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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 Week I Roundup: Midwest Conference

05/15/2017, 5:45pm EDT
By Admin

Road teams notch two wins out of the three Midwest games this weekend

FC INDIANA 0, DETROIT SUN FC 3

LAKEVILLE, IN - On Sunday afternoon at Newton Park, FC Indiana (0-1 UWS Midwest) set out on another mission to capture a national title as they have throughout the distinguished history of their organization. But the Detroit Sun FC (1-0 UWS Midwest) had no intentions of setting aside their own goals as a first-year pro-am side and by the final whistle shone their own light in the newly-formed Midwest Conference, coming away with a solid 3-0 win. A strong showing from goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem (five saves) and two goals off the bench from forward Isabella Habuda paced Detroit in the win.

But it was the player who Habuda replaced - forward Emma Tokuyama - who would register the team’s first-ever goal and a game-winning one to boot. In the 11th minute, a Detroit shot from the left side of the penalty area would carom off of the far post and Tokuyama would step up and volley the ball past FCI keeper Tarah Hobbs (13 saves). It would take until the 56th minute for the visitors to notch the insurance goal, as Habuda would do a give-and-go with midfielder Madison Schupbach and finish for the 2-0 lead. Forward Devyn Brough would assist on Habuda’s second of the game in the 79th minute for the 3-0 final score.

INDY PREMIER SC 0, TOLEDO VILLA FC 3

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Indy Premier SC had the confines of Carroll Stadium on the campus of IUPUI as the backdrop for their inaugural match in the UWS Midwest Conference on Saturday night, but it was the visitors who would hold the play. With a short bench, Toledo Villa FC (1-0 UWS Midwest) would get a huge 3-0 road victory over IPSC (0-1 UWS Midwest). In what could be a competitive race in the Midwest this season, this road result could pay big dividends when the end of the season comes around. TVFC goalkeeper Sam Tiongson made two saves in the shutout.

Midfielder Veronica Zaciek led the Villa offense on this night, notching two first half goals that helped propel her team to the win. In the 12th minute, Zaciek would fire her shot low to the left of IPSC goalkeeper Claire Graves (four saves) for the 1-0 lead and in the 24th minute, she converted on a penalty kick for the insurance goal. It would take until the 82nd minute for Toledo’s final goal of the match as Bowling Green Star University forward Skylar Fleak fired home from six yards out for the 3-0 final score. The visitors out-shot the home side by a 9-2 margin.

GRANDS RAPIDS FC WOMEN 3, MICHIGAN LEGENDS FC 1

GRANDVILLE, MI - The Grand Rapids FC Women played their inaugural match at Grandville High School on Saturday night. Propelled by a brace from midfielder Anna Stinson, GRFC Women (1-0 UWS Midwest) defeated Michigan Legends FC (0-1 UWS Midwest) by a 3-1 score in front of 532 fans. The game began with a flurry with a few chances for the home side in front of goal who dictated the tempo from the outset.

GRFC broke through in the 16th minute when midfielder Annie Steinlage sent a long diagonal ball to the right side for Stinson. Using her pace, the former Illinois State star beat her defender to the pass and hit a low ball from the top of the box into the bottom left corner of the goal for the team’s first-ever goal. Stinson added her second of the match in the 42nd minute as a shot from midfielder Marti Corby bounced off the crossbar and landed at her feet. She buried the rebound for a 2-0 lead going into halftime. MLFC cut the deficit in half with the team’s first-ever goal in the 49th minute with thanks to a pair of second-half subs.

Youngstown State University midfielder Maddie Hughes would convert on midfielder Lindsey Carlson’s cross from the right flank for the 2-1 game. Grand Rapids restored its lead to two goals in the 71st minute when left back Sadie Misiewicz played a ball over the defense to right back Clare Carlson. Carlson made a perfectly timed run and beat MLFC goalkeeper Victoria Norris (five saves) for the 3-1 final score. GRFC keeper Reilly Ott made two saves as her team out-shot the visitors by a 7-4 margin.

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.

UWS Week I Preview: Midwest Conference

05/11/2017, 8:00pm EDT
By Admin

Six of the seven teams in the newly-formed conference kick off this weekend

METUCHEN, NJ - After the conclusion of their inaugural season, United Women’s Soccer (UWS) promised fans that the pro-am league would see new horizons for the Summer 2017 season. That promise came true as the seven-team Midwest Conference was officially announced this past December. Six teams will kick off the first-ever Midwest campaign this opening weekend and will look to either make their name or cement their reputation on the national soccer landscape.

SATURDAY, MAY 13

Grand Rapids FC vs. Michigan Legends FC
7:00 PM EDT - Grandville H.S.

Anticipation has been high in the greater Grand Rapids, MI-area as the GRFC organization officially announced a women’s side to compliment their highly successful men’s team. In due course, the GRFC Women and Head Coach Lewis Robinson have assembled one of the stronger rosters in the newly-formed Midwest Conference. Attendance figures for the men’s side over the past few seasons have been eye-watering and all signals indicate that the GRFC Women will have an outstanding fan base to support them in their home opener.

A trio of locally-based stars will lead the team in their inaugural game: defender Clare Carlson, midfielder Marti Corby and midfielder Annie Steinlage. Carlson finished her Grand Valley State University career as a 3-time All-American and was part of three Division II National Championship sides. Corby was eligible for the 2017 NWSL Draft after the end of her stellar GVSU career (61 goals) and a call-up to U-23 USWNT camp. Steinlage played collegiately at MSU & Virginia and led UVA to the Final Four. In 2013, she was drafted by the Western New York Flash (NWSL) before playing overseas with Finnish side Vaasa IFK.

Michigan Legends FC Head Coach Saimir Rada - a former professional who holds a UEFA ‘A’ license - has extensive experience in Livingston County soccer which should help ensure that the organization’s first year is a success. Rada has put together a young and exciting roster this season chocked full of collegiate talent. Leading the way is defender Avery Hay, the 2016 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and All-BIG EAST Freshman Team member for DePaul University.

Indy Premier SC vs. Toledo Villa FC
7:30 PM EDT - IUPUI Carroll Stadium

Indy Premier SC kicks off their inaugural season at the national pro-am level at the impressive Michael A. Carroll Stadium on the campus of IUPUI. The stadium has a 12,100 capacity and also serves as the home pitch of the Indy Eleven of the North American Soccer League (NASL). IPSC has a deep roster and it looks like there will be interesting competition at two important positions on the pitch: goalkeeper and forward.

A young goalkeeping corps is led by Sarah L'Hommodieu, who was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Freshman of the Week last fall for Indiana University. She started in all but one game for the Hoosiers with a 7-8-4 record (1.56 GAA, 93 saves). IU team captain Kayla Smith (started all 20 games in 2016) will anchor the midfield. IPSC has youth and experience at forward: Kelly Renie, the first Ole Miss Rebel to be named SEC Freshman of the Year (2002) and Freshman All-America; U.S. Under-18 forward Lauren Rice who has verbally committed to play for the University of Wisconsin; and Hannah Leinert, a NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region and All-MVC First Team selection at Illinois State (2013-14).

Toledo Villa FC will be led by a pair of women this season - Head Coach Lori Williams and player/coach Ella Walsh. Williams has coached the Anthony Wayne H.S. Varsity girls team for 14 seasons. In addition to her high school team, she is on the Olympic Development Staff at both the Ohio North and Region II levels. Walsh is a native of Swansea, Wales and has represented her country at the U-15/16 and U-19 levels and played club soccer for Swansea City Ladies FC from 2008-2011, competing in the European Champions League (2010 & 2011). The TVFC roster is stacked with talent from the University of Toledo and Bowling Green University.

SUNDAY, MAY 14

FC Indiana vs. Detroit Sun FC
2:00 PM EDT - Newton Park

FC Indiana is one of the more storied franchises in pro-am women’s soccer history, winning national championships at the U.S. Open Cup and WPSL levels, while also reaching the heights of the now-defunct W-League. History meets the future as they host the first-year Detroit Sun organization at New ton Park in Lakeville, IN. FCI will take on the challenge of the newly-formed UWS Midwest Conference and have a strong roster in their effort to reach another National Championship tournament.

Its no surprise that FCI has once again rolled out an internationally-based roster. In goal this season, there will be strong competition between former Minnesota Golden Gopher Tarah Hobbs (All-Big Ten Second Team) and Andrea Vera, who was part of the Ecuadorian squad at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Shek Borkowski’s connection with the Puerto Rican Women’s National Team manifests in defender Kelley Johnson and forward Laura Suarez. FCI captain & Indiana University midfielder Annelie Leitner will suit up for her fifth season, and is fresh off a call up to the Austrian Women’s National Team for the 2017 Cyprus Cup.

The Detroit Sun started their first year as a pro-am side on a strong note when they hired Skipper Mukhtar as Head Coach. Mukhtar has won multiple State Championships and led his teams to the 2014 USL W-20 & 2015 WPSL W-20 National titles as well as the 2015 WPSL Great Lakes Division crown. The Sun have a diverse roster led by University of Iowa and U.S U-20 Women’s National Team midfielder Natalie Winters. Other top signings include 2016 Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year Rachel DeLuca, U-20 Colombian Women’s National Team midfielder Maria Jaramillo and Bulgarian Player of the Year Evdokia Popadinova.

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.