GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Grand Rapids Football Club has re-signed defender Clare Carlson and midfielders Sam Maher, Alex Ruffer and Sadie Misiewicz for the 2018 United Women's Soccer (UWS) season. GRFC opens the home portion of its schedule on Saturday, May 5 as the Ladies in Blue host the Midwest United U19 squad at 7:00 PM at Grandville High School. Additional home dates confirmed by UWS include May 13, May 20, June 2, June 30 and July 8.
Returning for her second season with the Ladies in Blue, Carlson (Ada, MI) notched four goals in 13 competitive appearances during the 2017 campaign. Clare was named to the All-Midwest Conference First Team and also received All-UWS Honorable Mention honors. The 5-foot-5 defender appeared in three postseason matches last season, including the UWS National Championship against the Santa Clarita Blue Heat on July 22.
Carlson played four seasons with Grand Valley State University from 2013-16, leading the Lakers to four consecutive NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship appearances. She also earned back-to-back NSCAA and D2CCA All-American honors in her final two years at GVSU. In total, Carlson tallied 13 goals and 10 assists in 87 games with the Lakers.
Maher (Caledonia, MI) started nine competitive matches for GRFC in 2017, recorded one goal and also garnered Woman of the Match accolades after picking up three assists in a win at Indy Premier SC. Sam spent four seasons with Central Michigan University, tallying seven goals and eight assists in 75 appearances with the Chippewas from 2013-16. After her first season at CMU in 2013, Maher was named to the Freshman All-MAC Team.
Ruffer (Lombard, IL) re-joins the Ladies in Blue after making six competitive appearances in 2017. The 5-foot-4 midfielder's lone start came in the club's inaugural UWS match, a 3-1 win versus Michigan Legends on May 13. Alex recently completed her senior year at Western Michigan University, recording one goal and two assists in 19 starts for the Broncos. She netted six goals and six helpers in 77 career appearances with the Brown and Gold.
Misiewicz (Holland, MI) appeared in 13 competitive matches for GRFC during the 2017 campaign. The 5-foot-6 midfielder featured as a substitute in three postseason contests, including a cameo in the UWS National Championship versus Santa Clarita. Sadie recently finished her sophomore season at Michigan State University and captured Academic All-Big Ten honors alongside GRFC teammate Michaela Kovacs.
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 UWSPress@gmail.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.