 53rd minute, when Calgary forward Jordan Smith doubled the lead and midfielder Sarah Kinzner assisted on Arielle Roy-Petitclerc’s goal in the 61st minute for the final score.

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 VII Roundup: West Conference

06/27/2017, 9:30am EDT
By Admin

CFWFC gets 1st home win; SC one victory from title

CALGARY FOOTHILLS WOMEN’S FC 3, SO CAL CRUSH FC 0

CALGARY, AB - In their first two home games at the Calgary Soccer Centre, Calgary Foothills Women’s FC were close to winning but could not cross the finish line. A 1-0 loss to Santa Clarita and a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake left the CFWFC offense wondering if they would ever finish their scoring chances. In Sunday afternoon’s game against So Cal Crush FC (1-4 West), Calgary (2-2-1 West) at last found their touch in front of goal, as three different scorers led the hosts to a solid 3-0 win. Forward Joelle Gosselin netted her team-leading third goal of the season and the eventual game-winner in the victory while goalkeeper Sarah Dilling (three saves) got the shutout.

Gosselin came right out of the gates with her shooting boots on, firing a shot just over the crossbar in the seventh minute of play. The Université Laval star followed that up with another bid eight minutes later, but her shot from close range was stopped by Crush FC goalkeeper Mia Fernandez (15 saves). In the 18th minute, Gosselin emphatically put her stamp on the match. She collected a pass from midfielder Chelsie Oddan and fired a rocket inside the upper 90 from the top of the penalty area. The So Cal defense held firm until the 53rd minute, when CFWFC forward Jordan Smith doubled the lead off an assist from forward Nikki Furukawa. Midfielder Sarah Kinzner assisted on Arielle Roy-Petitclerc’s goal in the 61st minute for the final tally.

REAL SALT LAKE WOMEN 0, SANTA CLARITA BLUE HEAT 1

OREM, UT - On one of the hottest days in Utah this season, the Real Salt Lake Women (3-3-1 West) faced their biggest test of the 2017 campaign as they hosted the defending UWS champion Santa Clarita Blue Heat (5-0 West) on Saturday night at Clyde Field on the campus of Utah Valley University. The RSL Women needed a victory to stay in the West Conference race, but Santa Clarita forward Deyna Castellanos would convert a penalty kick in the 62nd minute while the Blue Heat defense held the hosts’ offense in check in the 1-0 road win. It was the fourth straight 1-0 decision to go in Santa Clarita’s favor, who now only need one win in their final three regular season games to capture the conference crown.

The heat showed in the way the match started. The Blue Heat had the better of the passing and possession to start, but the RSLW defense did a good job of keeping Castellanos in check. The tempo of the game picked up as the sun went down. Midway through the second half, Santa Clarita took advantage of a loose ball that rolled into the Real Salt Lake half that the defense didn't chase down. A switch of play saw Castellanos unmarked on the far post and her simple finish past RSLW goalkeeper Becca Ritchie (seven saves) gave the visitors the 1-0 lead. The RSL Women almost leveled the score in the 72nd minute when right back Hannah Bruce was tripped in the box for a penalty kick. Leading scorer Hailey Skolmoski fired her PK low and to the right, but Blue Heat goalkeeper JoJo McCaskill (one save) made the diving stop and the rebound was cleared away.

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 Press@UWSSoccer.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.