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UWS East Conference

Regular Season 2018

Recent UWS East Conference News

2018 All-United Women's Soccer Awards

08/03/2018, 1:30pm EDT
By Admin

Barbuto, Crawford and Jacobs earn the Major Player awards, Flannery nabs Top Coach

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.

2018 UWS All-East Conference Awards

08/02/2018, 2:00pm EDT
By Admin

Barbuto, Crawford named Co-OFF POY, Inferno's O'Brien, Cleaves take home DEF POY and Coach award

METUCHEN, NJ - Of the four conferences in the 2018 UWS season, none were more competitive from top to bottom than the East Conference. Heading into the final week of the regular season, five different teams were fighting for the second spot in the UWS East Conference Championship Game and there was only a five-point gap in the final standings between second and seventh place. One of the UWS charter members, Inferno Rush, had a season to remember as after a pair of mid-table finishes in previous years, they won the East Conference Regular Season and Championship Game titles and advanced to the UWS National Final before being narrowly edged by Houston.

East Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year - Brooke Barbuto (Rochester Lady Lancers)

The former Stony Brook midfielder was an integral part of making a Rochester team that earned only one point in the 2017 season to becoming 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. Those marks 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. She is one of only three players to be named to a UWS Team of the Week three times and also netted an honorable mention, making her the player to most frequent that list.

East Conference Co-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. Crawford finished the campaign with a flurry by scoring in four of the last five regular season matches, including tallying all four goals for Inferno in their 4-2 road win against Western New York in Week IX, which secured the East Conference Regular Season title for the team. 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 Final.

East Conference Defensive Player of the Year - Kelly O'Brien (Inferno Rush)

The Inferno Rush were one of the toughest teams to break down all season long and a key reason behind it was the stellar goalkeeping play of Kelly O'Brien. She was the only goalie across all conferences to earn a Defensive Player of the Year award in 2018 and was named the Defensive Player of the Week back in Week V. The former Lafayette Leopard posted four clean sheets in the regular season and shut out Connecticut in the East Conference Championship Game to send her team to the UWS National Championship. While Inferno did fall in the National Final, O'Brien held Houston at bay by making a dozen saves, and a few in spectacular effort, which was a season high for her.

East Conference Coach of the Year - Francisco Cleaves (Inferno Rush)

Inferno Rush experienced a big turn around from 2017 to 2018. After finishing last year's campaign near the bottom of the East, Francisco Cleaves guided the Rush to both the East Conference Regular Season and Championship Game title and was only minutes away from potentially lifting the UWS title as well. His team was consistently one of the toughest to break down, as they won five of their seven regular season matches by shutout and had the knack for finding the killer strike. He will have plenty to build on as well prior to next season as his team placed seven players on All-Conference teams.

2018 UWS All-East Conference First Team

GK: Kelly O’Brien (Inferno Rush)

D: Kylee McIntosh (Connecticut Fusion)

D: Caroline Kopp (Rochester Lady Lancers)

D: Aubrey Suydam (Inferno Rush)

MF: Brooke Barbuto (Rochester Lady Lancers)

MF: Teresa Rook (Rynier) (Inferno Rush)

MF: Chanel Johnson (Connecticut Fusion)

MF: Tesa McKibben (Inferno Rush)

F: Haley Crawford (Inferno Rush)

F: Carissima Cutrona (Western New York Flash)

F: Tori Sousa (Connecticut Fusion)

2018 UWS All-East Conference Second Team

GK: Meghan Dalton (Connecticut Fusion)

D: Ashley Chilcoat (Inferno Rush)

D: Alana O’Neill (New Jersey Copa FC)

D: Taylor Groth (Long Island Rough Riders)

MF: Megan Carroll (Inferno Rush)

MF: Kelly Quigley (Connecticut Fusion)

MF: Jenna Menta (New York Surf)

F: Furtuna Velaj (New York Surf)

F: Kate Howarth (New England Mutiny)

F: Elin Eklund (Rochester Lady Lancers)

F: Kayla Saager (Long Island Rough Riders)

Iron Women of the Year (Players who played every minute of every match)

Tesa McKibben (Inferno Rush)

Stephanie Santos (Connecticut Fusion)

Caroline Kopp (Rochester Lady Lancers)

Brooke Barbuto (Rochester Lady Lancers)

Elin Eklund (Rochester Lady Lancers)

Kylee McIntosh (Connecticut Fusion)

Lysianne Proulx (New England Mutiny)

2018 UWS Team of the Week selections (Combined by Team)

Connecticut Fusion:

           GK: Meghan Dalton (Week X)

           DEF: Kylee McIntosh (Week IV)

           MID: Rachel Morrier (Week I, Week II), Chanel Johnson (Week II hon., Week IV, Week IX), Hayley Nolan (Week III)

           FOR: Tori Sousa (Week I hon. mention, Week III hon. mention, Week X)

Inferno Rush:

           GK: Kelly O’Brien (Week V)

           DEF: Ashley Chilcoat (Week VIII, Week IX hon. mention)

           MID: Theresa Rook (Rynier) (Week III hon. mention, Week VIII, Week X), Kendra Jones (Week VII hon. mention)

           FOR: Tesa McKibben (Week III), Haley Crawford (Week IX)

Long Island Rough Riders:

           GK: Kelsey Daugherty (Week VIII)

           DEF: Kaitlin Loughren (Week IX), Taylor Groth (Week X)

           FOR Kayla Saager (Week VI hon. mention)

New England Mutiny:

           GK: Lysianne Proulx (Week I)

           DEF: Elena Santos (Week I hon. mention), Brittany Champagne (Week VI), Chantelle Swaby (Week IX)

           FOR: Sydney Brackett (Week IV)

New Jersey Copa FC:

           DEF: Sydney Cummings (Week V)

           FOR: Katarina Nilsson (Week VI hon. mention), Tori Baliatico (Week VIII hon. mention)

New York Surf:

           GK: Jamie Block (NY, Week I hon. mention)

           MID: Brooke Salmon (Week IV hon. metnion), Amy Marron (Week V hon. mention)

           FOR: Furtuna Velaj (Week I, Week VI), Jenna Menta (Week VIII, Week X)

Rochester Lady Lancers:

           GK: Caitie Broderick (Week V hon. mention, Week VI)

           DEF: Caroline Kopp (Week X)

           MID: Brooke Barbuto (Week II, Week V, Week VI hon. mention, Week IX)

           FOR: Elin Eklund (Week II, Week V)

Western New York Flash:

           DEF: Emma Gervase (Week VII)

           FOR: Carissima Cutrona (Week II), Jamie Boyar Week VII)

Worcester Smiles:

           GK: Brittany Henderson (Week III)

           DEF: Jackie Feraco (WOR, Week I), Megan Gurlitz (WOR, Week I hon. mention)

           MID: Sydney Fisher (Week III hon. mention)

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.

Gavorski nets 118th minute game-winner to give Aces first UWS title

GRANDVILLE, MI – The Houston Aces, a charter member of United Women’s Soccer, secured their first league title on the strength of a Julie Gavorski game-winning goal in the 118th minute, to defeat Inferno Rush 1-0 on Sunday evening at Grandville High School.

"It’s been a long road for us and for me, it’s well deserved,” said Houston Aces Head Coach Gui Ferreira. “I give all credit to the girls tonight, it was a great job by them.”

The Aces came close to opening the scoring in the third minute as after earning a free kick just to the right of the box, Gisela Arrieta curled her set piece past the wall and Inferno goalkeeper Kelly O’Brien but was denied by both the crossbar and the post.

The remaining 40 minutes of the half didn’t generate any more chances on goal, however the Aces forced Inferno to stay on their back heels for the majority of the period. But unlike Semifinal Saturday where two matches had a combined output of 11 goals, the first 45 minutes of the Final finished scoreless.

Immediately from the second half re-start, Arrieta generated a quick chance by slicing through the Inferno defense but her effort was a comfortable one for O’Brien to handle. O’Brien was called into action again in the 69th minute as she smothered Tatiana Ariza’s driven effort after a well-worked sequence down the right flank. Her save of the match came in the 75th minute as Allison Murphy stepped into one from 35-yards out but the Inferno goalie came up with a spectacular diving grab. O’Brien ended up with 12 saves on the night, a new season high for her.

The momentum started to turn in the final ten minutes of the contest as Inferno started to push the tempo. Tesa McKibben and Haley Crawford, both of whom were quiet in the attack up until that point, forcing Tara MacDonald into diving stops. But despite the flurry of attack, full time came and the game remained scoreless, forcing the Final to go to extra time.

The first extra time period didn’t deliver any clear cut chances for either team but for the second straight day of the 2018 UWS National Championship, rain cascaded down on the Grandville High School field. The best chance of stoppage time for Inferno came in the 112th minute as Aces substitute goalkeeper Lauren Lovejoy, who came in to begin extra time, tipped over McKibben’s long-range effort to keep the game scoreless.

But with only minutes remaining in the second period of extra time, Tatiana Ariza slid a ball into Gavorski’s path, and the eventual UWS Finals MVP put it past O’Brien to put her side ahead.

“It was a crazy finish,” stated Gavorski afterwards, “but we gave it a lot of grit and we had to keep going. [Ariza] played in a great ball up the middle and all I had to do was place it in the back of the net. I kind of closed my eyes but it went in and it was just a magic moment. You just have to finish your chances and that’s what I did.”

Every UWS National Championship Game has now featured extra time but Gavorski's tally was not the latest goal scored in a UWS postseason match. Back in 2016, Santa Clarita defeated New Jersey Copa FC 2-1 with a 119th minute bicycle kick goal from Julia Hernandez.

“It was a tremendous Championship weekend to cap off our third season,” said UWS Commissioner Joseph Ferrara, Jr. “The level of play and competitiveness continues to rise and that was on full display this weekend.”

Over a thousand fans, many of which heartily battled adverse weather conditions over the two-day Championship, came through the turnstiles at Grandville High School. And for those who couldn’t attend the event, viewership of UWS play was at an all-time high as all three matches during the weekend being shown on MyCujoo, with the viewership numbers totaling over 6,000 views.

2018 ALL-CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM

GK: Tara MacDonald (Houston Aces)

D: Grace Stordy (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)

D: Meghan Cunnigham (Inferno Rush)

D: Natalia Ariza (Houston Aces)

MF: Paige Hayward (Houston Aces)

MF: Cindy Lay (Grand Rapids FC Women)

MF: Jessica Jones (Calgary Foothills Women’s FC)

MF: Tesa McKibben (Inferno Rush)

F: Morgan Otteson (Grand Rapids FC Women)

F: Haley Crawford (Inferno Rush)

F: Julie Gavorski (Houston Aces)*

* - Championship MVP