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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 Week II Roundup: Midwest Conference

05/22/2017, 5:15pm EDT
By Admin

Detroit is victorious over GRFC in early season bout between unbeaten teams

TOLEDO VILLA FC 2, MICHIGAN LEGENDS FC 2

SYLVANIA, OH - Toledo Villa FC (1-0-1 UWS Midwest) were looking to replicate their franchise-opening road success from the prior weekend at their inaugural home opener at Northview High School on Sunday afternoon. But Michigan Legends FC (0-1-1 UWS Midwest) had other thoughts in mind and took the early lead. And after the hosts went ahead in the second half, MLFC tied the match late and the score would hold as Toledo and Michigan battled it out to a 2-2 draw.

In the 6th minute, MLFC would get on the score board first as the duo of midfielder Maddie Hughes and forward Tori Singstock combined for the opening goal. Singstock would send a diagonal pass to Hughes who placed her shot high and inside the far post. The Villa Women would respond with two goals by forward Skylar Fleak. In the 24th minute, midfielder Veronica Zaciek would intercept a back pass and send in Fleak for an open net goal. The score would remain tied at 1-1 going into halftime.

Just six minutes into the second half, Toledo would go ahead by a 2-1 score. Zaciek’s corner kick would be met by a towering header from Fleak for her third goal of the season (good for the lead in the Midwest Conference). Michigan defender Megan Trapp would break the host’s hearts in the 80th minute as she converted on a rebound from a penalty kick for the 2-2 final score. Villa goalkeeper Sam Tiongson made eight saves while her counterpart Jennifer Steinway made one save. MLFC out-shot Toledo by a 10-3 margin.

DETROIT SUN FC 2, GRAND RAPIDS FC WOMEN 1

PONTIAC, MI - In an early season matchup between two of the top Midwest teams, Detroit Sun FC (2-0 UWS Midwest) would score first and hold the lead in a 2-1 win over Grand Rapids FC Women (1-1-0 UWS Midwest) at Ultimate Soccer Arenas. Two goals from forward Madison Schupbach shone bright for the Sun in this match on Saturday night. Both teams were victorious in their franchise openers the prior weekend and with this win Detroit have taken the early lead in the Midwest title race.

Both sides came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, exchanging scoring opportunities over the first 30 minutes. The Sun would steadily increase the pressure on GRFC goalkeeper Reilly Ott (seven saves) and in the 42nd minute would get their goal. Midfielder Lauren Bos sent in Schupbach in on goal on a breakaway and the Bowling Green star converted for the 1-0 lead. The score would remain that way as both teams went into halftime.

It would take just four minutes into the second half for Detroit to score the eventual game-winning goal. Schupbach would win the ball at the top of the penalty area and her shot from 23 yards out would tuck inside the far post for the 2-0 score. GRFC cut the lead in half in the 79th minute when midfielder Avery Lockwood tucked home a penalty kick. From there, the visitors would pressure for the equalizer but for naught. Sun keeper Caitlyn Clem made five 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 II Preview: Midwest Conference

05/18/2017, 3:45pm EDT
By Admin

Detroit and Grand Rapids face off in early season showdown

METUCHEN, NJ - In the summer season competitive format, every game is either a big step up or down the ladder when it comes to the race for the conference crown. This Saturday night at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, MI, two early contenders for the Midwest title will face off in one of the more intriguing soccer venues in the country. On Sunday, another prospective conference power will host a side who have something to prove after a loss in their season debut.

SATURDAY, MAY 20

Detroit Sun FC vs. Grand Rapids FC Women
7:00 PM EDT - Ultimate Soccer Arenas (Pontiac, MI)

Both Detroit Sun FC (1-0 UWS Midwest) and Grand Rapids FC Women (1-0 UWS Midwest) opened their 2017 seasons in impressive fashion last weekend, registering franchise-first victories over FC Indiana (0-1 UWS Midwest) and Michigan Legends FC (0-1 UWS Midwest), respectively. On Sunday afternoon, Detroit came away with a rock solid 3-0 road win against a historically-successful FCI side while the GRFC Women were propelled by a brace from midfielder Anna Stinson in a 3-1 win over MLFC in front of 532 fans at home.

A strong showing from Sun goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem (five saves) and two goals off the bench from forward Isabella Habuda paced Detroit in the win. Forward Emma Tokuyama registered the team’s first-ever goal in the 11th minute while Habuda tallied in the 56th & 79th minutes for the 3-0 final score. Clem, Habuda and defender Jackie Mazzara were selected to the UWS Team of the Week for their efforts. Stinson notched two first-half goals and defender Clare Carlson got the insurance goal against Michigan. The league office honored Stinson and midfielder Marti Corby with UWS Team of the Week plaudits.

Ultimate Soccer Arenas - the home pitch of DSFC - is an indoor soccer-specific stadium and is one of the largest in the United States. It features two AstroTurf pitches that features a full-size 110x75-yard pitch with a 5,000-seat stadium. It has 1,650 permanent seating, a full-service restaurant, a full-service coffee shop and mezzanine level. The facility is also the home of the Michigan Bucks of the USL Premier Development League (PDL), a minor-league affiliate of the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer (MLS), and hosted the 2016 PDL National Championship.

SUNDAY, MAY 21

Toledo Villa FC vs. Michigan Legends FC
5:00 PM EDT - Northview H.S. (Sylvania, OH)

Toledo Villa FC (1-0 UWS Midwest) were the third Midwest team last weekend to open their season in the newly-formed conference in a strong manner. The Villa Women traveled to Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis, IN for their match vs. Indy Premier SC (0-1 UWS Midwest) and with a short bench, held the run of play from start to finish in a 3-0 victory to kick off their franchise. Midfielder Veronica Zaciek led the Toledo offense, scoring two first half goals in the 12th & 24th minutes to propel the team to the win. TVFC goalkeeper Sam Tiongson made two saves in the shutout.

Zaciek and defender Morgan Abbitt would be selected to the UWS Team of the Week for their strong performances in attack and defense. Toledo’s opponents in this Sunday’s home opener had different fortunes last weekend, as Michigan Legends FC took one on the chin on the road at Grand Rapids FC. MLFC would cut the 2-0 deficit in half with the team’s first-ever goal in the 49th minute - thanks to two second-half subs in midfielders Maddie Hughes and Lindsey Carlson - but could not even the score. Legends FC keeper Victoria Norris made five saves in the loss.

Sunday’s home opener for the Villa Women will also serve as a doubleheader with their newly-formed men’s side, who play in the Premier League of America (PLA). The PLA is a regional league that currently consists of teams in cities in the Great Lakes region of the United States. The league began its first season of play in 2015 as the Great Lakes Premier League.

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 Director Joe Ferrara, Jr. by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.