METUCHEN, NJ - The Fall 2018 season in the NCAA concluded this past weekend with the crowning of national champions in the Division I & II ranks. Both finals saw pulsating contests that were decided by slim 1-0 margins. Florida State University won their second-ever College Cup title over the University of North Carolina while the University of Bridgeport topped perennial DII powerhouse Grand Valley State University for their first-ever NCAA championship. United Women's Soccer (UWS) talent dotted the championship sky, as five league alumni suited up for Florida State and four for Bridgeport. Even more (eight altogether) competed for the runner-up UNC Tar Heels and GVSU Lakers.
"Congratulations to Florida State University and the University of Bridgeport on their respective championships!" said UWS Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. "Its great to see so many players from United Women's Soccer excel with their collegiate programs. We take pride in preparing players for their fall competitive seasons."
Seminoles defender/midfielder Olivia Bergau, midfielder Deyna Castellanos, defender Natalia Kuikka and midfielder Emily Madril starred for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat during the 2017 season, helping the team reach the UWS National Final. Castellanos was the 2017 UWS National Player of the Year while Kuikka was named the UWS West Defensive Player of the Year. Both players were also All-UWS First Team selections. FSU goalkeeper Brooke Bollinger patrolled the net for the Orlando Kicks in 2018, who took part in a provisional season in the newly-formed Southeast Conference. UNC forward Alex Kimball suited up for the Real Salt Lake Women this past summer.
Purple Knights midfielder/forward Maegan Doyle, midfielder/forward Marieke Kramer and defender Karoline Vieira played for the New York Surf during the 2018 season while forward Elin Eklund had a great season with the Rochester Lady Lancers. Eklund was named to the 2018 UWS East Second Team for her efforts. Grand Valley State fell just short of a sixth national championship title (which would have set a new DII record) but the Lakers should still feel proud. Seven GVSU stars have taken the pitch in our national pro-am league, led by 2018 Midwest Defensive Player of the Year & All-UWS First Team honoree Olivia Trombley and All-UWS Second Team midfielder Riko Sagara.
Trombley and Sagara starred for Lansing United this past summer, as the first-year organization won the regular season title in the Midwest Conference and fell one win shy of qualifying for the UWS National Championship. Lansing United were named the 2018 UWS Co-Organization of the Year alongside Calgary Foothills Women's FC. Midfielder Darline Radamaker (Detroit Sun FC), defender Sydney O'Donnell (Michigan Legends FC), defender Cecilia Steinwascher (Detroit Sun FC), forward Corey Sawall (Lansing United) and goalkeeper Callie Rich (Fort Wayne United) round out the rest of league alumni who wore GVSU Lakers colors this past fall.
About United Women's Soccer (UWS): We are 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.