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Regular Season 2017

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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 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: 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.

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