METUCHEN, NJ - With the All-Conference teams being announced throughout the week, it's now time to announce the 2018 All-United Women's Soccer Team and the major award winners from the season. The third year of play in UWS was one that experienced continued growth on and off the field and produced a great finish to the campaign. Expansion teams competed well across all conferences, including Lansing United winning the Midwest Regular Season crown, while a charter member, the Houston Aces, won their first league title as they defeated Inferno Rush 1-0 in the UWS National Final.
2018 UWS Most Valuable Player - Brooke Barbuto (Rochester Lady Lancers)
Brooke Barbuto was heralded by many within the league as the most consistent player that took to the field throughout the season. The former Stony Brook midfielder was an integral part of making the Rochester Lady Lancers, a team that took only one point in the 2017 season, to become a playoff contender in 2018. She started all ten matches for the Lady Lancers and never left the field while scoring eight goals and assisting on two others, which secured her a top-five finish in UWS for both goals and points (18) categories along with leading all midfielders in those categories as well.
"It's an honor and privilege to win an individual award like this, and I am grateful to my team for helping me achieve this award," said Barbuto. "I have played both domestically and Internationally and the players and league deserve recognition for the level of play and the high standards the league has set. Obviously we had hoped to win a championship and while being a game away from securing a playoff position was devastating, that doesn't take away from the success we had. We made great improvements from last season, and hoping to continue building next season. Thanks to the Lancers organization for the opportunity!"
2018 UWS Offensive Player of the Year - Haley Crawford (Inferno Rush)
It was a breakout season for the James Madison University striker as Haley Crawford finished in second place in UWS for goals and tied for third in total points. The East Conference was loaded with top-goal scorers as four of the top six goals leaders came from the conference and Crawford found herself in the mix all season long. She finished the campaign with a flurry by scoring in four of the last five regular season matches, including three multi-goal efforts and tallied all four goals for Inferno in their 4-2 road win against Western New York in Week IX. But her big moment came in the UWS National Semifinals as during a driving rainstorm, she guided the Rush to a 4-3 victory over Grand Rapids FC Women by scoring a hat trick, helping them reach their first UWS National Finals appearance.
“I enjoyed every minute on the field and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to play with," said Crawford. "I feel honored to receive UWS Offensive Player of the year and I wouldn’t have done it without the support from my family, coaches and teammates. This season was definitely one to remember.”
2018 UWS Defensive Player of the Year - Natalie Jacobs (LA Galaxy OC Women)
Expansion teams competed well all throughout the 2018 season but notably, LA Galaxy OC Women gave every team in the West a run for their money as they created a pathway to the Conference crown before ultimately finishing in second. A main reason for that was the stout defensive work of Natalie Jacobs. The USC Trojan and former US Youth International showed poise and grit throughout the entire campaign for LAGOC as she started all ten matches for the club and netted a pair of goals. She also helped shore up the LA defense to have one of the best records in the league, allowing just ten goals and posting four clean sheets.
"I am so grateful to have won this award. I had a great time competing in the UWS and playing center back for my team," said Jacobs. "Playing with and being surrounded by so many talented players was a wonderful and humbling experience. Thank you to the LA Galaxy OC organization, the coaching staff, and all my teammates for a great summer."
2018 UWS Coach of the Year - Troye Flannery (Calgary Foothills Women's FC)
After earning the West Conference Coach of the Year in each of the last two seasons, Troye Flannery gets the nod as the UWS Coach of the Year for the 2018 season. After guiding Calgary Foothills Women's FC to a second place finish last year, his club took the next step this campaign by winning the West Conference title wire-to-wire and advanced to the UWS National Semifinal. He also guided seven players to earn All-West Conference accolades and another three to all-league honors this season.
“Absolutely flattered by the selection and proud to accept the award on behalf of the team," said Flannery. "It is a truly exceptional league and although we fell short of our team goals this recognition is humbling and without question a result of an exceptional group of players, a committed and talented coaching staff, tireless backroom/operations staff, sponsors, supporters and an incredible club, supporting this project and myself every step of the way. The mandate from Day 1 was a passion to extend a pathway for Canadian Women to play in a standards based setting which the UWS has provided and we have benefited from 15 year old Grace Stordy to Canadian International Steph Labbé with this opportunity. I personally have grown with this project and have the utmost respect for the league and the coaches in our conference and league wide - thank you so very much.”
2018 UWS Co-Organization of the Year - Calgary Foothills Women's FC and Lansing United
United Women’s Soccer is happy to announce for the first time in league history that they will honor an Organization of the Year. This award will be given to an organization in recognition of their achievements and success both on and off the field along with going above and beyond in representing themselves in the ideals and standards that UWS has set.
For 2018, UWS has announced co-winners for the Organization of the Year award and the recipients are Calgary Foothills Women’s FC and Lansing United.
“We are excited to unveil this honor for the first time in league history and to award it to two very deserving organizations,” said UWS Commissioner Joseph Ferrara, Jr. “Calgary are one of the most professional clubs that I’ve worked with and hold themselves to very high standards. And Lansing came in this year and set the bar for future expansion clubs with their excellent marketing efforts and on-field product.”
2018 All-United Women's Soccer First Team
GK: Kelly O’Brien (Inferno Rush)
D: Natalie Jacobs (LA Galaxy OC Women)
D: Olivia Trombley (Lansing United)
D: Kylee McIntosh (Connecticut Fusion)
MF: Brooke Barbuto (Rochester Lady Lancers)
MF: Jessica Jones (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)
MF: Tesa McKibben (Inferno Rush)
MF: Dani Evans (Detroit Sun FC)
F: Gisela Arrieta (Houston Aces)
F: Haley Crawford (Inferno Rush)
F: Carissima Cutrona (Western New York Flash)
2018 All-United Women's Soccer Second Team
GK: Stephanie Labbé (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)
D: Aubrey Suydam (Inferno Rush)
D: Athena Biondi (Lansing United)
D: Grace Stordy (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)
MF: Riko Sagara (Lansing United)
MF: Teresa Rook (Rynier) (Inferno Rush)
MF: Grace Labadie (Grand Rapids FC Women)
MF: Sabrina Flores (LA Galaxy OC Women)
F: Kate Howarth (New England Mutiny)
F: Tori Sousa (Connecticut Fusion)
F: Julie Gavorski (Houston Aces)
2018 UWS WEEKLY AWARDS
Offensive Player of the Week
Week I: Madison Schupbach (Detroit Sun FC)
Week II: Brooke Barbuto (Rochester Lady Lancers)
Week III: Tesa McKibben (Inferno Rush)
Week IV: Kassandra Massey (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
Week V: Lexi Pelafas (Lansing United)
Week VI: Julie Gavorski (Houston Aces)
Week VII: Rachel DeLuca (Detroit Sun FC)
Week VIII: Angelina Hix (LA Galaxy OC Women)
Week IX: Haley Crawford (Inferno Rush)
Week X: Samantha Maher (Grand Rapids FC Women)
Defensive Player of the Week
Week I: Lysianne Proulx (New England Mutiny)
Week II: Yadira Toraya (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
Week III: Tori Martyn (Calgary Foothills Women's FC)
Week IV: Stephanie Labbé (Calgary Foothills Women's FC)
Week V: Kelly O’Brien (Inferno Rush)
Week VI: Natalie Jacobs (LA Galaxy OC Women)
Week VII: Emma Gervase (Western New York Flash)
Week VIII: Ashley Chilcoat (Inferno Rush)
Week IX: Stephanie Labbé (Calgary Foothills Women's FC)
Week X: Meghan Dalton (Connecticut Fusion)
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.