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UWS Week VIII Roundup: Midwest Conference

07/04/2017, 2:30pm EDT
By Admin

Grand Rapids captures Midwest crown, hosts conference playoffs


GRAND RAPIDS, MI - The Grand Rapids FC Women (7-1-1 Midwest) captured the regular season conference title on Sunday afternoon at Houseman Field, tallying three first half goals en route to a 4-0 win over Toledo Villa FC (3-4-1 Midwest). The GRFC Women will now host the four-team Midwest playoffs (July 15-16) with the winner earning the automatic berth into the 2017 UWS Championship (July 21-22). Midfielder Bethany Balcer stayed on her scoring tear as she scored the first three goals of the match which added to her season total of 11 - good for tops in the national pro-am league. Another fast start by Balcer allowed the Girls in Blue to build a 2-0 advantage within 21 minutes and a 3-0 lead by halftime over the visitors.

In the 11th minute, pressure by Balcer allowed her to score the first goal. Off a throw in by midfielder Maddie Pogarch, a Toledo defender tried to shield off Balcer as the ball ran to her keeper. But, Balcer was able to work her way around the defender and beat the keeper to the ball as she poked it into the net. In the 21st minute, a Villa hand ball resulted in a penalty kick for the GRFC Women. Stepping up to the spot, Balcer went left as the keeper dove right to push the lead to 2-0. Balcer added a third in the final minute of the first half to give her three hat tricks in three games. In the second half, Marti Corby rounded out the scoring in the 85th minute on a pass from Claire Carlson.


PONTIAC, MI - On Sunday afternoon, Detroit Sun FC (5-1-3 Midwest) clinched a spot in the four-team Midwest playoffs (July 15-16) with a 6-1 win over the Fort Wayne United Gryphons (2-6-1 Midwest) at Ultimate Soccer Arenas. Forward Madison Schupbach led the Detroit offense in the win, tallying two goals and two assists, and midfielder Alyssa Burke chipped in with the first two goals of the match. Schupbach’s 21 points (eight goals, five assists) on the season is now tied for second in league scoring. Sun goalkeeper Krystin Lawrence made seven saves in her season debut - and was also credited with an assist - while Hannah Parrish (nine saves) picked up the loss.

Burke kicked off the scoring in the 25th minute, as Schupbach dribbled down the left flank and found Burke who rifled a 20-yard, left-footed shot inside the far post. The Schupbach-Burke connection proved successful again as Burke picked up the ball and weaved her way through three Fort Wayne defenders to finish over the onrushing Parrish for the 2-0 lead. Forward Evdokia Popadinova opened the scoring in the second half in the 50th minute, heading midfielder Dani Evans’ corner kick for the 3-0 score. Lawrence got on the stat sheet in the 60th minute when her long punt downfield connected with forward Devyn Brough who put the ball away. Schupbach tallied the last two goals for the home side before Fort Wayne got on the score board in the 85th minute via Morgan Halliwill’s second tally of 2017.


LAKEVILLE, IN - In a battle for one of the spots in the four-team Midwest playoffs (July 15-16) on Saturday afternoon, FC Indiana and Toledo Villa FC combined for a total of 30 shots on goal in a thrilling back-and-forth encounter at Newton Park. In the end, FC Indiana (4-5 Midwest) dropped their home finale by a 3-2 score to Toledo, who got back to winning ways after two straight losses to finish their 2017 home slate. Forward Marissa Swindell and midfielder Veronica Zaciek led the Villa attack - each tallying a goal and an assist for the visitors - while goalkeeper Kathleen Duvwe made 10 saves in the road win.

Toledo forward Skylar Fleak opened the scoring in the fifth minute, tallying her team-leading eighth goal of the season - good for fourth in the league. Swindell from provider to goal scorer in the 22nd minute, taking Zaciek’s pass and dribbled in on goal and converted past FCI goalkeeper Andrea Vera (six saves) for the early 2-0 lead. The home side got back into the match by scoring the next two goals to tie the score, starting in the 37th minute on Lisa Ryan’s free kick. In the 48th minute, Jennifer Munoz leveled the score at 2-2 on an assist from Ashley Johnson. Zaciek notched the game-winner in the 2nd minute, her fifth goal of the season. The win keeps Toledo in the race for the fourth spot in the Midwest playoffs while third-place FCI is still in good position to qualify.


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Indy Premier SC (2-5-1 Midwest) picked up their second win of the season and dented the postseason hopes of Michigan Legends FC (2-3-3 Midwest) in an exciting come-from-behind 4-3 win on Friday night at the Park Tudor School. Forward Brady Riley led the IPSC attack in the victory - notching two goals and an assist including the second half game-winner - while goalkeeper Sarah L'Hommodieu made nine saves in her season debut in net. The win keeps Indy Premier’s dim hopes of qualifying for the Midwest playoffs lit but if Michigan is victorious in their last two games, the latter will qualify for the postseason instead.

MLFC opened the scoring in this match, tallying the first two goals in the first 21 minutes of action. Katrina Koomen and Megan Trapp notched unassisted strikes in the 9th and 21st minutes to put the visitors up early by a 2-0 score. But the hosts would respond with four unanswered goals, starting in the 27th minute on a goal from close range by defender Kyndall Mckinney. Riley took part in the next three goals, tying the game at 2-2 before assisting on forward Daniel Hayden’s strike in the 63rd minute and tallying the game-winner in the 65th minute on a 30-yard bomb. Michigan forward Tori Singstock made the score 4-3 in 72nd minute but the visitors could not pull off the comeback. 


GRANDVILLE, MI - On Friday night at Grandville High School, a scintillating start allowed the Grand Rapids FC Women jump out to a 4-0 lead over the Fort Wayne United Gryphons within 20 minutes. A 6-0 win would result for the hosts as midfielder Bethany Balcer - four goals, two assists - contributed to every GRFC goal on the night. The victory guaranteed a spot in the Midwest playoffs for Grand Rapids. Goalkeeper Reilley Ott made four saves in the shutout while Lorah Pund (five saves) picked up the loss for Fort Wayne.

In the 10th minute, a give and go between defender Claire Carlson and Balcer resulted in a Carlson goal. Less than two minutes later, a Balcer through ball at the top of the box to midfielder Riko Sagara allowed Sagara an open look on net which she made the most of, slotting the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. In the 14th minute, a quick throw in to midfielder Annie Steinlage saw her gain a step on her defender and working toward the endline, Steinlage placed a cross onto the head of Balcer who beat Pund to extend the lead to 3-0. Balcer finished off the four-goal barrage, as a long through ball from midfielder Avery Lockwood sent Balcer in on a 1v1 and she hit a rocket into the right side of the net.

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 You can visit the league’s official website at Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. by e-mail at

Tag(s): News |   Detroit Sun  FC Indiana  Fort Wayne Gryphons  Grand Rapids FC  Indiana Union  Michigan Legends  Toledo Villa