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Fort Wayne Gryphons

Regular Season 2017
Mobile Team ID: 1968824

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NCAA & NAIA Championships Roundup

12/20/2017, 6:15pm EST
By Admin

13 UWS standouts took part in penultimate rounds of fall competition

METUCHEN, NJ - The national championship tournaments at all levels of collegiate competition wrapped up earlier this month, and 13 current & former United Women's Soccer (UWS) standouts took part in the penultimate rounds of NCAA and NAIA competition. Leading the way were members of the 2016 UWS National Champion Santa Clarita Blue Heat (West Conference), New York Surf (East Conference) and 2017 UWS National Champion Grand Rapids FC Women (Midwest Conference). At the NCAA Division I level, UWS was well represented as UCLA and Stanford battled it out in a memorable championship match with the latter capturing its second national title in Cardinal history.

DIVISION I: No. 5-nationally ranked UCLA (19-3-3) defeated Duke in the semifinal in a 4-3 penalty kick shootout after the match ended in a 0-0 draw at Orlando City Stadium, before moving on to the 2017 DI Women's Soccer Championship Final. Six current & former Santa Clarita Blue Heat standouts were represented on the UCLA squad this season, including four members of the 2017 national semifinalists: midfielder Chloe Castaneda, forward Julia Hernandez, defender Jacey Pederson and midfielder Viviana Villacorta. Two Blue Heat alums from the 2016 UWS champions also took part - defender Gabrielle Matulich and goalkeeper Siri Ervik. Castaneda (9GP for Santa Clarita in 2017) was named to the All-UWS Second Team selection and Hernandez played in five games this past summer. The latter was also the 2016 UWS Championship MVP, scoring both goals in the national final victory. Pederson played in five games this past summer for the Blue Heat while Villacorta started in the 2017 UWS national semifinal & final. Villacorta did the same for UCLA and Hernandez was a super sub for Head Coach Amanda Cromwell, scoring in the PK shootout in the semifinal and assisting on the second goal in the 3-2 loss in the final to Stanford.

DIVISION II: No. 3-nationally ranked Mercy College (18-4-1) made it all the way to the semifinal of the 2017 DII Women's Soccer Championship before losing to eventual champion Central Missouri. Three members of the New York Surf - defender Rebecca Conway, midfielder Corinna Ferrante and defender Trista Seara - suited up for the Mavericks, who had a historic season as they won a school record 18 games, their first ECC Championship since 2014, their first-ever East Region Championship and advanced to the school's first-ever Final Four. Conway (5GP for Surf in 2017) was named to the DII Women's Soccer Championship All-Tournament Team and Seara (7GP for Surf in 2017) was selected to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) All-Conference First Team. Both were part of a Mercy defense that allowed two goals in three NCAA Tournament games. Ferrante was third in scoring for the Mavericks (7-2-16) this fall. This past summer, she was named to the UWS Team Of The Week (Week VIII). No. 4-nationally ranked UC-Colorado Springs (17-5-1) also made it to the semifinals and defender Anna Gregg - a 2016 alum of the Colorado Pride - started vs. Carson-Newman.

NAIA: Midfielder Bethany Balcer continued her torrid run for the 2017 UWS National Champion GRFC Women from this past summer to fall competition with No. 1-nationally ranked & NAIA National Champion Spring Arbor University (24-1-1), starting all 26 games and scoring 86 points (37g, 12a). In the 2017 NAIA Women's Soccer Championship, the 2017 UWS Midwest Player of the Year scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Benedictine in the final and had an assist in the semifinal. Fort Wayne United Gryphons midfielder/forward Malorie Henderlong also started in both games of the NAIA Championship for SAU, assisting on the game-winning goal over No. 3-nationally ranked University of Northwestern Ohio (20-3-1) in the semifinal. Detroit Sun FC midfielder/forward Evdokia Popadinova came off the bench for UNO in that match, as she finished up her fall season with 53 points (19g, 15a). The Bulgarian star played in 10 games for Detroit this past summer, and was named to the 2017 All-UWS Championship Team for her efforts for the national semifinalists.

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.

2017 All-Midwest Conference Awards

07/27/2017, 9:15pm EDT
By Admin

GRFC’s Balcer & Robison top player & coach; Clem grabs defensive honor

METUCHEN, NJ - United Women’s Soccer (UWS) expanded into the Midwest for the Summer 2017 season and the seven inaugural teams who took the pitch made it a memorable season. The top four teams competed in the conference playoffs with Grands Rapids FC Women winning the regular season and post-season titles. GRFC went on to win the 2017 UWS title and were awarded top coach & player honors. An impressive netminder and future pro prospect grabbed top defensive player accolades for Detroit, who finished in second place in the Midwest race. With seven teams competing this past season, the league office was able to compile First & Second Teams for the first-year conference.

Coach Of The Year
LEWIS ROBINSON (Grand Rapids FC Women)

With a successful men’s team already in place, the Grand Rapids FC organization began a women’s team and by the end of the 2017 season, the “Ladies In Blue” grabbed the spotlight by capturing not only the Midwest crown but the UWS National Championship. Robinson took charge of the GRFC Women with a history of success in the West Michigan soccer community. For the past six years, Robinson served as head coach for the Grandville H.S. girls team, winning six district championships, three conference championships and a regional title while finishing as 2013 State Runners-Up. Lewis also works as the Director of Coaching for Midwest United FC and won a 2016 U-16 Girls National Championship last summer.

Player Of The Year
BETHANY BALCER (Grand Rapids FC Women)

Grand Rapids FC Women closed out the regular season with five consecutive wins, outscoring its opponents by a 22-2 margin. The biggest factor during that span was the outstanding play of Balcer, who was named to the UWS Team of the Week on three straight occasions. Bethany made eight appearances scoring 14 goals & three assists (31 points) to finish as the 2017 UWS Golden Boot winner. The Hudsonville, MI native is having a record-breaking career at Spring Arbor University (NAIA). The two-time Crossroads League Player of the Year - the first-ever repeat winner of the award - racked up 74 points (31 goals, 12 assists) for the Cougars during her dominant 2016 campaign, which boosted her career total to 147 points (61 goals, 25 assists).

Defensive Player Of The Year
CAITLYN CLEM (Detroit Sun FC)

Detroit Sun FC finished in second place in the Midwest this past season and with thanks to the stellar play of Clem in goal. The University of Wisconsin shot-stopper started in seven games (5-1-1 record, three shutouts, 34 saves) and allowed only seven goals for Detroit - with three of those coming in a loss to Midwest champions Grand Rapids FC. Caitlyn started out her Sun career in fine form as she made five saves in a shutout win over FC Indiana, which got her selected to the UWS Team of the Week. Clem is a two-time All-Big Ten Conference honoree as a rising junior at Wisconsin (42 starts) and helped lead the Badgers to their first Big Ten Conference championship in 20 years in 2015.

2017 All-Midwest Conference First Team

F MADISON SCHUPBACH (Detroit Sun FC)
F BETHANY BALCER (Grand Rapids FC Women)
F TORI SINGSTOCK (Michigan Legends FC)
MF/F YO TACHIBANA (FC Indiana)
MF DANI EVANS (Detroit Sun FC)
MF RYLEY BUGAY (FC Indiana)
MF ANNIE STEINLAGE (Grand Rapids FC Women)
D RACHEL WASHBURN (Michigan Legends FC)
D MICHAELA KOVACS (Grand Rapids FC Women)
D CLARE CARLSON (Grand Rapids FC Women)
GK CAITLYN CLEM (Detroit Sun FC)

2017 All-Midwest Conference Second Team

F MARISSA SWINDELL (Toledo Villa FC)
F MARIE ASHLEY JOHNSON (FC Indiana)
F SKYLAR FLEAK (Toledo Villa FC)
MF/F BRADY RILEY (Indy Premier SC)
MF RIKO SAGARA (Grand Rapids FC Women)
MF HANNAH TILLETT (Fort Wayne United Gryphons)
D AVERY HAY (Michigan Legends FC)
D ALEXA SIEGAL (Fort Wayne United Gryphons)
D KIRSTEN CATLOTH (Toledo Villa FC)
D MYKAYLA BROWN (Indy Premier SC)
GK TARAH HOBBS (FC Indiana)

Iron Women Of The Year (most minutes played)

F MARISSA SWINDELL (Toledo Villa FC)
MF/F BRADY RILEY (Indy Premier SC)
MF HIKARU NAKAMURA (FC Indiana)
D KELLEY JOHNSON (FC Indiana)

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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