EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - It has been a dramatic week in the West Conference of United Women’s Soccer (UWS) and the race for the title will go down to the final weekend of the regular season. Prior to last weekend’s games, there were four teams still in contention for the West crown and the right to host the inaugural UWS National Final. Now, there are still three teams vying for the conference title - first-place Real Salt Lake Women (4-2-2), the Santa Clarita Blue Heat (3-1-3) and the Houston Aces (3-3) - and two players from those contenders have been honored by the league office.
Last Thursday night against the Colorado Pride (2-3-1), RSL veteran Kira Sharp was a one-woman offensive dynamo and has been named the UWS West Offensive Player of the Week. The former Metro State star was directly responsible for the first three goals scored in the big 5-0 win over the former title contender. Sharp assisted on the first two goals of the match: serving in the corner kick that Natalie Norris scored on in the 10th minute; and, in the 34th minute, she played a nice ball to Bayley Bruner inside the penalty area for the 2-0 lead. Sharp made her final mark on the match with her run towards goal in the 60th minute, which saw her taken down inside the box by a slide tackle from behind for a penalty kick.
Santa Clarita had an important two-game road trip to Colorado this past weekend, and while they are known for their strong offensive attack, their defense is not too shabby as well. One of the team leaders in defense is midfielder Kelsey Gudgeon and she has been named UWS West Defensive Player of the Week after the Blue Heat went 1-0-1 over the weekend to keep them in West title contention. The team allowed only three goals over the two games vs. the Storm (a 5-1 win) and the Pride (a 2-2 draw) and Gudgeon put on a spectacular defensive display in both contests. The former Cal State-San Bernardino standout even chipped in a goal in the win over the Storm, converting on a penalty kick.
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.
UWS is managed by EDP, a leading soccer management company that runs a number of leagues and tournaments. In addition to UWS, EDP operates youth leagues that includes an NPL league, the EDP Super Club program, the EDP Premier League and the EDP Championship League. EDP also runs EDP Futures programs for U-7’s to U-12’s and it conducts more than 20 youth tournaments, including tournaments within its EDP Cup Series and EDP Showcase Series.
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 by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.