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Week VIII Preview: UWS Midwest

06/28/2018, 12:45pm EDT
By Admin

Top-Four clashes highlight busy weekend in the Midwest

Friday, June 29

Genesee FC vs. Fort Wayne Gryphons

5:00 PM EDT – Atwood Stadium at Kettering University (Flint, MI)

In a battle of the bottom two teams in the Midwest Conference, both sides will be hungry to try and get their first victory of 2018. These two teams met back on May 27 in Fort Wayne and played out to a goalless draw, with Genesee’s Annabelle Hegeman playing the hero for Genesee with a ten-save effort. Goals have been hard to come by as well for both teams as Genesee have scored five goals in eight matches and Fort Wayne just netting three in seven. But something will have to give between the two sides on Friday night as both will try to end their season on high note. Keep an eye out for fatigue for Fort Wayne as this will be their second match in three day as they fell 1-0 to Indy Premier in early Week VIII action on Wednesday, June 27. The Gryphons battled after giving up an early lead but spent a large part of that match defending so it will be interesting to see how the team will recover before heading back on the road.

Lansing United vs. Grand Rapids FC Women

7:00 PM EDT – East Lansing Soccer Complex (East Lansing, MI)

In the first of two matchups on the night that pit top-four teams against each other, Grand Rapids makes the trip out to the Archer Stadium to take on Lansing United. Both teams are putting their unbeaten records on the line and the likely outcome will see the winner of this match putting themselves in great position to host the Midwest Conference Championship Tournament in Week X. Week VII wasn’t the brightest of weeks for Lansing despite getting a pair of draws against Michigan and Detroit. They had an opportunity to try and close the door on everyone in the conference and earn the number one spot straight away. But Jason Crist’s team needed late equalizers in both of their matches to salvage points, allowing the race for the top spot to stay close. It must be said though that both came in pretty dramatic form as Olivia Trombley scored a 90th minute equalizer against Michigan last Friday and Lexi Pelafas bagged her teams’ fourth goal of the day against Detroit in the dying embers to level the score at 4. So you can never count this Lansing team out until the final whistle.

When Grand Rapids hosted Lansing United in the opening week, it was supposed to be a celebratory occasion. The side took to the field for the first time as defending UWS Champions after winning the league title on their home ground last year. But nobody told Lansing that they were supposed to step aside and let GRFC cruise through as they held the defending champions to a 2-2 draw. All four goals were scored in the second half as Kendra Longoria had to come up with an 86th minute equalizer to earn her side a point. This time around, it would be expected that Grand Rapids will try and come out firing early and put pressure on Lansing on their home ground. It is the first of two matches in two days for GRFC but they won’t be worrying about their match on Saturday against Indy Premier until the final whistle as they know that any slip ups from here on out means they will have to try and defend their conference title on the road.

Michigan Legends vs. Detroit Sun FC

7:30 PM EDT – Legacy Center Fieldhouse (Brighton, MI)

The Michigan Legends are coming off of a four-point week in Week VII play as they soundly defeated Fort Wayne 9-1 in early week action before drawing with Lansing last Friday night. Unlike their opponents in this match however, Michigan still have to be wary about their position in the standings as Indy Premier have now closed the gap on the fourth-placed Legends to just two points. So the hosts will need to keep their good mojo going at home throughout the weekend as they will host the surging Indy Premier on Sunday afternoon.

But Michigan cannot take their eyes off what lies ahead of them as Detroit, despite trailing both Lansing United and Grand Rapids FC Women in the standings, still have an outside chance of getting the top seed in the Midwest and hosting the Conference Tournament. Things were made a little harder to get to that top spot in the Midwest after a wild 4-4 draw last Sunday against Lansing, but it certainly wasn’t for the lack of effort. Rachel DeLuca posted a career day as normally a defender by trade, she was pressed into attack for the contest and showed brilliantly by netting a hat trick to earn herself the UWS Offensive Player of the Week award. The Sun also will have the confidence knowing that they’ve done the trick before against Michigan as all the way back on the season opening match on May 11, Detroit took a convincing 4-1 decision over the Legends, with Dani Evans posting a one-goal, two-assist match. So there is a strong possibility that Detroit can go up to the Legacy Center Fieldhouse and come away with three points.

Saturday, June 30

Grand Rapids FC Women vs. Indy Premier SC

7:00 PM EDT – Grandville H.S. (Grandville, MI)

Fatigue could certainly be a factor for Grand Rapids FC Women as they turn around to play their second match with less than 24 hours recovery. But if the defending UWS Champions are able to muster a result against Lansing on Friday night, they will be in the drivers seat to try and secure the number one seed for the second year in a row.

However, it will not be an easy task as they will welcome in Indy Premier SC, who are absolutely brimming with confidence at the moment and are making a great charge up the table. They took home a 1-0 victory over Fort Wayne on Wednesday night, backed by Chandra Davidson heading home Katie Soderstrom’s cross in the ninth minute and while they weren’t able to add to their lead, they kept the pressure on for all 90 minutes. That gives IPSC six points from their last two games and will be looking forward to their rematch against Grand Rapids on Saturday, as the two teams played an epic contest back on June 17th. Indy Premier had a 2-1 lead heading into the final quarter of an hour before GRFC got late goals from Samantha Maher and Cindy Lay to secure the victory so no doubt they will be coming into this contest looking for revenge. Plus, any points secured here for IPSC makes their home-and-home series against Michigan all the more meaningful.

Sunday, July 1

Michigan Legends vs. Indy Premier SC

2:00 PM EDT – Legacy Center Fieldhouse (Brighton, MI)

Regardless of how their match turns out on Saturday night, Indy Premier will know that they will still be alive for a playoff spot heading into the match against Michigan on Sunday. And, no matter what result Michigan gets from their match against Detroit on Friday, they will still need one result from their home-and-home with Indy Premier to secure their spot in the postseason. The two teams split the series last year with the Legends taking a 1-0 victory at home while IPSC won a wild 4-3 contest in the second to last weekend of the season. The two sides will meet again on Friday, July 6th and IPSC know that a split may very well not be enough for them to get that fourth and final spot in the Conference tournament. Keep an eye on fatigue as well in the early goings as while this will be the second match for both teams, Indy play on back-to-back days and are on the road whilst their opponents get to stay home for the entire weekend. That will certainly be a factor in this contest.

Lansing United vs. Genesee FC

4:00 PM EDT – East Lansing Soccer Complex (East Lansing, MI)

Week IX is an idle week for both Lansing United and Genesee FC, making this the last match of the regular season for the pair. Lansing knows that their season will continue into the Midwest Conference Championship Tournament but there are certainly major points still to play for. If Lansing wins their match on Friday against Grand Rapids, a win here against Genesee secures the number one seed in the tournament and hosting rights, which is a major advantage. Genesee will hope to not only play spoilers to Lansing’s quest but also try and finish out their campaign on a positive note. The two teams played out a tight affair back on May 20th with Erin Doster’s 52nd minute winner being the difference so perhaps Genesee will look to build on that performance and try to change the outcome of what the standings will look like after eight weeks of play.

About United Women's Soccer:

UWS is a national women’s soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer. 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 the UWS Communications office 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.

Tag(s): News  Midwest  Detroit Sun  Fort Wayne Gryphons  Grand Rapids FC  Indy Premier  Michigan Legends  Lansing United  Genesee FC