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UWS Week IX: Team Of The Week

07/11/2017, 4:30pm EDT
By Admin

A pair of substitutes steal the show in Week IX action

METUCHEN, NJ - The regular season is winding down in United Women’s Soccer (UWS) and the excitement is building for the postseason. Santa Clarita will defend their 2016 UWS title as West champions, the four-team Midwest playoffs kick off this weekend, New Jersey awaits their East Final opponent while a couple of teams sweat out the decision process for the “wild card” team in the 2017 National Championship (July 21-22) held in Grandville, MI. Out of the blue, a pair of substitutes - New England’s Marissa Aniolowski and Calgary’s Keara Thompson - came off the bench to lead their teams to important victories. The young Seton Hall standout and former UW-Milwaukee star played a huge part in each organization’s respective missions to reach the postseason.

UWS TEAM OF THE WEEK (WEEK IX)

F BETHANY BALCER (GRFC Women) # - 3 goals & assist continues torrid scoring run
F ERICA MURPHY (New York Surf) - 3 goals lead Surf to possible wild card berth
F CARISSIMA CUTRONA (Western New York Flash) $ - 4 goals, assist in win over NY Magic
MF KEARA THOMPSON (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC) - first-half sub scores 3 goals & assist in 4-1 win
MF KATRINA KOOMEN (Michigan Legends FC) - 2 goals, assist in playoff-clinching win
MF DEYNA CASTELLANOS (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) $ - 2 goals including 35-yard golazo
MF MARISSA ANIOLOWSKI (New England Mutiny) - first half sub scores 2 goals in 4-0 win
D ALEXA SIEGEL (Fort Wayne United Gryphons) - led defensive shutout in season finale
D NATALIE KUIKKA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) # - another UWS TOTW selection for FSU standout
D JENNY BITZER (New Jersey Copa FC) - right back shut down Lancaster’s top scorer
GK EMILY BURNS * (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC) - 8 saves to keep Calgary in game

HONORABLE MENTION

F MADISON SCHUPBACH (Detroit Sun FC) # - 2 goals in season finale win over Toledo
F BRENNA BROWN (New England Mutiny) * - 2 goals in season finale win over WNY
MF RACHEL CORBOZ (New York Surf) - creativity & distribution in 3-2 win over Long Island
D BROOKE SALMON (New York Surf) - led defense to most important win of season 
GK ADRIANA MALDONADO * (So Cal Crush FC) - 12 saves in 2-1 loss to West champions
GK JORDAN KAMP (Lancaster Inferno) - 10 saves in 1-0 loss to East regular season champs

* 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 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.

UWS Week IX Preview: West Conference

07/06/2017, 7:00pm EDT
By Admin

Calgary & Houston battle it out for second place in West race

METUCHEN, NJ - With no disrespect to their opponents, the mission for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat for their last two games is to stay focused on their task - defending their 2016 United Women’s Soccer (UWS) championship title. Santa Clarita accomplished the first task in that effort last weekend, capturing the West crown and the automatic berth into the 2017 UWS Championship (July 21-22) in Grandville, MI. Now, what’s left to fight for in the conference race is runner-up status - and Calgary and Houston meet up north of the border for an important match in that effort this weekend.

FRIDAY, JULY 7

Santa Clarita Blue Heat vs. So Cal Crush FC
6:00 PM PDT - Master's Univ. (Santa Clarita, CA)

The Santa Clarita Blue Heat (6-0 Midwest) opened their 2017 season with the first-ever edition of the Los Angeles derby with So Cal Crush FC (1-5 Midwest) and matched their season-high single-game goal total in a 4-0 win on Friday, May 26th during Week III action. So Cal were seemingly still basking in the glow of their season-opening 2-0 win over the Real Salt Lake Women (3-4-1 West) and the offense of the defending UWS champions was emphatic. Forward Carolina Venegas notched two early goals and midfielder Emily Madril posted two late goals and Santa Clarita rolled to a comprehensive victory.

The Blue Heat defense came to the fore after that match as they notched four straight 1-0 wins before last Saturday’s conference-clinching contest against Calgary Foothills Women’s FC (3-3-1 West). Santa Clarita locked up their second straight West title in the 4-1 win over Calgary with thanks to goal-assist performances from forwards Kodi Lavrusky and Julia Hernandez. After four scoreless games, the Crush FC offense got rolling in their last match, but Calgary scored one more goal in an exciting 4-3 encounter. So Cal forward Jamie Bell tallied the first goal in the sixth minute but Calgary responded with three unanswered goals. Crush FC midfielders Tatiana Zuvic and Hailey James completed the scoring for SCCFC.

SATURDAY, JULY 8

Calgary Foothills Women’s FC vs. Houston Aces
6:00 PM MDT - Mount Royal Univ. (Calgary, AB)

Even though the conference title has already been wrapped up, there is still second-place to fight for and Calgary Foothills Women’s FC (3-3-1 West) will host the Houston Aces (2-3 West) in an important match in that battle. With a victory, Calgary will wrap up runner-up status in the conference race - a great achievement in their first-ever campaign at the pro-am level. A draw works in Houston’s favor and opens the door for them to overtake CFWFC in the standings, as they host their final two regular season games at home next weekend. The Aces will have a bit of motivation on their side as Calgary delivered a 2-1 loss to them in their season opener.

CFWFC set their own piece of history at Houston Sports Park, defeating Houston by a 2-1 score. After a lightning delay, the visitors started brightly and Colombian international goalkeeper Stefany Castano stopped a powerful shot from Calgary forward Joelle Gosselin in the 18th minute. In the 37th minute, full back Melissa Roy whipped in a cross that ended with a diving header from Gosselin at the far post for her first goal of the season. In the 80th minute, a clever pass from midfielder Arielle Roy-Petitclerc set Gosselin free and the forward smashed her shot high into the top corner from 25 yards out for the 2-0 lead. The Aces got a goal back less than two minutes later with Isabella Echeverri’s consolation tally.

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.