METUCHEN, N.J. — New Jersey Copa FC will host the Long Island Rough Riders for the United Women’s Soccer East Conference Championship at 7 p.m. at Saint John Vianney High School in Holmdel, N.J. Tuesday at 7 p.m.
NJCFC, the defending East Conference champions and 2017 East regular season winners, is vying for its second trip to the UWS national championship in the two-year existence of the league. The winner receives a bid to the UWS National Championship in Grand Rapids, Mich. Friday and Sunday.
“Everything is on the line for us tomorrow night,” head ccoach Roberto Aguas said. “With a trip back to the UWS National Championship at stake, we are ready to leave everything out on the field. To be facing off against the only club who has ever beaten us in the regular season in our entire history as a club in the Rough Riders, gives our players even more motivation. It will be a fantastic game of soccer, which we cannot wait to share with our fans and COPA Nation!”
At 8-1-1, NJCFC finished atop the East Conference, with its only loss coming at second-place Long Island (7-2-1), 3-0. NJCFC returned the favor in the second half of the season on June 25 with a 1-0 home win.
New Jersey is unbeaten all-time at home at 8-0-2. This year, NJCFC has registered five shutouts including three clean sheets in the last four games.
“Last year, I think our rise to the top took many people around the league by surprise because we had just started as a club in 2016,” associate head coach J.R. Balzarini said. “The reason we found success so fast is because of the phenomenal chemistry on this team between each and every player. In 2016, the chemistry made up for how young of a team we were—we just played so well together. Now, in 2017, the chemistry is what has allowed us to continue to grow every day. The great respect and care that we have for each other has allowed our leaders to emerge and take the team to new heights, and has let our younger players to flourish into their own in a great system of support.
“This group of players has worked day-in and day-out towards their goals,” Balzarini continued. “I cannot think of a group more deserving. I cannot wait to take the field with them tomorrow night to defend our UWS East Conference title, and to make the return trip to the UWS National Championships.”
Should NJCFC win, it would play in the national semifinals Friday. The championship game is Saturday.
The UWS East Conference championship will be livestreamed on NJCFC’s social media channels. If you cannot attend the match in person, you can follow it via @njcopafc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.