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Fort Wayne Gryphons

Regular Season 2017

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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.

UWS Week IX Roundup: Midwest Conference

07/10/2017, 4:15pm EDT
By Admin

Two wins propel Michigan Legends FC into Midwest playoffs

DETROIT SUN FC 2, TOLEDO VILLA FC 1

PONTIAC, MI - Detroit Sun FC (6-1-3 Midwest) helped complete the field for the four-team Midwest playoffs (July 15-16) with their 2-1 win over Toledo Villa FC (3-6-1 Midwest) in the last regular season game in conference play. If Toledo had won on Sunday afternoon at Ultimate Soccer Arenas, they would’ve finished in fourth place and qualified for the postseason. But with Toledo’s loss, FC Indiana (4-6 Midwest) backed into the Midwest playoffs after losing their last three games of the 2017 campaign. Two goals from team-leading scorer Madison Schupbach (nine goals, four assists) led the Detroit offense while Caitlyn Clem made seven saves in the victory.

In the 42nd minute, forward Evdokia Popadinova crossed the ball to Schupbach who volleyed her shot past Villa goalkeeper Kathleen Duvwe (nine saves) for the 1-0 lead. In the 45th minute, the Bowling Green standout won the ball and converted on an unassisted strike for the 2-0 score. But Detroit would go down to ten players before halftime, as Popadinova was shown a red card after an altercation with Toledo defender Kirsten Catloth. The visitors than lost the services of leading scorer Skylar Fleak (eight goals) in the 72nd minute after she collided with Clem on an aerial challenge. Kristina Demarco’s goal for Villa in the 87th minute would be little consolation as Toledo’s postseason hopes were dashed with the final whistle.

MICHIGAN LEGENDS FC 3, FC INDIANA 1

BRIGHTON, MI - Off the strength of two home victories over Midwest playoff opposition to end the regular season - while also out-scoring their opponents by a 6-1 margin - Michigan Legends FC (4-3-3 Midwest) finished in third place in the final conference standings. Michigan will now face in-state rivals Detroit in the first Midwest Conference Semifinal on this Saturday, July 15th at 4:30 PM (EDT) at Grandville High School in Grandville, MI. On Sunday afternoon inside the Legacy Center against FC Indiana (4-6 Midwest), a two goal-assist performance from midfielder Katrina Koomen led the offense while Gabby Gauruder made four saves in net as MLFC won by a 3-1 score in their home finale.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring in this match, as midfielder Annelie Leitner threaded her shot past Gauruder in the 58th minute. It only took Michigan thirty seconds to respond and tie the score. Koomen sent in a pass behind FCI goalkeeper Andrea Vera (three saves) and forward Kristin Abbott tallied her first goal of the season on an easy open net tap-in. Legends FC rolled on from there and in the 70th minute, leading scorer Tori Singstock (seven goals, assist) tapped her free kick to Koomen who bent her strike past Vera from 18 yards out. The Charleston standout was feeling it and in the 79t minute, finished the scoring on the night with a 25-yard blast to put an exclamation point on the postseason-clinching win.

INDY PREMIER SC 1, GRAND RAPIDS FC WOMEN 7

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Midfielder Bethany Balcer continued her torrid scoring run to end the regular season on Saturday night, tallying three goals and an assist in an emphatic 7-1 win for the Grand Rapids FC Women (8-1-1 Midwest) on the road against Indy Premier SC (2-7-1 Midwest). Grand Rapids hosts the four-team Midwest playoffs this upcoming weekend and will host FC Indiana at 7:30 PM (EDT) on Saturday night. IPSC’s slim hopes for a postseason berth were scuttled the night before via a loss to Fort Wayne, and that disappointment appeared to seep into Indy Premier’s finale as the visitors scored early and often at Park Tudor School. GRFC goalkeeper Lauren Kozal made three saves in the victory while her counterpart Claire Graves stopped five shots in the losing effort.

Balcer converted on a through ball from forward Riko Sagara in the seventh minute of play and in the very next minute, forward Avery Lockwood converted on a give-and-go with Samantha Maher for the early 2-0 lead. Balcer’s cross in the 28th minute found Lockwood who headed the ball home for her third goal of the season. Two minutes later, Lockwood sent a ball over the top of the IPSC defense and Balcer made the score 4-0 and it remained that way going into halftime. A goal from Balcer and two from midfielder Anna Stinson in the second half completed the scoring for Grand Rapids. Indy Premier’s leading scorer Brady Riley (five goals, two assists) tallied the lone goal for the home side in the 72nd minute on an assist from midfielder Kayla Smith.

MICHIGAN LEGENDS FC 3, TOLEDO VILLA FC 0

BRIGHTON, MI - Michigan Legends FC began their impressive two-game homestead to conclude the regular season in fine fashion last Friday night, shutting out the Toledo Villa FC offense and getting a goal-assist performance from forward Kristelle Yewah in a 3-0 win at the Legacy Center. It was the second shutout in the last five games of the 2017 campaign for Michigan, who allowed only five goals during the eventual 3-1-1 streak to qualify for the Midwest playoffs. Gabby Gauruder (six saves) was a stonewall in goal again for MLFC, notching her second straight shutout, while Kathleen Duvwe made four saves in the loss.

Legends FC opened the scoring in the 37th minute on forward Tori Singstock’s unassisted goal on a breakaway. In the 69th minute, Yewah’s cross found Sydney O'Donnell and she converted her first goal of the season for the 2-0 lead. In the 74th minute, midfielder Katrina Koomen’s cross found Yewah who finished the scoring on the night. Michigan out-shot Toledo by a slim 8-7 margin. After a strong 3-2 win over FC Indiana to open their four-game road trip to end the regular season, it was the second straight loss for the Villa Women who were out-scored by a 7-0 margin over those two games.

INDY PREMIER SC 0, FORT WAYNE UNITED GRYPHONS 1

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - In a game that was delayed by lightning, Indy Premier SC’s offense could not capture it in a bottle, dropping a tough 1-0 loss to the Fort Wayne United Gryphons (3-6-1 Midwest) and ending their slim hopes of a spot in the four-team Midwest playoffs. The victory pushed Fort Wayne past IPSC in the conference standings and would eventually finish in sixth place after the weekend’s action. Morgan Halliwill’s game-winning tally in the 56th minute put her at the top of the team’s scoring charts alongside Hannah Tillet, who provided the assist on her goal - both players finished the season with six points. The combination of Hannah Parrish and Lorah Pund made five total saves in goal in the win while Claire Graves made four saves for Indy Premier in the loss.

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.