There are only three games in the United Women’s Soccer East this weekend as the Western New York Flash hit the road to play two matches in Massachusetts.
A quick look at the contests:
Saturday, June 23
Inferno Rush vs. New Jersey Copa FC
3 p.m. ET – Millersville University (Millersville, Pa.)
There’s a consistent pattern when you look at how Inferno Rush’s season has gone so far. Win one. Lose one. Repeat. Which is why you find the Rush five points outside of the top-two spots in the East. But, the team has two matches in hand on second-place New England Mutiny and three on first-place Rochester Lady Lancers, so a positive result Saturday can vault the squad back up the table. Inferno can also make up ground against their local rival, New Jersey Copa FC, as the two teams will square off in a home-and-home over the next two weeks. Tesa McKibben has been leading the squad on the attack with two goals and assists in four matches. But Inferno will need to find a consistent secondary scoring source as they get to the second half of the season, especially when coming up against a traditionally strong defensive team in New Jersey Copa FC.
NJCFC will conclude its three-match road trip this week after spending last weekend in the Western New York region, picking up a 4-2 win over Western New York Flash and falling 2-1 to the Lady Lancers. But after this week, the Garden State side will finish with three consecutive matches at home before traveling to face New York Surf in Week X. Taking on the Rush will be a welcome sight to see as New Jersey Copa FC has experienced great success against its Keystone State rival. NJCFC swept the season series against then called Lancaster Inferno in 2016 and 2017, outscoring its opponent 10-1 over the four matches. So combining that statistic with the recent scoring successes of Katarina Nilsson (two goals last week against the Flash) and Jeanine Nunez’s three tallies in 2018, it could be a perfect recipe to come away with three points on the weekend
Worcester Smiles vs. Western New York Flash
7 p.m. ET – Alumni Stadium at WPI (Worcester, Mass.)
The Worcester Smiles will hope that a return to playing at home will do them good as in their recent three-match road trip, they were outscored 12-0. And outside of getting beat 9-3 by Rochester in Week II, the Smiles have been competitive at home including defeating second place New England Mutiny 1-0 and losing 1-0 back in Week I to the New York Surf. Head Coach Anthony Cosky will hope that returning back to the Bay State will also see his side returning back to scoring some goals, as after netting four in their first three matches, getting shut out in three straight matches is a cause for concern.
This weekend is a big one for the Western New York Flash as not only is Week VII a two-match weekend, but it could be a big chance to get back into the race for a spot in the East Conference Championship Game. Matt Waddington’s team sit five points behind second place New England but still have five more matches to play after their clash with the Smiles. Carissima Cutrona has been on the mark this season for the Flash, posting a team-leading four goals so far after her impressive 11-goal, four assist season in 2017. It was recently announced that midfielder Georgia Allen was named to England’s preliminary 35-player roster for the Under-20 Women’s World Cup, so the Flash will be operating a little short-staffed for this trip. But, Western New York have shown a tendency of getting off to fast starts, as they’ve scored a goal inside the first ten minutes in each of the last two games. So watch out for more of the same this weekend from the Flash.
Sunday, June 24
New England Mutiny vs. Western New York Flash
3 p.m. ED – Agawam H.S. (Agawam, Mass.)
The Flash finish off its weekend in Massachusetts by traveling to take on the New England Mutiny, which comes off of a come-from-behind victory over the Inferno last week. The two sides split the season series last year, with the Flash earning a 1-0 victory at home by way of a 33rd-minute Carissima Cutrona goal and the Mutiny earning a 4-0 win on the final day of the season, with Marissa Aniolowski and Brenna Brown each scoring two goals to send their fans home happy. New England knows that every match going forward is crucial for the team as winning its last four matches would all but secure their spot in the East Conference championship game. It was a confidence booster for the group to earn that 2-1 comeback victory last weekend, with goals from Yo Tachibana and Kate Howarth inside the final 10 minutes. It will need to build off that result by earning another three points this week before the Mutiny hit the road to face two more key contenders in Long Island and New Jersey. The team will end the season at home by welcoming in Connecticut.