New England vs. Lancaster
UWS EAST CONFERENCE
Friday, June 28
On an evening that featured two former NWSL/WPS professionals, two National Team members and several collegiate All-Stars, it was a local high school phenom that would be the difference in this match. Hope Santaniello potted the game-winner in the 78th minute that propelled the New England Mutiny (7-0-2) to a 2-1 win over the visiting Lancaster Inferno (5-2-0). Santaniello received a cross from Ecuadorian National Team member Mariela Jacome and clinically finished into the lower left corner past Lancaster goalkeeper Kelly O'Brien (nine saves). After the go-ahead goal, the Mutiny went into closeout mode but the Inferno threatened keeper Maddie Murphy (five saves) with a couple of late-scoring bids. New England drew first blood in the match as forward Kate Howarth headed home a textbook cross from defender Ellie Jean in the 49th minute. Lancaster answered with their own cross and finish in the 66th minute when Jackie Richards finished a service from Haley Crawford.
Saturday, June 29
The Connecticut Fusion (6-0-2) netted three unanswered goals in a 3-1 win over host New Jersey Copa FC (1-7-0). Played in heat hovering in the low 90's, the game was interrupted for more than 45 minutes by thunderstorms. Doyle scored the first two goals in the 27th and 49th minutes, then assisted on the third in the 69th minute by Tori Sousa. NJCFC benefitted on an own goal in the 76th minute. Goalkeepers Naya Lipkens and Randi Palacios were largely unchallenged with no NJCFC official shots as the unit of Rachel Marchini, Marieke Kramer, Kylee McIntosh and Lauren Hinter shut down the home attack. On the first goal, Doyle received a pass from Vivian Beil on the left wing, turned and shot into the near right side netting. For her second tally, the ball deflected to Doyle from outside the penalty area before she slotted a shot into the far right side netting past NJCFC keeper Bristol Pizzuto (three saves). In the 69th minute, Doyle flicked a pass from the middle of the area to the left side of the box for Sousa, who slipped a shot into the far right side.
Four different goal scorers powered Syracuse DA (4-3-2) past the visiting Long Island Rough Riders (4-5-0), keeping up their hopes of a qualification spot in the UWS East playoffs in their inaugural season. SDA came out fast and furious and scored four first half goals. Alex Fontana opened the scoring in the eighth minute of play with the first of two straight goals for the hosts and added another just five minutes later from twenty yards out. Taylor Bennett put Syracuse up by a 3-0 score in the 22nd minute on a back post header from a corner kick by Caroline Kopp. Kennedy Yearby's first goal of 2019 finished the scoring in the first half and SDA had a clear 4-0 lead going into the second half. Brooke Barbuto tallied her team-leading seventh goal of the season on an assist from Hailey Bicknell in the second half for the final Syracuse goal.
The winless Worcester Smiles (0-9-0) gave the visiting Lancaster Inferno (6-2-0) all they could handle but a late goal broke the hosts' hearts in a 2-1 loss in their penultimate game of the 2019 season. The two teams battled it out to a scoreless draw in the first half but Lancaster opened the scoring early in the second half. Jackie Richards scored her second goal of the weekend on the left flank from 16 yards out on an assist from Marisa DiGenova for the 1-0 lead. The Inferno were on course for the victory but Jordyn Abasciano spoiled their plans with a goal for the Smiles in the 80th minute of play. The Smiles were on course for their first point of the season until stoppage time when Lancaster was awarded a penalty kick. Veteran midfielder Teresa Rook stepped up to the spot and converted for the late game winner. Brittany Henderson stood tall in goal for Worcester (13 saves) in the loss while Sydney Bruckner made three stops in her first start (and win) of the campaign.
Sunday, June 30
Kate Howarth kept up her barrage on the league scoring charts, taking part in every goal scored for the visitors in a vital 5-2 win for the New England Mutiny (7-0-2) over the Rochester Lancers (2-4-2). It was a fast-paced and high-scoring first half of action as the hosts opened the scoring in the second minute of play on an unassisted breakaway goal from leading scorer Taylor Wingerden against New England goalkeeper Kelsey Kohler (one save). In the 19th minute, Zoe Steck equalized the score for the Mutiny, drilling the ball into the side netting after Howarth poked the ball free to her amidst a scrum at the top of the penalty area. Wingerden put her team up 2-1 just five minutes later on an assist from Dori Rizzo before Howarth tallied her first goal five minutes after that. New England went ahead for good in stellar fashion as Ellie Jean picked up a Howarth pass and fired a 40-yard strike past Lancers goalkeeper Caitie Broderick (three saves). A minute later, Jessica Fernandes sent in Howarth alone on goal on the right flank and she chipped her shot over Broderick from close distance for the 4-2 score. The hat trick for Howarth was completed in the 79th minute.
Detroit vs. Michigan (JDN Photo)
UWS MIDWEST CONFERENCE
Thursday, June 27
The Michigan Legends (2-5-2) scored first in their battle with the Detroit Sun (3-6-0) for a UWS Midwest playoff spot but the hosts had the last laugh as they were awarded two penalty kicks late in the match. Two successful conversions pushed Detroit ahead and they won by a 2-1 score, putting a major dent in Michigan's chances to reach the postseason. It was a scoreless first half between the in-state rivals. Kristin Boos put the Legends ahead by a 1-0 score in the 58th minute on an unassisted goal. The drama started in the 77th minute when the head referee awarded the Sun with the first of two disputed penalty kicks. Gabriella Mencotti converted and the score was tied at 1-1. Five minutes later, Michigan was called for another infraction in the penalty area and Mencotti notched her team-leading seventh goal of the season to put Detroit ahead for good. Katelyn McEachern made four saves for the Sun as they won their first match after a five-game losing streak. Madison Paige (six saves) picked up the loss for the Legends.
Friday, June 28
The Indiana Union (7-2-1) put their stamp on a second-place finish in the UWS Midwest with an emphatic 5-2 win over AFC Ann Arbor (2-7-0). Katie Soderstrom scored two goals in the victory while Ryanne Brown and Lauren Rice each tallied two assists. The loss ended the slim playoff hopes for Ann Arbor, who needed to win both matches on their two-game road trip to have a chance at a postseason berth. Soderstrom opened the scoring in the 21st minute, finishing off a rebound from a shot by Brown. Indiana went up 2-0 eleven minutes later, as Samantha Dewey notched her team-leading 11th goal of the season with thanks to a switch-pass assist from Rice. AFC's Katie Vitella halved the score to 2-1 just two minutes after Dewey's goal but the Union responded almost immediately Soderstrom's second goal of the match in the 38th minute. Molly McLaughlin's goal in the 41st minute put Indiana up 4-1 going into halftime and they did not look back. Laura Ronnfeldt's first goal of the season made the score 5-1 in the 61st minute. Rachel Sweigard netted a late consolation for the visitors. Olivia Jenkins (one save) picked up the win while Sofia Sweier made five saves in the loss.
Sunday, June 30
AFC Ann Arbor (2-8-0) ended their inaugural season against Grand Rapids FC (3-4-2) with a close 2-1 loss on the road. Rachel Sweigard netted the first goal at hot and humid Houseman Field in the 37th minute, but GRFC bounced back with goals from Kendra Longoria and Riko Sagara in the 41st and 57th minutes, respectively. The Mighty Oak started off the quick five-minute ping-pong game of scoring when Mami Yamaguchi sent Sweigard in on goal and her shot dribbled past GRFC goalkeeper Maia Perez (three saves). The lead didn't last long, however, as Kendra Longoria dribbled down the right flank and her right-footed shot flew past AFCAA keeper Sofia Sweier (two saves). Ann Arbor opened the second half with a pair of scoring chances from Sweigard but it was the hosts who found the net. In the 57th minute, Riko Sagara possessed the ball well inside the penalty area and scored with her right foot. The Mighty Oak shifted up for attack but failed to grab the equalizer. Efforts from Yamaguchi, Jenna Smith and Katie Vitella either went wide or were saved.
Houston vs. SAAFC (Pronoia Photography)
UWS SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE
Saturday, June 29
Riding a three-game winning streak, the San Antonio Athenians (3-2-0) traveled to Houston looking to dethrone the defending conference champions. Yet, the Houston Aces (6-0-0) were up to the task and responded every time the visitors attempted a comeback in a 5-2 victory. The hosts started the match aggressively but it took until the 37th minute for Houston to get on the score board when Tatiana Ariza scored her first goal of the evening on goalkeeper Michelle Cole (four saves). The Athenians hit the equalizer a couple of minutes later when Aces keeper Alexis Espino (two saves) challenged Megan Wilcox and she instinctively found Briana Woodall, who finished with a sliding kick. Unfortunately for the visitors, their offense unraveled at the start of the second half and the Aces took advantage. Lauren Hughes gave Houston the 2-1 lead in the 54th minute that they would not relinquish. Ariza added two more goals in the span of three minutes to give the hosts a three-goal lead. Woodall connected on a free kick in the 73rd minute to cut the deficit but the Aces buckled down and added a fifth goal in stoppage time.
FC Austin Elite (2-3-0) scored two goals early in the first half but the El Paso Surf (0-6-0) gave them a late scare in their season finale at home but it wasn't enough in a 2-1 win for the visitors. FC Austin opened the scoring just two minutes into the match as Bethany Cyrtmus scored the first of her two goals as she finished off an assist from Emily Jorgens. In the 23rd minute, Cyrtmus put the Elite up 2-0 and they held that advantage until the 80th minute when Kimberly Nevarez scored her first goal of the season. El Paso could not level the score as time winded down on the clock. Liz-Amanda Brown made three saves for FC Austin in the win while Meagan Smith (three saves) picked up the loss.
LA Galaxy OC vs. Calgary (S. Velez Lopez)
UWS WEST CONFERENCE
Friday, June 28
The opening match of a weekend road trip for Calgary Foothills WFC (5-1-0) was a wild one and saw two penalty kicks converted in the first half, then three goals within four minutes during the second half. Tanya Boychuk and Alex Lamontagne scored two goals for the visitors, while Evdokia Popadinova scored and Alyssa Thompson netted twice including the game winner for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat (5-2-0). Wild is as wild does in the 3-2 victory. Popadinova opened the scoring in the 20th minute, converting on a penalty kick. Eighteen minutes later, Tanya Boychuck evened the score via a penalty conversion herself. Thompson tallied her first goal in the 57th minute, finishing off a rebound of a Zoe Hasenauer shot. Three minutes later, Lamontagne tied it on a solo effort. Yet, on the corresponding kickoff, Popadinova deftly dribbled past the Calgary defense on the right flank and fired in a pinpoint cross to Thompson whose clinical finish beat goalkeeper Emily Burns (six saves). Brooke Littman made four saves in net for the win.
Saturday, June 29
Both the Colorado Pride (0-6-0) and Queen City United (1-6-0) were looking for their first win - if not their first points - of the 2019 campaign as they faced off for the first time. Colorado scored early but two first half goals by Queen City were enough for the first-year team to notch their first-ever win by a 2-1 score on the road. Two minutes into the match, Alyssa Totzke sent a through ball to Jaden Davis and she finished past United goalkeeper Brynn Nash (two saves) for the early 1-0 lead. It didn't take long, though, for Queen City to tie the score as Maya Gabruch combined with Hannah Gannitsos-Clark for the equalizer. Kalli Cowles netted the eventual game winner on an unassisted goal in the final minute of the first half. Alexis Walker gave up both United goals before being replaced by Afton Schrami for the second half. The pair combined to make three saves for Colorado.
Sunday, June 30
Calgary Foothills WFC (5-1-1) didn't have much time to dwell on their first loss in regular season play in over a year on Friday as LA Galaxy OC (5-1-1) were on the horizon on Sunday. After an injury to defender Damiane Sawatzky in the Santa Clarita match, it forced some rotation of the Calgary back line for their second match of the weekend. The makeshift Foothills defense held together and returned home with an important 1-1 draw. In the fifth minute, the visitors were able to again get the critical first goal. Mya Jones streaked down the far side, slipped around the fullback and blasted her shot into the far side of the net past goalkeeper Hillary Beall (two saves). Twenty-five minutes later, LA defender Natalie Jacobs jumped up into the offense and fired a low shot past keeper Emily Burns (six saves) from the top of the box for the equalizing goal. The two top teams in the UWS West battled it out to a stalemate the remainder of the match.
Tag(s): News Lancaster Inferno LI Rough Riders New England Mutiny New Jersey Copa FC Rochester Lancers Worcester Smiles Detroit Sun Grand Rapids FC Indiana Union Michigan Legends El Paso Surf FC Austin Elite Houston Aces San Antonio Athenians Calgary Foothills Colorado Pride LA Galaxy Santa Clarita Blue Heat AFC Ann Arbor Queen City United Syracuse DA