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UWS Week VI Roundup: Midwest Conference

06/20/2017, 8:30am EDT
By Admin

Grand Rapids vaults to top; Indy Premier tallies first win

GRAND RAPIDS FC WOMEN 3, DETROIT SUN FC 0

GRANDVILLE, MI - Grand Rapids FC Women (5-1-1 Midwest) returned home to Grandville High School for the first time in a month with a pair of games this past weekend, hosting FC Indiana (4-3 Midwest) on Friday evening and Detroit Sun FC (3-1-2 Midwest) on Sunday afternoon. Two strong performances from the Girls In Blue saw a 2-1 victory on Friday and a 3-0 win on Sunday vault Grand Rapids into first place in the Midwest Conference. On Sunday, strong defense from both GRFC and Detroit saw a tightly contested match-up through the first hour of play. Detroit had a few looks on goal in the first half, pushing a shot just wide off a free kick in the 29th minute then hitting the woodwork in first half stoppage time.

In the second half, GRFC pushed forward, trying to find the breakthrough goal. After two unsuccessful scoring chances, the third time proved to be the charm for midfielder Bethany Balcer in the 74th minute. Midfielder Annie Steinlage made a run into the box and slipped a pass into Balcer in the center of the box who hit a rocket into the left side of the net for the 1-0 lead. Balcer extended the score to 2-0 in the 87th minute, taking a Detroit turnover and using her speed to dribble past the defense and slot the ball into the bottom right corner. In stoppage time, Balcer completed the hat trick as midfielder Riko Sagara played a perfectly weighted through-ball between the two centerbacks to her and she again beat Detroit goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem (three saves) on a 1v1 to cap off the 3-0 victory.

INDY PREMIER SC 1, FC INDIANA 2

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FC Indiana swept the inaugural Indianapolis Derby with a 2-1 victory over Indy Premier SC (1-5-1 Midwest) on Sunday afternoon at the Park Tudor School. FC Indiana followed their 2-1 win at home on Friday, June 9th with a similar verdict on the road in the rubber match of their season series. A late goal in the 86th minute by substitute Samantha Kambol decided the outcome. Indy Premier goalkeeper Claire Graves (four saves) picked up the loss in net while FCI’s Tarah Hobbs made six saves in the win. Indy Premier started off the match in bright fashion, with a trio of scoring chances early in the match.

In the 10th minute, forward Brady Riley forced a great save from Hobbs and nine minutes later, Emma Dwenger’s attempt was just off frame. In the 21st minute, the third corner kick for IPSC forced another save from Hobbs. The visitors got into the match with a pair of chances to end the first half, as Ashley Johnson’s recycled shot off a corner kick hit the crossbar in the 43rd minute. A defensive breakdown brought about the first goal of the match in the 50th minute, as Yo Tachibana picked off the ball and beat Graves for the 1-0 score. The hosts pressured for the equalizer and got it in the 74th minute, as Riley picked off a back pass and placed her shot nicely past Hobbs. Heartbreak ensued for IPSC four minutes from full time, as FCI’s Annelie Leitner split the defense and sent in Sambol for the game-winner.

TOLEDO VILLA FC 1, INDY PREMIER SC 2

SYLVANIA, OH - In the fourth match of their epic five-game homestand on Friday night, Toledo Villa FC (2-2-1 Midwest) bent the Indy Premier SC defense but it would not break at Northview High School. In the end, a late goal by defender Kirsten Timmer would give the visitors their first victory of the 2017 Midwest Conference campaign. A goal and an assist from forward Brady Riley and four saves from goalkeeper Claire Graves powered IPSC in this match, while the Villa Women offense can bemoan their lack of efficiency in front of goal, as they squandered a number of scoring chances. Toledo put immediate pressure on Indy Premier as defender Kirsten Rettig put her shot over the crossbar within the first two minutes of the game.

That pressure would pay off in the 10th minute, as Villa’s leading scorer Veronica Zaciek drove to the end line and put a ball across the face of the goal. Forward Skylar Fleak tucked the ball home from the early 1-0 lead. But that advantage would be short-lived, as IPSC were awarded a penalty kick in the 19th minute after midfielder Olivia Young’s misguided tackle. Riley stepped up and fired home from the spot past Toledo keeper Kathleen Duwve (one save) to even the score at 1-1. The second half saw the Villa Women increase pressure on the IPSC defense. Defender Kirsten Catloth’s bid beat Graves but caromed off the inside of the post. And than on Indy Premier’s first corner kick of the match, Riley found the head of Timmer and she tucked the ball home for the game-winner.

GRAND RAPIDS FC WOMEN 2, FC INDIANA 1

GRANDVILLE, MI - On Friday night at Granville High School, Grand Rapids had the majority of the possession early in the match against FC Indiana and pressured the visitor’s defense with a number of shots on goal. First half strikes from forward Marti Corby and midfielder Bethany Balcer put the GRFC Women ahead and they would hold back a late FCI rally in the 2-1 victory. The home side came right out of the gates looking for a goal and in the 11th minute, midfielder Riko Sagara had a shot on frame that was just tipped wide by the visiting keeper. Minutes later, a sliding shot from forward Maddie Pogarch from the center of the box flew just over the bar.

GRFC finally broke through in the 28th minute, as Corby received a throw in near the left touchline, made a few dribbles and cut the ball onto her left foot. She created enough space to rip a shot past FCI goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs (six saves) inside the far post netting for the 1-0 lead. Less than ten minutes later, Grand Rapids doubled the lead. A shot by Corby was tipped by Hobbs that bounced off the crossbar and streaking in from her midfield position, Balcer beat her defender to the ball and tapped home the rebound for the eventual game-winning goal. In the second half, FC Indiana cut the lead to 2-1 in the 73rd minute as forward Marie Ashley Johnson found the back of the net on a left-footed rocket from the top of the box past GRFC keeper really Ott (three saves).

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.

UWS Week VI Preview: Midwest Conference

06/15/2017, 4:00pm EDT
By Admin

The Midwest surpasses midway point of campaign in Week VI action

METUCHEN, NJ - Week VI action in the Midwest Conference will go a long way into determining the top echelon of teams as a majority will surpass the midway point of the campaign. After a four-game road trip, Grand Rapids FC Women host a pair of top Midwest teams in FC Indiana and conference leaders Detroit. Toledo Villa FC can put themselves into conference consideration with their fourth straight home match against Indy Premier SC, who have yet to notch a victory this season. FCI’s three-game winning streak will face an uphill climb with a two-game road trip this weekend.

FRIDAY, JUNE 16

Grand Rapids FC Women vs. FC Indiana
7:00 PM EDT - Grandville H.S. (Grandville, MI)

After four consecutive road matches, Grand Rapids FC Women (3-1-1 Midwest) will finally return home for their next three conference games, starting this weekend with two tilts at Grandville High School. Grand Rapids got their second win of a 2-1-1 road trip against Friday night’s opponents FC Indiana (3-2 Midwest) on Friday, June 2nd at Newton Park in Lakeville, IN. The GRFC Women notched their second straight shutout with thanks to goalkeeper Reilley Ott (six saves) while FCI keeper Andrea Vera made 13 saves in the 3-0 loss. Defender Clare Carlson scored the game-winning goal on the goal line in the 30th minute after midfielder Annie Steinlage’s shot off a corner kick deflected off of Vera.

That was the second loss to start the season for FC Indiana and they’ve responded with three straight victories since that loss to Grand Rapids - all by a 2-1 score. The winning streak started with a road win over Toledo on June 4th on goals by forward Ashley Johnson and midfielder Jennifer Munoz. Johnson would net the game-winning goal in the 35th minute of their victory over Fort Wayne on Wednesday, June 7th. Midfielder Hikaru Nakamura made her first goal of 2017 a match-deciding one last Friday at home against Indy Premier. Nakamura’s 90th minute goal completed the two-goal comeback for FCI, after Yo Tachibana levelled the score in the 58th minute in the Indianapolis derby. It was the second straight win in goal for keeper Tarah Hobbs.

Toledo Villa FC vs. Indy Premier SC
7:00 PM EDT - Northview H.S. (Sylvania, OH)

Toledo Villa FC (2-1-1 Midwest) will host the fourth of five straight home matches at Northview High School on Friday night, as win-less Indy Premier SC comes to town. This match will give the Villa Women an opportunity to put a winning streak together for the first time this season, and put their names in the hat in the Midwest title race. After their first loss of 2017 to FC Indiana on June 4th, Toledo responded with an emphatic 3-0 win over Fort Wayne last Saturday. Midfielder Veronica Zaciek continued her torrid scoring pace with goals in the 13th and 64th minutes, while forward Marissa Swindell’s two assists puts her in the team lead in that category (3).

Zaciek’s 10 points (four goals, two assists) leads the Villa Women in scoring, and it all started in the team’s season-opening 3-0 win on the road over Indy Premier. With a short bench, Toledo notched the huge victory over IPSC with thanks to two first-half goals from Zaciek and a shutout from goalkeeper Sam Tiongson’s (two saves) at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium. Bowling Green University forward Skylar Fleak fired home from six yards out for the 3-0 final score while the visitors out-shot the home side by a 9-2 margin.

SUNDAY, JUNE 18

Grand Rapids FC Women vs. Detroit Sun FC
3:00 PM EDT - Grandville H.S. (Grandville, MI)

If the Grand Rapids FC Women can emerge victorious in Friday night’s match over FC Indiana, it will set up another big match in the Midwest title race on Sunday afternoon when they host conference leaders Detroit Sun FC. In an early season matchup between two of the top Midwest teams on Saturday, May 20th, Detroit scored first and held the lead in a 2-1 home win over Grand Rapids at Ultimate Soccer Arenas. Two goals from forward Madison Schupbach shone bright for the Sun in this match Sun while goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem made five saves. GRFC cut the lead in half in the 79th minute on midfielder Avery Lockwood’s penalty kick but they could not get the draw.

It was the only loss of the season for Grand Rapids, who will look to get two home victories this weekend after a disappointing result in their last match on Saturday, June 10th. The GRFC Women went up 2-0 on goals from Maddie Pogarch and Marti Corby in their road match against Michigan Legends FC, but gave up back-to-back goals in a four-minute span midway through the second half in the 2-2 draw. Lauren Wynns came off the bench to score in the 65th minute and Madison Duncan completed the comeback in the 69th minute for MLFC. Corby, Pogarch and Anna Stinson are tied for the team lead in goals scored (2) for GRFC while Annie Steinlage leads the team in assists (4).

Indy Premier SC vs. FC Indiana
3:00 PM EDT - Park Tudor School (Indianapolis, IN)

In their first-ever derby last Friday, June 9th, both Indy Premier SC and FC Indiana did not disappoint in a exciting encounter for the Indianapolis-based organizations. In the end, FCI sent their fans home on a high note with a late game-winning goal in the 2-1 victory over IPSC at Newton Park. It was a great start for the visitors and they had a 1-0 lead going into halftime with thanks to a goal from forward Danielle Hayden. The dual-threat on offense & defense from University of Kentucky nutmegged FCI goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs in the 33rd minute and it was the first goal of the season for IPSC. Indy Premier had been out-scored by a 5-0 margin in three defeats to commence conference play.

In contrast, last Friday’s 2-1 win for FC Indiana continued their three-game winning streak and if they’re victorious over Grand Rapids in their Friday night match, the chance to sweep the season derby on Sunday afternoon will also give them a fifth win in conference action. But as we’ve seen so far this season throughout the national pro-am league, getting two road wins in one weekend is a difficult proposition and has only been accomplished once.

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.

UWS Week IV: Team Of The Week

06/06/2017, 3:15pm EDT
By Admin

Santa Clarita, Detroit, GRFC, Long Island & NJCFC honored with multiple picks

METUCHEN, NJ - Week IV of the Summer 2017 season in United Women’s Soccer (UWS) saw the pace of play turned up a notch and some dramatic results. Therefore, there were a lot of top individual performances to sift through which made the selection process for this edition of the UWS Team of the Week the toughest of the season. Some new names are on this week’s honor roll but we’re starting to see some players rise above the rest. This will be the second time being selected to the UWS TOTW for Marti Corby (GRFC Women), Morgan Santoro (Long Island), Madison Schupbach (Detroit), Hailey Skolmoski (RSL Women) and Annie Steinlage (GRFC Women).

UWS TEAM OF THE WEEK (WEEK IV)

F JOELLE GOSSELIN (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC) - both goals in 2-1 win over Houston
F MORGAN SANTORO (Long Island Rough Riders) - 3 goals in 2 wins, GWG vs. Rochester
F HAILEY SKOLMOSKI (Real Salt Lake Women) - 3 goals in 5-0 win over So Cal Crush FC
MF MADISON SCHUPBACH (Detroit Sun FC) - 2 goals in 3-2 win over Michigan
MF DEYNA CASTELLANOS (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) - spearhead of offense in 1-0 win vs. RSLW
MF TESA MCKIBBEN (Lancaster Inferno) - goal & earned PK in 2-1 win over NY Surf
MF FLO GAMBY (New York Surf) - top 3 selection in both Surf games this weekend
D/MF ANNIE STEINLAGE (GRFC Women) - 2 assists, shutout in 3-0 win over FC Indiana
D REBECCA RABER (New Jersey Copa FC) - center back in shutout win over Lancaster
D NATALIE KUIKKA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) - led defense in shutout win vs. RSLW
GK GABBY ARRUDA (New England Mutiny) - shutout win vs. Magic in first start of 2017

HONORABLE MENTION

F KAYLA SAAGER (Long Island Rough Riders) - 4 goals in wins over WNY & Rochester
F EMMA TOKUYAMA (Detroit Sun FC) - 2 assists in 3-2 win over Michigan
MF JACKIE BRUNO (New Jersey Copa FC) - led the midfield in 2-0 win over Lancaster
MF MARTI CORBY (GRFC Women) - goal in 3-0 win over FC Indiana
GK STEFANY CASTANO (Houston Aces) - 11 saves in tight 2-1 loss to Calgary

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.