UWS Week VI Preview
The upcoming matches of the 2017 United Women’s Soccer season should be exciting as the West Conference Real Salt Lake travels north to Calgary for vital West tilt and Midwest Conference surpasses the midway point of the campaign.
UWS Soccer News: The United Women’s Soccer (UWS) prepared well for this season and strong on field action can be seen all around on UWS fields
UWS Soccer Update:
Week VI action in the Midwest Conference will go a long way into determining the top echelon of teams as a majority will surpass the midway point of the campaign. After a four-game road trip, Grand Rapids FC Women host a pair of top Midwest teams in FC Indiana and conference leaders Detroit. Toledo Villa FC can put themselves into conference consideration with their fourth straight home match against Indy Premier SC, who have yet to notch a victory this season. FCI’s three-game winning streak will face an uphill climb with a two-game road trip this weekend.
United Women’s Soccer (UWS) FRIDAY, JUNE 16
Grand Rapids FC Women vs. FC Indiana
7:00 PM EDT – Grandville H.S. (Grandville, MI)
After four consecutive road matches, Grand Rapids FC Women (3-1-1 Midwest) will finally return home for their next three conference games, starting this weekend with two tilts at Grandville High School. Grand Rapids got their second win of a 2-1-1 road trip against Friday night’s opponents FC Indiana (3-2 Midwest) on Friday, June 2nd at Newton Park in Lakeville, IN. The GRFC Women notched their second straight shutout with thanks to goalkeeper Reilley Ott (six saves) while FCI keeper Andrea Vera made 13 saves in the 3-0 loss. Defender Clare Carlson scored the game-winning goal on the goal line in the 30th minute after midfielder Annie Steinlage’s shot off a corner kick deflected off of Vera.
That was the second loss to start the season for FC Indiana and they’ve responded with three straight victories since that loss to Grand Rapids – all by a 2-1 score. The winning streak started with a road win over Toledo on June 4th on goals by forward Ashley Johnson and midfielder Jennifer Munoz. Johnson would net the game-winning goal in the 35th minute of their victory over Fort Wayne on Wednesday, June 7th. Midfielder Hikaru Nakamura made her first goal of 2017 a match-deciding one last Friday at home against Indy Premier. Nakamura’s 90th minute goal completed the two-goal comeback for FCI, after Yo Tachibana levelled the score in the 58th minute in the Indianapolis derby. It was the second straight win in goal for keeper Tarah Hobbs.
Toledo Villa FC vs. Indy Premier SC
7:00 PM EDT – Northview H.S. (Sylvania, OH)
Toledo Villa FC (2-1-1 Midwest) will host the fourth of five straight home matches at Northview High School on Friday night, as win-less Indy Premier SC comes to town. This match will give the Villa Women an opportunity to put a winning streak together for the first time this season, and put their names in the hat in the Midwest title race. After their first loss of 2017 to FC Indiana on June 4th, Toledo responded with an emphatic 3-0 win over Fort Wayne last Saturday. Midfielder Veronica Zaciek continued her torrid scoring pace with goals in the 13th and 64th minutes, while forward Marissa Swindell’s two assists puts her in the team lead in that category (3).
Zaciek’s 10 points (four goals, two assists) leads the Villa Women in scoring, and it all started in the team’s season-opening 3-0 win on the road over Indy Premier. With a short bench, Toledo notched the huge victory over IPSC with thanks to two first-half goals from Zaciek and a shutout from goalkeeper Sam Tiongson’s (two saves) at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium. Bowling Green University forward Skylar Fleak fired home from six yards out for the 3-0 final score while the visitors out-shot the home side by a 9-2 margin.
United Women’s Soccer (UWS) SUNDAY, JUNE 18
Grand Rapids FC Women vs. Detroit Sun FC
3:00 PM EDT – Grandville H.S. (Grandville, MI)
If the Grand Rapids FC Women can emerge victorious in Friday night’s match over FC Indiana, it will set up another big match in the Midwest title race on Sunday afternoon when they host conference leaders Detroit Sun FC. In an early season matchup between two of the top Midwest teams on Saturday, May 20th, Detroit scored first and held the lead in a 2-1 home win over Grand Rapids at Ultimate Soccer Arenas. Two goals from forward Madison Schupbach shone bright for the Sun in this match Sun while goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem made five saves. GRFC cut the lead in half in the 79th minute on midfielder Avery Lockwood’s penalty kick but they could not get the draw.
It was the only loss of the season for Grand Rapids, who will look to get two home victories this weekend after a disappointing result in their last match on Saturday, June 10th. The GRFC Women went up 2-0 on goals from Maddie Pogarch and Marti Corby in their road match against Michigan Legends FC, but gave up back-to-back goals in a four-minute span midway through the second half in the 2-2 draw. Lauren Wynns came off the bench to score in the 65th minute and Madison Duncan completed the comeback in the 69th minute for MLFC. Corby, Pogarch and Anna Stinson are tied for the team lead in goals scored (2) for GRFC while Annie Steinlage leads the team in assists (4).
Indy Premier SC vs. FC Indiana
3:00 PM EDT – Park Tudor School (Indianapolis, IN)
In their first-ever derby last Friday, June 9th, both Indy Premier SC and FC Indiana did not disappoint in a exciting encounter for the Indianapolis-based organizations. In the end, FCI sent their fans home on a high note with a late game-winning goal in the 2-1 victory over IPSC at Newton Park. It was a great start for the visitors and they had a 1-0 lead going into halftime with thanks to a goal from forward Danielle Hayden. The dual-threat on offense & defense from University of Kentucky nutmegged FCI goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs in the 33rd minute and it was the first goal of the season for IPSC. Indy Premier had been out-scored by a 5-0 margin in three defeats to commence conference play.
In contrast, last Friday’s 2-1 win for FC Indiana continued their three-game winning streak and if they’re victorious over Grand Rapids in their Friday night match, the chance to sweep the season derby on Sunday afternoon will also give them a fifth win in conference action. But as we’ve seen so far this season throughout the national pro-am league, getting two road wins in one weekend is a difficult proposition and has only been accomplished once.
The Santa Clarita Blue Heat are not only the defending conference champions in the West, but they also hold the 2016 United Women’s Soccer (UWS) title for themselves. Three games into the 2017 season and Santa Clarita are ahead of the pack with an undefeated record and games in hand on their top competition for the West crown, the Real Salt Lake Women. The RSL Women and Calgary Foothills Women’s FC face off in a vital showdown in each team’s mission to keep pace with the Blue Heat while Houston faces a tough two-game road trip to southern California.
United Women’s Soccer (UWS) SATURDAY, JUNE 17
Calgary Foothills Women’s FC vs. Real Salt Lake Women
6:00 PM MDT – Calgary Soccer Centre (Calgary, AB)
Coming into the 2017 season, both Calgary Foothills Women’s FC (1-2 West) and Real Salt Lake Women (3-2 West) had big expectations and high hopes for their respective conference campaigns. Even though they are a first-year team, Calgary Head Coach Troye Flannery put together a strong roster chock full of the top talent not only from the area but from around Canada Like the trio of Mya Jones, Sarah Kinzner and Michelle Roy. Real Salt Lake were mere minutes away from capturing the West title last season and with a veteran core returning this season combined with new talent like U.S. U-23 Women’s National team forward Hailey Skolmoski (4 goals scored, leading the team), the conference crown was on the mind of 2016 West Coach of the Year Mark Davis.
Yet, this Saturday’s game between the two sides will prove to be a make-or-break type of result when it comes to each organization’s title aspirations. Simply put, a third loss in conference play will doom that team to fighting the rest of their campaign for a winning record. A win for either side will help them keep pace with the Santa Clarita Blue Heat, who are tied in first-place with the RSL Women in points (9) but are undefeated and have two games in hand. Real Salt Lake has momentum on their side as they were victorious last Saturday night over Houston by a 4–2 score via a stunning late-game comeback. At the same time, Calgary fought valiantly against defending UWS champion Santa Clarita but to no avail, as the Blue Heat came away with a 1-0 road win.
Santa Clarita Blue Heat vs. Houston Aces
6:00 PM PDT – Master’s Univ. (Santa Clarita, CA)
The Santa Clarita Blue Heat (3-0 West) have come out of the gates this season in impressive fashion, going undefeated, not allowing a goal scored against them and winning in a differing matter of ways. In their season opener, they went up against first-year side So Cal Crush FC and in the first installment of their local derby, Santa Clarita was powered by two goal efforts from Costa Rican international Carolina Venegas and Florida State freshman Emily Madril in a 4-0 win. Two 1-0 shutout wins over Real Salt Lake and Calgary have followed, as veteran goalkeeper Jojo McCaskill has made the important saves while FSU standout Natalie Kuikka has been a great addition to an experienced back line.
The Houston Aces (0-2 West) were also minutes away from capturing the West crown last year and while they have fought bravely in their first two matches of 2017, they have yet to break the deadlock in their favor. In both losses to Calgary and Real Salt Lake, Houston was able to come from behind and tie the match. Although, Calgary would forge ahead in their 2-1 win via goals from Joelle Gosselin. And after going up 2-1 in last Saturday night’s match at Real Salt Lake, the Aces defense would fold their hand in the second half, allowing three unanswered goals in a 4-2 loss. In an effort for their first win of 2017, Houston can look back on their success in 2016: on June 18th, the Aces dealt the Blue Heat their only home loss, a thrilling come-from-behind 4-3 victory that kept them in the title race.
United Women’s Soccer (UWS) SUNDAY, JUNE 18
So Cal Crush FC vs. Houston Aces
1:00 PM PDT – Crescenta Valley H.S. (La Crescenta, CA)
It will be a two-week layoff since their last match for So Cal Crush FC (1-2 West), and after a momentous start to their inaugural campaign, the first-year team has most certainly needed that time off. Crush FC kicked off their 2017 season with one of the biggest upsets in recent pro-am soccer history with a 2-0 shutout on the road at Real Salt Lake on Saturday, May 20th. So Cal were led by goalkeeper Adriana Maldonado on defense and forward Nancy Avesyan on offense and prospects were looking good for the team and aspirations were sky high. In their next two games, however, SCCFC would be harshly brought back down to earth.
Santa Clarita would open their title defense in rock solid fashion and humble So Cal in the first-ever derby between the two Los Angeles-based sides by a 4-0 score on Friday, May 26th. Eight days later, Real Salt Lake would exact unyielding revenge on Crush FC, getting a first half hat trick from Hailey Skolmoski en route to a 5-0 win. In the big picture, being out-scored by a 9-0 margin can certainly give SCCFC Head Coach Reggie Rivas much to contemplate but he can be buoyed by the second half performance of his side in the RSLW defeat. Avesyan is still someone that an opponent’s defense has to take care of while his defense has been boosted by the play of left back Allison Arriola.
About United Women’s Soccer (UWS): UWS is a national women’s soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer through the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). 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.