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Western NY Flash

Regular Season 2018
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Week II: UWS Team Of The Week

05/22/2018, 8:00pm EDT
By Admin

Toraya leads Blue Heat defense; Barbuto impresses as Offensive POTW

METUCHEN, NJ - Action around the country picked up steam during Week II play in United Women's Soccer (UWS) as the West Conference kicked off their season. The Colorado Pride returned to UWS with two home games while the Santa Clarita Blue Heat and Real Salt Lake Women renewed their rivalry amidst the state-of-the-art indoor confines of the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman, UT.

For her efforts containing the likes of forward Colette Smith in the 0-0 draw against the RSL Women, Blue Heat veteran defender Yadira Toraya has been named the UWS Defensive Player of the Week. On the other side of the country, Brooke Barbuto made a huge impression in her first two games with the Rochester Lady Lancers (including the team's first-ever franchise win) and has been named the UWS Offensive Player of the Week.

UWS TEAM OF THE WEEK (WEEK II)

F CARISSIMA CUTRONA (WNY Flash) - two goals v. defending East champion LI
F ELIN EKLUND (Rochester Lady Lancers) - game-tying goal in NE draw; hat trick v. Worcester
F HAILEY NORTH (Real Salt Lake Women) - two goals in two wins for RSL Women
M RACHEL MORRIER (Connecticut Fusion) - establishing herself as one of league's top midfielders *
M BROOKE BARBUTO (Rochester Lady Lancers) - best player on pitch vs. NE; hat trick vs. Worcester
M AUBREY SCHIERBEEK (Lansing United) - controlled midfield & assisted on GWG v. Genesee FC *
D YADIRA TORAYA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) - neutralized one of league's best forwards in clean sheet v. RSLW
D MELISSA ROY (GRFC Women) - helped GRFC to clean sheet v. undefeated Detroit
D MEGAN FARRELL (So Cal Crush FC) - central defender helped Crush earn point on the road vs. CO
GK ANNABELLE HEGEMAN (Genesee FC) - earned kudos from both opposing coaches for outstanding play

HONORABLE MENTION

GK KAYLYN SMITH (Colorado Pride) - several big stops for Colorado netminder
F JENNIFER BORAWSKI (Michigan Legends FC) - scored goal & consistently active in Genesee FC win
F TARYN LABREE (Colorado Pride) - one goal & several dangerous opportunities
M CHANEL JOHNSON (Connecticut Fusion) - goal; active play in midfield
D GRACE JOHNSON (Real Salt Lake Women) - solid in central defense in two wins for RSLW
D JACKIE MAZZARA (Detroit Sun FC) - strong center back play in tough luck loss

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Brooke Barbuto (Rochester Lady Lancers)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Yadira Toraya (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)

* indicates second appearance on UWS Team of the Week

About United Women's Soccer (UWS): 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 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.

Week II Roundup: UWS East

05/22/2018, 11:45am EDT
By Admin

WNY & ROC have successful road weekends; LI & NJ drop openers

FRIDAY, MAY 18

CONNECTICUT FUSION 4, NEW JERSEY COPA 1

FARMINGTON, CT - The expansion Connecticut Fusion made a statement at Farmington Sports Arena with a 4-1 victory over New Jersey Copa FC, who were the UWS East regular season champions last season. New Jersey's Jackie Bruno and Connecticut's Rachel Morrier played their version of crossbar challenge. In the 24the minute, Bruno hit a free kick from 20 yards out that hit the crossbar above the outstretched arms of Fusion goalkeeper Meghan Dalton (five saves). Ten minutes later, Morrier hit a blast from 25 yards away that also clanged off the crossbar. After a scoreless first half, Connecticut scored two goals to open up the second stanza. In the 54the minute, Jewel Robinson took the ball down the flank and her crossed was knocked in by Lauren Segalla. Just four minutes later, Chanel Johnson doubled the lead by slotting a shot past Copa goalkeeper Aytana Muschajew (nine saves). After Jeanine Nunez pulled one back for the visitors, Copa pressed for the equalizer but goals by Anna Cronin in the 86th minute and Morrier in the 89th minute sealed the victory.

SATURDAY, MAY 19

LONG ISLAND ROUGH RIDERS 1, WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH 3

NORTH HEMPSTEAD, NY - In their 2018 season opener, the defending UWS East Conference champion Long Island Rough Riders fell by a 3-1 score to the Western New York Flash at Michael J. Tully Park. WNY forward and 2017 All-UWS selection Carissima Cutrona picked up where she left off from last season with two goals for the Flash. Cutrona opened the scoring in the 36th minute on a deftly slotted through ball from forward Maddie Pezzino. The Flash added another goal just two minutes later on a goal from Anna Davies. Erica Modena of Long Island pulled one back for the home team in the 48th minute, but Cutrona put the game to rest with her second of the night in the 70th minute. This was the first game of the 2018 season for both sides, but only due to the fact that Long Island's season opener at New Jersey on May 12th was postponed to June 27th due to lightning. The two teams will meet again on June 2nd when the Rough Riders travel to D'Youville College in Buffalo for the rubber match of their season series.

NEW ENGLAND MUTINY 2, ROCHESTER LADY LANCERS 2

EAST LONGMEADOW, MA - On a cold and rainy night at East Longmeadow High School, the New England Mutiny and Rochester Lady Lancers played to a 2-2 draw. The Lady Lancers equalized the score in the 90th minute on a counterattack goal by Erin Eklund to steal a win away from the Mutiny in a match where the visitors could've taken all three points. Rochester got their lead in the 56th minute as Jada Sergeant finished off a loose ball in the penalty area after a trademark counterattack. In the 80th minute, Kate Howarth equalized the match. The team captain ran on to the ball and finished low under Rochester keeper Kenna Kosinski (four saves). Five minutes later, the Mutiny went ahead when Marissa Aniolowski's cross from the right flank met Yo Tachibana's head at the near post. The ball flew inside the far post for the 2-1 lead. Another counterattack doomed New England in the final seconds as Eklund beat Mutiny keeper Lysianne Proulx (two saves) to Mariah Williams' cross from the right flank.

SUNDAY, MAY 20

WORCESTER SMILES 3, ROCHESTER LADY LANCERS 9

WORCESTER, MA - In the wildest affair of the weekend, the Rochester Lady Lancers defeated the Worcester Smiles for their first-ever win for their second-year franchise. But it was certainly a match that did not reflect the final scoreline. Worcester led on three different occasions in the first half, but each time Rochester responded with the equalizer. With the 3-3 score lasting until the 65th minute, the Lady Lancers finally grabbed its first lead of the match on Margaret Lee's goal past Worcester goalkeeper Brittany Henderson (11 saves), assisted by Tyler Wingerden. Just one minute later, Elin Eklund put the Lancers up by two goals. The match completely unraveled for the Smiles in the last ten minutes as Rochester scored four goals in the game's waning moments off substitute goalkeeper Rachael Armenti, who did not make a save in her 16-minute performance. The duo of Brooke Barbuto and Elin Eklund continued their terrific weekend performance as both players notched hat tricks in this victory. Rochester keeper Amy Coron made seven saves.

NEW YORK SURF 0, WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH 3

BRONX, NY - An unfortunate situation unfolded Sunday afternoon at SUNY Maritime University as the educational institution double-booked the stadium facility where the Western New York Flash and New York Surf were to play their UWS East Conference match. Under league rules, the league office declared the match between the two teams as forfeit and the road team (the Flash) were awarded the 3-0 victory. The forfeit solidified a winning 2-0 start to the 2018 season while the Surf can get back in the win column - they were victorious by a 1-0 score in their season opener at Worcester in Week I action - this Saturday with a home match against the Inferno Rush. The game will be the season opener for the Inferno. 

About United Women's Soccer (UWS): 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 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.

UWS Week II Preview: East Conference

05/17/2018, 7:45pm EDT
By Admin

NJ & LIRR finally kick off 2018 after last weekend's postponement

FRIDAY, MAY 18

Connecticut Fusion vs. New Jersey Copa FC
7:00 PM EDT - Farmington Sports Arena (Farmington, CT)

After a postponement last weekend, New Jersey Copa FC will finally kick off their 2018 season on Friday night, traveling north to face the Connecticut Fusion (0-1). Last Saturday's match against Long Island was called due to lightning and last season's East regular season champions have been patiently waiting for their chance to get out on the pitch. The return of veterans such as midfielder Jackie Bruno (two-time All-UWS selection), forward Jeanine Nunez (All-UWS East selection) and midfielder Camille Bowen will bolster the young club alumni from the FC Copa Academy Celeste that have joined the UWS senior team this season.

Despite being a first-year team in the league, Connecticut has deep soccer roots - specifically with JP Dellacamera and Shep Messing who are the founding directors of the Fusion and FSA FC, who own the team and the home venue. The team showed that last Friday night as they battled it out with a long-time franchise in the New England Mutiny in their inaugural match. After giving up an early goal, Connecticut equalized on a goal from forward Tori Sousa in the 19th minute. Midfielder Rachel Morrier put the home team in front with a goal in the 57th minute. Yet, the Mutiny showed their mettle and rallied for the 3-2 win. Morrier and Sousa were named to the UWS Team of the Week for their efforts.

SATURDAY, MAY 19

Long Island Rough Riders vs. Western New York Flash
5:00 PM EDT - Michael J. Tully Park (North Hempstead, NY)

The defending UWS East Conference champions have also had to wait a week to kick off their 2018 season, and will face off against the same team they hosted at home to open last season: the Western New York Flash. On Saturday, May 13, Long Island got a dagger in the heart by the defending National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) champions as time ticked off the clock when Flash defender Kaelyn Gamel headed home a corner kick from midfielder Brittany Heist to notch a vital 1-1 road draw for the visitors at Cy Donnelly Stadium. The Rough Riders opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Marist College forward Hope Quinonez beat WNY goalkeeper Megan Tock (four saves) with her shot inside the penalty area for the 1-0 lead.

The rematch a couple of weeks later was a completely different matter, as Long Island ran away with a 7-0 victory on the road at Niagara University. The Rough Riders took an early lead in the fifth minute and never looked back. 2018 returnees Morgan Santoro and Kayla Saager combined to score five goals while veteran keeper Melissa Guglielmo made four saves in the shutout. Saager scored 11 goals and seven assists and was honored as the America East Striker of the Year for Binghamton University last fall. She was also named to the United Soccer Coaches (USC) All-East Region Second Team. Santoro was a DII All-American First Team selection for Adelphi University in her senior season in 2016.

New England Mutiny vs. Rochester Lady Lancers
7:00 PM EDT - East Longmeadow H.S. (East Longmeadow, MA)

The New England Mutiny (1-0) open the home portion of their 2018 schedule in the UWS East this Saturday night after opening their season with a 3-2 win over the Connecticut Fusion last Friday night. New England was victorious in both meetings against Rochester last season. The Mutiny also opened their 2017 home schedule at ELHS with a match against Rochester, who were competing in their inaugural season. The Mutiny offense clicked from the outset, scoring five first-half goals en route to a 5-1 victory. The two teams met again on Sunday, June 11th with Rochester proving to be a much tougher opponent. Kara Shue started the scoring for the Lady Lancers in the opening minute off an assist from Taylor Wingerden but the visitors rallied for a 2-1 win.

The Mutiny will be looking to maintain their winning start to this season as they came back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Connecticut on the road. New England opened the scoring in the 7th minute when 2017 All-UWS East selection Brenna Brown scored the UWS regular season's first goal with an assist from Mutiny all-time leading scorer Kate Howarth. The Fusion came back to go ahead 2-1 early in the second half. Goals from forward Marissa Aniolowski and defender Elena Santos put New England ahead as goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx (11 saves) kept her team in the match. Proulx, Santos and Mutiny legend Meghan Schnur were named to the UWS Team of the Week for their efforts. Proulx was also named the UWS Defensive Player of the Week. 

SUNDAY, MAY 20

New York Surf vs. Western New York Flash
1:30 PM EDT - SUNY Maritime (Bronx, NY)

The New York Surf (1-0) got off to a hot start in their 2018 season opener last Saturday night, scoring just three minutes into their match against the Worcester Smiles in the eventual 1-0 road win at Foley Stadium. Maegan Doyle's corner kick found forward Furtuna Velaj who set up Salma Tarik for the game-winner. The three saves that Surf goalkeeper Jamie Block had to make were all of the vital nature to preserve the victory. Velaj and Block were named to the UWS Team of the Week for their performances in the victory.

Western New York Head Matt Waddington will have a chore in hand this weekend, as he'll have to safely navigate his roster with two back-to-back games to open the 2018 campaign. Highlighting his returnees to this season's squad is forward Carissima Cutrona, who was named to the 2017 All-UWS First Team and led the team in scoring (26 points). Defender Danielle Braun also returns to bolster his backline, as she was named to the All-UWS East Second Team for her strong play. Waddington has added strong international experience to this year's team with Georgia Allen (U-20 England), Taylor Bennett (U-18 USA) and Charlotte Williams (U-23 USA). Williams is a Third Team All-B1G player for Penn State University.

Worcester Smiles vs. Rochester Lady Lancers
5:00 PM EDT - Foley Stadium (Worcester, MA)

After giving up an early goal in their season-opening home loss to the New York Surf, the Worcester Smiles played their opponents evenly the rest of the way and carried the run of play for a significant portion of the second half. Kristina Balfoort's blast from the top of the box was parried away by Surf goalkeeper Jamie Block as the shot deflected off the crossbar. Block was called upon a second time to preserve the lead with a save from Smiles' midfielder Giana Leone. Veteran goalkeeper Brittany Henderson, who last played in the W-League in 2010 for the Long Island Rough Riders, made six saves for the Smiles. Defender Jackie Feraco was named to the UWS Team of the Week.

Rochester Lady Lancers Head Coach Sal Galvano will also have to deal with back-to-back games this weekend but will have the addition of some veteran experience to count on - both on and off the pitch. Player/assistant coach Brooke Barbuto has brought optimism to the organization as the Syracuse, NY-native comes with vast college and professional experience. After the end of her Stony Brook University career, Barbuto went on to play professional soccer for the Western New York Flash (2009-2010). Afterwards, she had stints with Haukar in Iceland and GBK & Nice Futis in Finland. In 2017, Brooke played for the Peninsula Power in Australia and won Most Valuable Player honors for NPL QLD and NPL Women's QLD. She scored 28 times in 20 matches to lead the Power to the Premiership-Championship double.

About United Women's Soccer (UWS): 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 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.