UWS Preview: Playoff Weekend

July 15, 2021
United Women's Soccer UWS national pro-am league 2021 UWS Playoffs FC Buffalo
Photo by Ryan Bartholomew | #RoadToRoundRock

Postseason action gets underway in United Women’s Soccer 

Metuchen, NJ -- The most exciting time of the United Women’s Soccer season is here, with postseason play beginning this weekend as teams begin the #RoadToRoundRock. Plenty of talented players line the rosters of the 16 teams still in action as the league inches closer to crowning a champion. These playoffs feature plenty of UWS newcomers striving to leave their mark early, while clubs with playoff experience will be looking to put that to use. 

East Conference

Semi-Final #1

Syracuse DA (2nd) vs CT Fusion (3rd)

Date: Friday, July 16

Start Time: 5 pm ET

Venue: Coyer Field at Buffalo State College (Buffalo, NY)

Semi-Final #2

FC Buffalo (1st) vs Lancaster Inferno (4th)

Date: Friday, July 16

Start Time: 7:30 pm ET

Venue: Coyer Field at Buffalo State College (Buffalo, NY)

Final

Winner of Semi-Final #1 vs Winner of Semi-Final #2

Date: Sunday, July 18

Start Time: 2 pm ET

Venue: Coyer Field at Buffalo State College (Buffalo, NY)

The East Conference concludes in style this weekend, with four quality sides vying for a place in the UWS National Championship Tournament. Two intriguing semifinal matches are set for Friday at Buffalo State College, with the conference title game slated for Sunday. 

United Women's Soccer UWS national pro-am league 2021 UWS Playoffs Connecticut Fusion Syracuse DA
photo by Clarus Multimedia Group | #RoadToRoundRock

The first semifinal involves Syracuse DA and CT Fusion. Syracuse enters this game as one of the hottest sides in UWS, having won four straight at the end of the season to bolt up the standings and secure a place in the playoffs. Syracuse relied on a stingy defense all season, conceding just five times. Brooke Barbuto served as a crucial creative force and reliable goalscorer, assisting on five goals and scoring four herself in the regular season. CT Fusion got off to a hot start, stumbling a bit in the middle of the season before rebounding with two wins to cap off the campaign. Tiffany Weimer paced their attack all season, with eight goals in seven games played to lead the team. These two sides played to a 1-1 draw in their only matchup of the year. 

United Women's Soccer UWS national pro-am league 2021 UWS Playoffs FC Buffalo Lancaster Inferno Lanc PA NY

The second semifinal sees regular-season champs and UWS newcomer FC Buffalo take on Lancaster Inferno. FC Buffalo lost just twice all season in a stellar campaign, but both of those losses came in their final four games of the season after a great start. Kelsey Araujo either scored or assisted on 10 of the 14 goals FC Buffalo scored this season, meaning she’ll be a crucial presence in this game. Lancaster Inferno comes into this match having doubled their win total for the season in their last two matches to sneak into the field. The Inferno was one of the more draw-prone sides in the country, with four stalemates to their name, and that meant nearly missing out on the field. Their offense revolves around the creativity of Teresa Rook (Rynier) who supplied eight assists this season. These clubs played to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season. 

Semi-Final #1

Midwest United FC (1st) vs Corktown AFC (2nd)

Date: Thursday, July 15

Start Time: 7 pm ET

Venue: Midwest United FC Complex (Grand Rapids, MI)

Semi-Final #2

Chicago Mustangs (1st) vs St. Louis Scott Gallagher (1st)

Date: Thursday, July 15

Start Time: 7 pm CT

Venue: The MAC Sports Center (Crystal Lake, IL)

Final

Winner of Semi-Final #1 vs Winner of Semi-Final #2

Date: Saturday, July 17

Start Time: TBD

Venue: TBD

Two conferences come together here as teams from the Central and Midwest divisions will battle it out along the #RoadtoRoundRock. Midwest United FC will host Corktown AFC in the first semifinal in what will be the third match of the season between these two Midwest North rivals, while two first-place teams in Chicago Mustangs and St. Louis Scott Gallagher do battle in the other semi. 

United Women's Soccer UWS national pro-am league 2021 UWS Playoffs Midwest United FC Corktown AFC
#RoadToRoundRock

Midwest United boasts plenty of UWS playoff success, with most of it realized under the name Grand Rapids FC. Now they’re looking for more, having finished the regular season unbeaten with just one draw. The 42 goals they scored this season are the most in all of UWS, with eight of those coming from star Stephanie Currie, who is tied for third in UWS in goalscoring. Midwest United comes up against Corktown AFC in this semifinal, a team playing its first season under the UWS umbrella. Corktown also had a regular season to be proud of, with just three losses to go along with seven wins. Itala Gemelli and Madison Shupbach both reached double-digit point tallies this season. These two clubs played two games this season, with Midwest United winning both by a 4-2 score. 

United Women's Soccer UWS national pro-am league 2021 UWS Playoffs Chicago Mustangs St. Louis Scott Gallagher SLSG
#RoadToRoundRock

The other semifinal features two clubs who finished at the top of their respective divisions playing their first season in UWS. Chicago Mustangs steamrolled their way through the Midwest South this season, claiming victory every time they took the pitch. They also boasted one of the most potent attacks in UWS with 39 goals, but their defense was truly elite, conceding just three times all season. Mallory Olsson has led the line for Chicago Mustangs, with eight goals to tie her for third nationally. Their opponents come from the Central Conference, which St. Louis Scott Gallagher won with five victories in eight matches to narrowly best Gretna Elite. St. Louis lost its opening match of the season but went seven games unbeaten after that, and will have plenty of momentum entering this game. They were led by Sydney Stephens, with three goals and two assists. 

Southwest Conference

Semi-Final #1

SA Athenians (2nd) vs Side FC 92 (3rd)

Date: Saturday, July 17

Start Time: 6 pm CT

Venue: RL Anderson Stadium (Mansfield, TX)

United Women's Soccer UWS national pro-am league San Antonio Athenians Side FC 92

Semi-Final #2

Lone Star Republic (1st) vs FC Austin Elite (4th)

Date: Saturday, July 17

Start Time: 8:30 pm CT

Venue: RL Anderson Stadium (Mansfield, TX)

United Women's Soccer UWS national pro-am league Lone Star Republic LSR FC Austin Elite

Final: 

Winner of Semi-Final #1 vs Winner of Semi-Final #2

Date: Sunday, July 18 

Start Time: 7 pm CT

Venue: RL Anderson Stadium (Mansfield, TX)

After a thrilling regular season, the playoffs begin in the Southwest Conference on Saturday, with both games set for RL Anderson Stadium in Mansfield, Texas, and plenty of juicy storylines to choose from. 

The first semifinal will be contested between SA Athenians and Side FC 92. SA Athenians won all but one of their matches this season, scoring 31 goals and conceding 11, but that was only good enough to earn them second place in the Southwest. Amanda Smith scored seven goals in eight games played to lead a deep Athenians scoring attack. Side FC 92 narrowly edged out a third-place finish after an up-and-down finish to the season. Side FC rivaled the scoring output of Athenians, finishing the season with only two fewer goals, but had a slightly leakier defense than their semifinal opponents. Joan Nakirya was one of just two players in UWS to reach double-digit scoring in the regular season, finishing with 10 goals. SA Athenians won the only meeting between these clubs this season by a 2-1 score. 

Lone Star Republic and FC Austin Elite will do battle in the second semifinal. Lone Star Republic was one of the truly dominant sides across UWS this season, winning all 10 of the games they played and scoring 41 goals while conceding only 5. Kennedy Kessler proved to be the most prolific goalscorer in the nation, with 12 goals to lead all players, and she will certainly be looking to add to that total here. FC Austin Elite, meanwhile, found things difficult down the stretch, losing three of their last four games. They didn’t post the same goalscoring numbers as some of the other sides in the playoffs, finding the back of the net 17 times, but could rely on one of the conference’s more sturdy defenses all season. Ryann Hierholzer’s five goals led the way for this group. Lone Star Republic won the only matchup between these two sides this season, 4-2. 

West Conference

Santa Clarita vs Impact FC

Date: Friday, July 16

Start Time: 6 pm PT

Venue: Masters University (Santa Clarita, CA)

United Women's Soccer UWS national pro-am league Santa Clarita Blue Heat Impact FC Canada SCBH
Photo by Dustin Bowdige | #RoadToRoundRock

Kongo SC vs Calgary Foothills

Date: Friday, July 16

Start Time: 7 pm MT

Venue: Spence Eccles Sports Complex (Ogden, UT)

United Women's Soccer UWS national pro-am league Kongo SC Calgary Foothills WFC Canada

Santa Clarita vs Calgary Foothills

Date: Sunday, July 18

Start Time: 6 pm PT

Venue: Masters University (Santa Clarita, CA)

Kongo SC vs Impact FC

Date: Sunday, July 18

Start Time: 6 pm MT

Venue: Spence Eccles Sports Complex (Ogden, UT)

The regular season ends this weekend in the West Conference, with four crucial games on the schedule. The regular-season champion will earn a place in Round Rock for the UWS National Championship. 

Santa Clarita Blue Heat currently occupies first place in the West. The 2016 National Champions will take on both of the Canada-based teams in UWS this weekend: Impact FC and Calgary Foothills. Impact FC and Calgary Foothills each won one of two games between each other earlier this month. Impact FC will look to climb the standings in its inaugural season in UWS, taking on Kongo SC and SC Blue Heat this weekend. Calgary Foothills will have the same two opponents on their schedule this weekend as they look to claim two wins and get back to the National Championship Tournament after finishing as the runners-up in 2019. Kongo SC earned a victory last time out after going three games without one to start the season and will look to build on that positive momentum to close out their first season in UWS. 

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