EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The final weekend of the United Women’s Soccer (UWS) regular season is upon us, and it will see two games take place to finish up the 2016 East Conference slate. New Jersey Copa F.C. (8-1-1) has already run away with the title - and were last seen headed west - but second-place is still up for grabs. While not as exciting as the conclusion of the West Conference regular season, there are still four teams who can claim an overall record worthy of East runner-up status. For sanity’s sake, though, we will not go into all of the many different second-place tiebreak scenarios until the East regular season is officially concluded.
New York Magic vs. Lancaster Inferno (4:00 PM EDT)
Venue: Verrazano Sports Complex
1990 Shore Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11214
The New York Magic take their first trip away from their primary home venue - Iona College’s Mazzella Field - on Saturday afternoon when they host the Lancaster Inferno at the Verrazano Sports Complex. The Magic (0-8-1) are the only team in UWS yet to notch a win this season and this match also provides their final opportunity to break their current six-game losing streak. On the other hand, the Inferno (4-5) will also look to finish their 2016 season on a positive note, as they lost 1-0 on the road last Sunday to TSF Academy.
In the first meeting between the two teams, Lancaster scored three first half goals en route to a 4-1 win over New York on June 25 at Millersville University’s Pucillo Field. The Inferno were led by veteran midfielder Teresa Rynier in the win (goal, assist), who started the scoring in the 10th minute, assisting on Katie Hackos’ goal. Lancaster went up 2-0 in the 18th minute on Amy Rieker’s game-winning goal. New York got a goal from Shani Abrahams before Hackos returned the favor to Rynier in the 38th minute for the 3-1 lead. Bailey Corbin finished the scoring in the 79th minute.
In such a short summer season that the member teams compete in, the UWS tiebreak procedure rewards those teams that win the most games. Therefore, with a win over the Magic, the Inferno can claim a five-win season and a chance to break the second round of tiebreaks vs. teams such as TSF Academy (3-3-3) - if they are victorious over the New England Mutiny - and the Long Island Rough Riders (4-3-3). Lancaster went 1-1 against both of those teams this season, since head-to-head record is the first tiebreak.
New England Mutiny vs. TSF Academy Valkyries (4:00 PM EDT)
Venue: East Longmeadow High School
180 Maple Street
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
For an organization used to setting the mark, this season for the New England Mutiny has been somewhat of a bitter pill to swallow. No better an example of that was the first meeting between the Mutiny (5-4) and the TSF Academy Valkyries on June 19th. New England was still in the race for the East title, and after scoring the first goal of the match, looked to still be a contender. But TSF Academy scored three unanswered goals after that and simply ran the visitors off the pitch in a strong 3-1 victory - their first win of 2016.
Since that time, the Valkyries (3-3-3) have gone 2-1-2 and that steady momentum has slowly moved them up the East Conference standings. This past Wednesday, they completed their three-game home stand with a 1-1 draw against the Long Island Rough Riders. Stephanie Scholz netted her fourth goal in three games (good enough for the team lead in goals scored) in the 27th minute on an assist from Alana O’Neill. Long Island scuttled their chance for three wins in three games with a 89th minute goal from Morgan Santoro.
The Mutiny had their own chance at a positive home result last Saturday night against the East champions but a New Jersey goal on the last touch of the game brought about a deflating 3-2 loss. The 16 goals that the New England defense has allowed this season is only two behind the mark set during their 4-4-2 season in 2014. Simply put, if the Mutiny hadn’t lost to TSF earlier in the season, last Saturday’s game would possibly have determined the East title. Now, they need a positive result (win or draw) from this rematch to secure a second-place finish for themselves.
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.