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UWS West Conference

Regular Season 2018

Recent UWS West Conference News

Week III Preview: UWS West

05/24/2018, 3:30pm EDT
By Admin

CFWFC kicks off campaign; SAC adds former PSU star Driesse

FRIDAY, MAY 25

Real Salt Lake Women vs. Calgary Foothills Women's FC
7:00 PM MDT - RSL Academy (Herriman, UT)

Calgary kicks off their 2018 season in the UWS West with a road match inside the spacious confines of Zions Bank RSL Academy on Friday evening against an already tested RSL Women side, who played two matches last weekend and top the conference with a 1-0-1 record (four points). Head Coach Troye Flannery is looking to top last year's success, where his side finished in second place in their inaugural season. He has signed a great mix of returning players and newcomers that include the likes of forward Joelle Gosselin (who led the team in scoring in 2017 and was a All-UWS West First Team selection) and goalkeeper Emily Burns (All-UWS Second Team, All-UWS West First Team and Calgary's Fan Player of the Year). First-year players like forwards Alex Lamontagne (Syracuse Univ.) & Christabel Oduro (Memphis Univ.) add pop to the lineup as both have been capped at the senior international level for Canada.

Foothills WFC faces a talented Real Salt Lake team who opened their 2018 campaign at home last Friday night and took to the road for a Sunday match in Colorado. Head Coach Mark Davis can be proud of his team's start (1-0-1) as every positive result is going to matter in a deep UWS West race this summer. Supporters and Utah Royals FC (NWSL) players alike were there to support the RSL Women when they kicked off against the Santa Clarita Blue Heat. The hosts controlled the match early on, holding possession for much of the first half, and generated a couple good shots on goal including a blast from forward Colette Smith from 30 yards that rattled the crossbar. Santa Clarita was able to find control of the ball more often in the second half but ultimately, despite a lot of quality play from both sides, the match ended in a 0-0 draw. Last Sunday at Mountain Lion Stadium in Colorado Springs, Real Salt Lake came from behind to notch a 3-2 win and put them on top of the West.

The Colorado Pride jumped on top early in the match, as Venezuelan youth international Veronica Herrara netted a header off of Beth Plentl's corner kick in the 11th minute. RSLW applied high pressure early and it paid off six minutes later as forward Hailey North evened the score on a pass from defender Grace Johnson. In the second half, North gained the edge for the visitors as she entered the penalty area and scored her second of the match midway through the frame. Real went up 3-1 in the 76th minute when Colette Smith split two Pride defenders and put it past goalkeeper Kaylyn Smith. The Pride immediately responded but could not even the score. Both North and Johnson were named to the UWS Team of the Week for their efforts. Calgary will look to make an immediate impression in their first match of this season as they have yet to defeat Real Salt Lake, going 0-1-1 against them last season without registering a goal scored.

SATURDAY, MAY 26

Santa Clarita Blue Heat vs. LA Galaxy OC Women
6:00 PM PDT - Master's University (Santa Clarita, CA)

LA Galaxy OC Women and Head Coach Scott Juniper commence their inaugural campaign in the UWS West with a big test, traveling a little bit north to take on an experienced and successful Santa Clarita Blue Heat side. Yet, Juniper has assembled a rock solid roster that he can feel will be able to stand the pressure of the deep lineup of teams in the conference. Former University of Colorado and current Mexico Women's National Team defender Joss Orejel solidifies his defense, as she was just called up for their recent friendlies against the USWNT. Former Cal State Fullerton star & Seattle Reign FC trialist Morgan Batcheller also adds more veteran presence to the LAGOC backline. More international flair was added via signings like U-20 Australian National Team members Brooke Goodrich & Ayesha Norrie while U-20 Ghana forward Sherifatu Sumaila helps lead the offense.

After a solid 0-0 draw on the road against the Real Salt Lake Women last week, Santa Clarita have already been bolstered by the news that former Penn Sate University and Orlando Pride midfielder Nickolette Driesse has signed for the team this season. After the conclusion of her Nittany Lions career, Driesse was the 32nd overall pick by Orlando in the 2017 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft. She appeared in four matches for the Pride during the 2017 NWSL season before being waived in February, despite her strong play and potential. Nikki joins a stacked Blue Heat squad who already possess a strong veteran core. Team co-captains Kelsey Gudgeon (2016 All-UWS selection) and Lauren Sesselmann (2017 All-UWS selection & former Canadian international) lead the team alongside fellow defender Yadira Toraya, who was just named UWS Defensive Player of the Week after last Friday's draw.

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: 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 West

05/22/2018, 12:15pm EDT
By Admin

RSLW & SAC battle inside Herriman; CO goes 0-1-1 in UWS return

FRIDAY, MAY 18

COLORADO PRIDE 2, SO CAL CRUSH FC 2

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The Colorado Pride's return to UWS was spoiled by a late goal from So Cal Crush forward Taylor Scott in the 2-2 draw. The Pride had the run of play in the first half, outshooting the visitors (7-1) while having two goals negated on offside calls. The first Pride goal of the season came in the 56th minute when two products of the Pride youth program connected: Taryn LaBree lofted a cross from the right flank ahead of Alessa Muir. It was a race to the ball at the top of the penalty area with Crush netminder Kearra Bastes-Jones (seven saves) and Muir got a foot on the ball and flicked it toward the empty net as the players collided for the 1-0 lead. Eight minutes later, Colorado took a 2-0 advantage when LaBree put away a short blast into an open net after a perfect cross from Eliza Bona. In the 68th minute, Karina Cisneros cleaned up a corner kick in traffic off of Leila Gray's service to half the lead. In the 82nd minute, Eva Dixon came upfield on a 2-on-1 and blasted a shot from 20 yards out that Pride keeper Kaylyn Smith (five saves) dove to make a beautiful save. But the rebound sat up for the oncoming Scott who drilled it into the net for the equalizer.

REAL SALT LAKE WOMEN 0, SANTA CLARITA BLUE HEAT 0

HERRIMAN, UT - RSL Women opened the 2018 UWS season with a rivalry match against Santa Clarita Blue Heat. A crowd of around 80 supporters including a Utah Royals FC (NWSL) players gathered inside the recently-opened Zions Bank Real Academy state-of-the-art indoor field. The hosts controlled the match early on, holding possession for much of the first half, and generated a couple good shots on goal including a blast from forward Colette Smith from 30 yards that rattled the crossbar. The visitors also took their share of long shots that RSL Women goalkeeper Carly Nelson (three saves) was able to contain. Play opened up a bit more in the second half, with Santa Clarita able to find control of the ball more often, and making several dangerous runs on the RSL goal. Ultimately, despite a lot of quality play from both sides, the score remained locked at 0-0 with both defenses and keepers holding solid for the night. Blue Heat net minder Lauren Brzykcy made two saves for the visitors.

SUNDAY, MAY 20

COLORADO PRIDE 2, REAL SALT LAKE WOMEN 3

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - On Military Appreciation Day at Mountain Lion Stadium, things looked promising early for the Colorado Pride as they jumped on top in the 11th minute. Pride newcomer and Venezuelan youth international Veronica Herrara netted a header off of Beth Plentl's corner kick. Real applied high pressure early and it paid off just six minutes later as Hailey Skolmoski evened the score on a pass from Grace Johnson. The team honored Purple Heart recipient & 2014 US Soccer Disabled Player of the Year and US Army Staff Sargent Gavin Sibayan during halftime ceremonies. The Pride had seemingly figured out how to counter the Real pressure in the second half, but Skolmoski gained the edge for the visitors as she entered the penalty area and scored her second of the match midway through the frame. Real went up 3-1 in the 76th minute when Colette Smith split two Pride defenders and put it past UCCS goalkeeper Kaylyn Smith (six saves). The Pride immediately responded, drawing back within one goal just a minute later when UCCS senior Maddie Tominello found an open Eliza Bona streaking down the right side. The combo of Winona Frishette and Carly Nelson made two saves for RSL in the win.

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.