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Fort Wayne Gryphons

Regular Season 2017

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UWS Week III Preview: Midwest Conference

05/25/2017, 2:30pm EDT
By Admin

Fort Wayne United open their 2017 Midwest Conference campaign this weekend

METUCHEN, NJ - The opening slate of games in the newly-formed Midwest Conference of United Women’s Soccer (UWS) will come to a close this weekend, as the Fort Wayne United Gryphons are the final team in the conference to kick off their 2017 season. They will do it in style, hosting two home games this Memorial Day Weekend. Michigan Legends FC will host the second indoor game of the conference schedule - after Detroit’s home debut at Ultimate Soccer Arenas last weekend - as Indy Premier SC will travel north to the climate-controlled confines of the Legacy Center.

FRIDAY, MAY 26

Michigan Legends FC vs. Indy Premier SC
7:00 PM EDT - Legacy Center (Brighton, MI)

It has been a two-week layoff for Indy Premier SC (0-1 Midwest) - a 3-0 home loss to Toledo Villa FC (1-0-1 Midwest) - but Michigan Legends FC (0-1-1 Midwest) have steadily grown in stature since their own loss that same weekend. The GRFC Women (1-1 Midwest) hosted Michigan in both teams’ conference opener on Saturday, May 13th and held off a second-half rally by MLFC in the 3-1 victory for the home team. Michigan were on the road again last Sunday afternoon, but spoiled Toledo’s home opener with a late goal in a 2-2 draw.

Youngstown State University midfielder Maddie Hughes has been a revelation so far this season for MLFC Head Coach Saimir Rada, leading the team in goals scored (2). In the 49th minute of the loss to Grand Rapids, Hughes came off the bench and converted on midfielder Lindsey Carlson’s cross from the right flank to make it a 2-1 game. In the 6th minute of the 2-2 draw against Toledo, Hughes teamed up with forward Tori Singstock for the opening goal. Singstock sent a diagonal pass to Hughes who placed her shot high and inside the far post.

Indy Premier need to rebound after a disappointing home debut two weeks ago. With a short bench, Toledo got a huge 3-0 road victory over IPSC at Carroll Stadium on the campus of IUPUI. Villa midfielder Veronica Zaciek notched two first half goals to propel the visitors to victory. Indy Premier goalkeeper Claire Graves made four saves in the loss but it was the fact that IPSC was out-shot by a 9-2 margin that was of most concern.

SATURDAY, MAY 27

Fort Wayne United Gryphons vs. Grand Rapids FC Women
6:00 PM EDT - Warrior Athletic Field (Fort Wayne, IN)

The Fort Wayne United Gryphons kick off their Summer 2017 season this weekend with the first of four consecutive home games at Warrior Athletic Field on the campus of Indiana Institute of Technology. The Gryphons will be led by Juanma Pons Bascones this season, who played professional soccer in the Spanish Segunda Division and currently holds the highest national professional license in Spain. The Fort Wayne Head Coach has assembled a young, athletic but diverse roster with many connections to the United youth club.

The youth on the Gryphons this season is highlighted by a pair of players from Eastern Kentucky University: forward/defender Samantha Eastes and goalkeeper Lorah Pund. Eastes played in all 18 games of her freshman campaign last fall and Pund played club soccer for Fort Wayne United, with whom she went undefeated during the 2015 travel season and won the 2015 Indiana State Cup. But the team will also have experience to rely on, as three Murray State University alums have recently signed with the team: midfielder/forward Taylor Richerson, defender Taylor Stevens and midfielder Lyssie Wright.

The Gryphons face a stiff test in their season opener as the GRFC Women have proven to be a tough opponent in their first two conference games. On Saturday, May 13th at home, Grands Rapids were propelled by a brace from midfielder Anna Stinson and defeated Michigan Legends FC by a 3-1 score. But last Saturday in an early season matchup between two of the top Midwest teams, Detroit Sun FC (2-0 Midwest) scored first and held the lead in a 2-1 win over the visitors. GRFC cut the lead in half in the 79th minute when midfielder Avery Lockwood tucked home a penalty kick but could not get the road draw.

SUNDAY, MAY 28

Fort Wayne United Gryphons vs. Indy Premier SC
4:00 PM EDT - Warrior Athletic Field (Fort Wayne, IN)

Even though Sunday afternoon’s match between Fort Wayne United and Indy Premier will be the second of the weekend for both teams, the Gryphons have the tougher turnaround as far as time is concerned - even though they host this match. It will be less than 24 hours to recover from Saturday night’s match vs. Grand Rapids FC Women. Team depth will certainly a factor but familiarity as well which should work in Fort Wayne United’s favor as many players are club alumni.

This match vs. the Gryphons will be the second of five consecutive road games for Indy Premier SC. IPSC don’t return home to Park Tudor School until Sunday, June 18th when they host cross-town rivals FC Indiana (3:00 PM EDT) in an Indianapolis derby. Two positive results this weekend will go a long way to making their road trip feel like a drive to the corner store. Two more losses this weekend to drop their record to 0-3 could very well make this stretch of away games feel like the Odyssey.

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 Announces First Round Of Expansion

12/12/2016, 1:30pm EST
By Admin

Four Midwest-based organizations will join the league for the Summer 2017 season

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - After a successful inaugural season, United Women’s Soccer (UWS) is laying the foundation for their Summer 2017 season as four Midwest-based organizations have signed on to join the league in its first round of expansion. Detroit Sun F.C. (MI), F.C. Indiana (IN), Fort Wayne United F.C. (IN) and Grand Rapids F.C. (MI) will take part in UWS action next summer, with league management looking to add 1-2 more teams to form a Midwest Conference.

Detroit Sun F.C. is a newly formed semi-professional women’s soccer team and will host their home games at Ultimate Soccer Arenas: a facility based in Pontiac, MI that features a FIFA Compliant field complete with stadium seating for 2,500 spectators.

“The Detroit Sun franchise is excited to be part of the league's expansion plans,” said Detroit Sun President Steve Hawthorne. “We are especially looking forward to being part of Detroit’s growing community based effort to further the women’s game. Our roster will sport some great talent and we promise to play a very exciting brand of soccer.”

F.C. Indiana has been one of the most successful Division 2 organizations in American soccer history, winning two WPSL and U.S. Open Cup titles. The team is led by respected patriarch Shek Borkowski, who is the Technical Director for the Haitian Women’s National Team.

“F.C. Indiana is excited to partner with the United Women’s Soccer league and continue to grow the game at all levels,” said F.C. Indiana Director of Development Justin Crew. “For our club, the development of youth players is of prime importance. Now, with the ability to provide another path for player development, this represents an incredible step forward in our commitment to youth and developing the next generation of professional and national team players.

“This partnership creates a new and exciting environment for player development within our club structure. We now can offer the highest competitive level of female amateur soccer available in the country. Players in the developmental pyramid within the club will now be provided an unequalled pathway for serious youth soccer players in Indiana.”

“It is a testament to the U.S. women’s soccer model to see that the developmental pyramid created by F.C. Indiana provides a pathway from all the way from the junior developmental level to the professional level,” said F.C. Indiana Director of Operations Sharisse Yoder. “The strides F.C. Indiana and the F.C. Indiana Girls Academy are making to find the most competitive environment for players will serve to elevate the game at the local, regional, and national level.”

Fort Wayne United F.C. was created in 2013 via the merger of the Fort Wayne Fever and Citadel Futbol Club. The organization will be led by FWUFC Director of Coaching & Operations Bobby Poursanidis, who coached the Fort Wayne Fever (2003-09) when they were part of the now-defunct W-League.

“We are excited to bring back high level women's soccer back to the Fort Wayne area and to provide a top tier of our development pyramid,” said Poursanidis. “There is a strong group of local players that are now older and they will form the core of the team. The structure is in place for us to succeed and we look forward to playing these great organizations.”

Grand Rapids F.C. was formed in 2014 and has a men’s team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). GRFC won the 2016 NPSL Great Lakes West Conference title and qualified for the playoffs by beating A.F.C. Ann Arbor in front of a club record 6,854 spectators.

“We are very excited to start a women’s side during the 2017 season,” said Grand Rapids F.C. President Matt Roberts. “One of our objectives is to continue to grow the game at the grassroots level and starting a women’s team will allow young female players in West Michigan the opportunity to watch, interact with, and learn from top college and post-college players.

“With the tremendous success of the men’s team during the 2016 season, we felt the timing was right to continue to push Grand Rapids soccer forward and this is one of the ways to do that. We believe that just like on the men’s side, West Michigan has produced some top talent on the women’s side and we want to give those players the chance to highlight their tremendous play and give younger players something to aspire to here locally.”

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.

UWS is managed by EDP, a leading soccer management company that runs a number of leagues and tournaments. In addition to UWS, EDP operates youth leagues that includes an NPL league, the EDP Super Club program, the EDP Premier League and the EDP Championship League. EDP also runs EDP Futures programs for U-7’s to U-12’s and it conducts more than 20 youth tournaments, including tournaments within its EDP Cup Series and EDP Showcase Series.

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 by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.