Metuchen, NJ -- The first full slate of the United Women’s Soccer season is now in the books, with 25 contests around the league providing plenty of drama, quality and sparkling individual performances.
Midweek action on Thursday saw Nationals FC and Michigan Jaguars each find the back of the net once, splitting the spoils in a 1-1 draw. The result made it two games unbeaten for Nationals FC upon entering the league, while Michigan Jaguars grabbed their first point in UWS. Alex Pulaski got off the mark for Nationals FC, and Noel Blain scored Michigan Jaguars’ first UWS goal.
Corktown Hawks did their work early, securing a second straight win to begin the season. The first two goals for the home side showcased strong technique, with Maya Carter and Delaney Caldwell each firing home first-time finishes from crosses out wide. Carter’s second goal of the day came in the air, as she powered in Madison Canada’s corner to complete the scoring.
The first victory at the UWS level for Cap City Athletic was an emphatic one, as they claimed a 7-1 win over Muskegon Risers. Jordyn Wickes deposited a first-half brace, and Danielle Stephan and Zivana Labovic each also found the back of the net to make it 4-0 at halftime. Sydney Kloosterman scored a hat trick over the span of seven minutes to complete the win, with Alicia Shatrau adding a consolation goal for Muskegon Risers.
FC Wichita’s two first-half goals were enough to make it two victories over Side FC 92 in two games to begin the 2022 campaign. Hadlie Lowe began the scoring for FC Wichita 13 minutes in, and Lina Fasquelle took advantage of a mistake to make it 2-0 before the break. Gabrielle Abbey responded at the 75-minute mark to cut the lead in half, but Side FC 92 never found the equalizer it needed.
Gretna Elite began its season with an emphatic road win, knocking off UWS debutants Arkansas Comets 5-0 on Saturday. Ariana Mondiri’s elite finishing ability in the box earned her a hat trick before the end of the first half. Ximena Jauregui added on an insurance goal in the second half, and an 82nd-minute own goal concluded the scoring.
A piece of individual brilliance and some strong defensive play earned Sporting Nebraska their first UWS victory. Lindsey Prokop scored the club’s first goal in UWS with a free kick from 25 yards in the 30th minute for the only goal of the game. Sporting Nebraska conceded only three shots as it closed out the win.
Side FC came back from behind to notch its first win of the season over KC Courage, rebounding from a difficult loss on Friday. Abigail Small’s shot from range edged KC Courage in front, and the visitors maintained their lead until Alaina Trevino’s header leveled the scores. In the 71st minute, Jordyn Blackburn fed Kennedy Langebartels, who provided a simple finish to put Side FC 92 ahead for good.
Indiana Union issued a strong statement of intent, claiming an 11-0 victory to open its UWS campaign. Alexa Fraley and Isabella Wallace led the way, each finding the back of the net four times in the dominant victory. Fraley also set up three goals, while Wallace issued two assists. Sarah Foulk scored twice as well, with Brooke Bailey’s tally rounding out the scoring.
This highly anticipated rematch from last year’s playoffs delivered the drama, with Chicago Mustangs coming from behind to beat St. Louis SG, 2-1. Sydney Stephens put St. Louis SG ahead in the seventh minute, but Nina Nicosia got Chicago Mustangs back on level terms before halftime. The winner came from Julia Simon in the 69th minute, thanks to an assist by substitute Emily Chudik.
Chicago Mustangs left little doubt in this one, grabbing firm control of their contest against UWS debutants RBFC Elite from the onset in a 17-0 victory. Four goals from Mallory Olsson and an incredible five assists from Nina Nicosia led the way.
Lancaster Inferno began its campaign with a stout defensive performance, resulting in a 1-0 victory over UWS debutants Paisley Athletic, who performed well against a playoff side from last season. The only scoring of the game came from Taylor Mentzer’s rocket into the upper left corner from 30-yards out. The finish came after Mentzer collected a cheeky pass from Maddie Mohr.
Coppermine United earned a memorable win over NJ Copa in its first game in UWS, keeping the established UWS side off the scoreboard thanks to nine saves from keeper Maddie Smith. The only goal of the contest came from Hannah Hoefs, who finished with an assist by Madison Carr in the 39th minute.
NE Mutiny made it two consecutive victories to open the season, dominating CT Rush in a 5-1 home victory. Catherine Barry was the difference maker on the day. She tallied four goals in an outstanding performance, completing her hat trick by the 36th minute. Hope Santaniello also found the scoresheet for the victors, while Natalie Godoy’s early free-kick goal marked the only scoring for the visitors.
All the action came in the first 22 minutes of this New England Division clash, as Albany Rush and CT Fusion played to a 2-2 stalemate. Katelyn Krohn was rewarded for her pressing in the first minute, picking off a back-pass to put Albany Rush ahead. Roma McLaughlin retaliated for CT Fusion 14 minutes later, placing her shot in the top corner. Once again Albany Rush moved in front in the 20th minute on Emily Drake’s penalty, but Tori Sousa’s free kick restored parity two minutes later.
Scorpions SC claimed their first win of the 2022 UWS season in style, besting Worcester Smiles 6-0 on Saturday. Cara Schmindlein scored twice, and Kira Maguire added a brace of her own to lead the way. Lauren Banavita and Makayla Griffin also found the goal in the victory.
FC Buffalo got the better of this all-Buffalo clash, defeating FC Berlin 2-0 in the latter club’s UWS debut. FC Berlin acquitted itself well, forcing Jessica Jones into some solid saves, but Carissima Cutrona scored one goal and assisted Tatyjana Scalisi to account for all the offense FC Buffalo needed.
This match was postponed to a later date due to severe weather.
Two first-year UWS sides put on a thrilling display of high-scoring soccer, with FC Berlin and Pittsburgh Hotspurs finishing in a 3-3 stalemate. Tegan Morrison and Katelyn Kauffman exchanged goals in the first half, then FC Berlin went ahead on Morrison’s penalty in the 47th minute. Pittsburgh Hotspurs responded via Jordyn Kowalkowski’s tally, then went in front after an 89th-minute own goal. But the dramatics weren’t finished. Morrison collected a through ball from Simone Timm, and completed her hat trick with a finish that earned FC Berlin a point.
Atlanta Panthers opened their 2022 season with a dominant 9-0 victory over UWS rookies FC Birmingham. Alexandra Ross led the way with a hat trick, Madison Haugen and Riley Jackson each tallied twice, and Ella Zimmerman was also on target.
WilCo FC used two late goals to come from behind and defeat CTX Hornets, 2-1, for its first victory of the season. Melany Peña’s goal in the 14th minute put the visitors ahead, and for much of the game it looked as though that would be enough. But WilCo finally broke through via substitute Annika Engstrom in the 78th minute, before Lucy Ortiz scored a dramatic winner three minutes later.
League newcomers Luxoria FC scored a memorable first UWS victory, taking down 2021 National Semifinalists SA Athenians, 3-2. The win looked as if it might be a comfortable one through 53 minutes. Michelle Gonzalez finished a one-on-one chance early, and Kennedy Kessler added another from Bronwyn Boswell’s cross just before halftime. Kessler tallied again in the 53rd minute -- a goal that proved crucial after SA Athenians used Enzi Broussard’s penalty and Emma Bates’ free kick to cut the deficit to just one goal.
FC Austin Elite grabbed its second win of the young season, keeping SA Runners off the scoresheet in their first game in UWS. Rachelle D'Amico opened the scoring off a corner early in the first half, then Bethany Cyrtmus took advantage of a rebound to provide FC Austin Elite with some insurance.
SA Athenians rebounded nicely from their opening-day setback to claim a straightforward 3-0 victory over WilCo FC. Enzi Broussard provided all the star power the hosts would need with a first-half hat trick, finishing the scoring with her header in the 40th minute.
Los Angeles SC got off to a positive start in UWS with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Kongo SC. Helen Schaefer opened the scoring for Los Angeles SC in the 17th minute. Sage Nelson equalized for Kongo SC 18 minutes later, but it was all Los Angeles SC in the second half. Allyson Cervantes put the hosts back ahead, capitalizing on a defensive mistake in the 53rd minute. Shortly thereafter, Kaella Chin finished off a feed from Kasandra Massey, her second helper of the game.
It was back to business for the defending UWS National Champions, who coasted to a 4-0 win over Kongo SC, with all four goals coming in the first half. Four different players found the scoresheet for SC Blue Heat, including Olufolasade Adamolekun, Laurence Saviana, Iris Rabot, and Helena Sampaio. Rabot also contributed a pair of assists.