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Regular Season 2018
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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)


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 You can visit the league’s official website at Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. by e-mail at

2018 UWS All-Southwest Conference Awards

07/31/2018, 11:45am EDT
By Admin

HOU sweep the inaugural Southwest Conference accolades

METUCHEN, NJ - For the second straight season, United Women's Soccer added a new conference and in 2018, the Southwest Conference was born. The five-team division was based solely in the state of Texas and saw a familiar team to the league, the Houston Aces, become it's first conference champion. After spending the first two season of UWS play in the West Conference, the Aces ran right through the competition in the Southwest, winning all eight of their games and outscoring their opponents 53-3. And if that wasn't enough, they claimed their first league title with a 1-0 victory over the Inferno Rush in the UWS National Final.

Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year - Gisela Arrieta (Houston Aces)

The Colombian international had a season to remember in 2018 as she led the UWS in scoring with 15 goals and 31 points. After going goalless in the Aces' opening match, the Graceland University product went off, scoring in seven straight matches with five of those being multi-goal games. Then she carried the form into the postseason where she made defenses cringe in trying to defend her. She scored the equalizing goal in the UWS National Semifinal victory over Calgary and then despite not scoring in the Final, she created several good chances against Inferno Rush and opened up space for the rest of her attacking unit. Houston will hope that they will see a replication of her 2018 success in 2019 as this was a special year for her.

Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year - Natalia Ariza (Houston Aces)

It was a solid campaign in the back for Natalia Ariza as she featured in every match for the Aces and was an integral part of holding opponents to just three goals throughout the regular season. In addition to scoring three goals during the regular season, the UWS National Championship weekend was when the 2012 Olympian shined the most in squaring off against two quality opponents in Calgary and Inferno. She handled the pressure of a major competition with great composure and hardly missed out on a challenge that entire weekend, including leading the side to a clean sheet over 120 minutes in the Final against the Inferno Rush.

Southwest Conference Coach of the Year - Gui Ferreira (Houston Aces)

After the Aces ran right through the Southwest Conference in the regular season, Gui Ferreira lead the Aces to their first UWS league title in impressive fashion. With their perfect season and setting new records for most goals scored and least goals conceded in a season, Ferreira nets his first Coach of the Year accolade in UWS.

2018 UWS All-Southwest Conference Team

GK: Anna Hughes (Houston Aces)

D: Shauna Peare (Houston Aces)

D: Carina Baltrip-Reyes (FC Austin Elite)

D: Natalia Ariza (Houston Aces)

MF: Tatiana Ariza (Houston Aces)

MF: Emily Jorgens (FC Austin Elite)

MF: Marina Diaz Leal Arrellaga (Houston Aces)

F: Gisela Arrieta (Houston Aces)

F: Christina Arteaga (FC Austin Elite)

F: Julie Gavorski (Houston Aces)

F: Mackenzie Scovill (North Texas Image)

2018 UWS All-Southwest Conference Honorable Mention

D: Alexia Salas (North Texas Image)

D: Jennifer LaPonte (Houston Aces)

D: Natalya Ramirez (North Texas Image)

M: Paige Hayward (Houston Aces)

M: Miah Zuazua (North Texas Image)

M: Sabrina Munguia (HAR FC)

F: Kimberlin Palacios (FC Austin Elite)

F: Desiree Morgas (ASA El Paso)

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

FC Austin Elite:

           DEF: Carina Baltrip-Reyes (Week VII)

           MID: Emily Jorgens (Week IX)

           FOR: Jayme Woodfill (Week VII hon. mention), Christina Arteaga (FCA, Week IX)

ASA El Paso:

           FOR: Desiree Morgas (Week V)


           MID: Idalys Rea (Week X hon. mention)

Houston Aces:

           DEF: Shauna Peare (Week VIII)

           FOR: Rachel Owens (Week IV), Gisela Arrieta (Week V hon. mention, Week VII), Julie Gavorski (Week VI)

North Texas Image:

           DEF: Alexia Salas (Week VIII hon. mention)

           MID: Miah Zuazua (Week IX)

           FOR: Mackenzie Scovill (Week V 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 You can visit the league’s official website at Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. by e-mail at

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.


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