UWS Midwest Conference Week 2 Preview: Detroit and Grand Rapids face off in early season showdown
In the summer season competitive format, every game is either a big step up or down the ladder when it comes to the race for the conference crown.
This Saturday night at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, MI, two early contenders for the Midwest title will face off in one of the more intriguing soccer venues in the country. On Sunday, another prospective conference power will host a side who have something to prove after a loss in their season debut.
SATURDAY, MAY 20
Detroit Sun FC vs. Grand Rapids FC Women
7:00 PM EDT – Ultimate Soccer Arenas (Pontiac, MI)
Both Detroit Sun FC (1-0 UWS Midwest) and Grand Rapids FC Women (1-0 UWS Midwest) opened their 2017 seasons in impressive fashion last weekend, registering franchise-first victories over FC Indiana (0-1 UWS Midwest) and Michigan Legends FC (0-1 UWS Midwest), respectively. On Sunday afternoon, Detroit came away with a rock solid 3-0 road win against a historically-successful FCI side while the GRFC Women were propelled by a brace from midfielder Anna Stinson in a 3-1 win over MLFC in front of 532 fans at home.
A strong showing from Sun goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem (five saves) and two goals off the bench from forward Isabella Habuda paced Detroit in the win. Forward Emma Tokuyama registered the team’s first-ever goal in the 11th minute while Habuda tallied in the 56th & 79th minutes for the 3-0 final score. Clem, Habuda and defender Jackie Mazzara were selected to the UWS Team of the Week for their efforts. Stinson notched two first-half goals and defender Clare Carlson got the insurance goal against Michigan. The league office honored Stinson and midfielder Marti Corby with UWS Team of the Week plaudits.
Ultimate Soccer Arenas – the home pitch of DSFC – is an indoor soccer-specific stadium and is one of the largest in the United States. It features two AstroTurf pitches that features a full-size 110×75-yard pitch with a 5,000-seat stadium. It has 1,650 permanent seating, a full-service restaurant, a full-service coffee shop and mezzanine level. The facility is also the home of the Michigan Bucks of the USL Premier Development League (PDL), a minor-league affiliate of the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer (MLS), and hosted the 2016 PDL National Championship.
SUNDAY, MAY 21
Toledo Villa FC vs. Michigan Legends FC
5:00 PM EDT – Northview H.S. (Sylvania, OH)
Toledo Villa FC (1-0 UWS Midwest) were the third Midwest team last weekend to open their season in the newly-formed conference in a strong manner. The Villa Women traveled to Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis, IN for their match vs. Indy Premier SC (0-1 UWS Midwest) and with a short bench, held the run of play from start to finish in a 3-0 victory to kick off their franchise. Midfielder Veronica Zaciek led the Toledo offense, scoring two first half goals in the 12th & 24th minutes to propel the team to the win. TVFC goalkeeper Sam Tiongson made two saves in the shutout.
Zaciek and defender Morgan Abbitt would be selected to the UWS Team of the Week for their strong performances in attack and defense. Toledo’s opponents in this Sunday’s home opener had different fortunes last weekend, as Michigan Legends FC took one on the chin on the road at Grand Rapids FC. MLFC would cut the 2-0 deficit in half with the team’s first-ever goal in the 49th minute – thanks to two second-half subs in midfielders Maddie Hughes and Lindsey Carlson – but could not even the score. Legends FC keeper Victoria Norris made five saves in the loss.
Sunday’s home opener for the Villa Women will also serve as a doubleheader with their newly-formed men’s side, who play in the Premier League of America (PLA). The PLA is a regional league that currently consists of teams in cities in the Great Lakes region of the United States. The league began its first season of play in 2015 as the Great Lakes Premier League.
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