METUCHEN, N.J. – The UWS regular season concluded last weekend, seeing the final two spots get confirmed for the 2018 National Championship. Grand Rapids FC Women repeated as Midwest Conference playoff champions while Inferno Rush defeated the Connecticut Fusion in the East Conference championship game to round out the four-team field.
Needing to pick up six points from a two-match weekend to secure its spot in the East Conference Championship game, the Fusion delivered with two victories. Goalkeeper Meghan Dalton stopped 11 shots over the two matches and posted a clean sheet in Sunday’s win over Worcester, earning her the UWS defensive player of the week nod.
In the Midwest Conference playoff final, Samantha Maher came through by scoring twice, including the go-ahead tally shortly after halftime, to lead Grand Rapids FC Women to their second consecutive Midwest crown. That won her the offensive player of the week.
UWS team of the week (Week X)
GK Meghan Dalton (Connecticut Fusion) – Lifted Connecticut into the East Conference Championship Game with two strong performances, including a shutout against Worcester
D Taylor Groth (Long Island Rough Riders) – Helped steady the Rough Riders back line to a clean sheet over the Inferno Rush to keep their postseason hopes alive
D Caroline Kopp (Rochester Lady Lancers) – Scored the opening goal for Rochester and played the full 90 minutes a 2-1 victory over Western New York
D Sadie Misiewicz (Grand Rapids FC Women) – Played all 120 minutes and notched an assist in the Midwest Playoff Semifinal and featured for the full 90 in the Final against Lansing
M Jenna Menta (New York Surf) – Scored the opening goal in a 3-1 victory over New Jersey Copa, closing out her season campaign with four tallies*
M Samantha Maher (Grand Rapids FC Women) – Scored a brace in the Midwest Conference Playoff Final to lead her team to the title
M Theresa Rook (Rynier) (Inferno Rush) – Scored the game-winner in the East Conference Championship Game for the Rush*
M Rachel DeLuca (Detroit Sun FC) – Scored a late equalizer and buried her penalty attempt in Detroit’s Midwest Conference Playoff Semifinal loss to Grand Rapids*
F Tori Sousa (Connecticut Fusion) – Posted a four-goal weekend for Connecticut, including scoring a hat trick against New England
F Haley Gonzales (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) – Netted a hat-trick and added an assist in a 6-0 victory over Colorado to wrap up the season
F Tiffany McCarty (LA Galaxy OC Women) – Scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 victory over Colorado, securing second place in the West for the expansion side*
D Madison Costner (Lansing United) – Powered home a second-half header in the 3-0 Midwest Playoff Semifinal win over Michigan
M Idalys Rea (HAR FC) – Closed out her season with a two-goal scoring streak as she netted the opener in HAR FC’s draw with ASA El Paso
F Lexi Pelafas (Lansing United) – Scored goals in both of Lansing’s Playoff matches, including the winner against Michigan
F Hailey North (Real Salt Lake Women) – Capped off an impressive 2018 season with a goal and two assists over So Cal Crush
F Angelina Hix (LA Galaxy OC Women) – Was the main facilitator for the LA offense against Colorado, notching three assists in a 4-0 victory
* – indicates second appearance on the UWS team of the week