2019 UWS East All-Conference Awards

25 Jul 2019
uws east conference player of the year 2019 united womens soccer

O’Brien defends top defensive honor; Howarth leads as all-time UWS scorer

METUCHEN, NJ – The 2019 United Women’s Soccer (UWS) season has ended but there is still plenty of news regarding one of the most enigmatic campaigns in the four-year history of the national pro-am league. Awards season has started and over the next two weeks, the league office will announce the 2019 All-Conference and All-UWS Awards. First up are the individual awards in the East Conference and the First & Second Team honor rolls. The UWS East saw one of the most prolific scoring runs in league history this past season as well as a clutch defensive performance that propelled a team to the UWS National Championship. The two-time East champion Lancaster Inferno and New England Mutiny (who finished first in the regular season) lead the way with five players on the 2019 All-East Team while the Connecticut Fusion follow right behind with four honorees.

2019 East Offensive Player of the Year – F Kate Howarth (New England Mutiny)

Kate Howarth has been a veteran leader for the New England Mutiny for close to a decade and had her best-ever year in 2019. The team captain was named to the UWS Team of the Week on five occasions as she tore up the UWS East with 18 goals and four assists during the regular season. Howarth than added two more goals in the playoffs as the first-place Mutiny hosted the East Final but bowed out to the Lancaster Inferno – a team they had defeated twice during the regular season – by a 2-1 score. The former professional is the first player in UWS history to break “100” (46 goals, 13 assists, 105 points). She is not only the all-time leading scorer for New England, who celebrated their 20th year in operation this past campaign, but also the entire league as well.

2019 East Defensive Player of the Year – GK Kelly O’Brien (Lancaster Inferno)

uws east conference defensive player of the year kelly obrien
Kelly O’Brien (credit Eireann Photography)

For the second straight season, Kelly O’Brien has been named the UWS East Defensive Player of the Year. Last year for the Lancaster Inferno, the former Lafayette University star posted four clean sheets in the regular season and shut out the Connecticut Fusion in the 2018 East Final to send her team to the UWS National Championship. O’Brien went on to make a season-high 12 saves in the National Final but unfortunately, her team lost to the Houston Aces. This year, O’Brien was just as solid for the Inferno as she allowed only seven goals in nine matches (five shutouts) during the regular season. In the playoffs, she once again pushed her game to another level with two wins on the road including a heroic 10-save performance in the East Final victory over the New England Mutiny. 

2019 East Coach of the Year – Francisco Cleaves (Lancaster Inferno)

Just like his veteran goalkeeper who defended her title as East Defensive Player of the Year, Lancaster Inferno Head Coach Francisco Cleaves has been named as the top coach in the conference for the second straight season. Last year, Cleaves guided Lancaster to their first-ever UWS East title that completed an impressive turnaround from their prior two losing seasons. Seven of his players were named to the All-East Team and he followed that up with five more honorees in 2019. After a tough 3-0 loss at home to the New England Mutiny in the final weekend of the regular season, he led his team to three straight wins – including two on the road against the top two teams in the final conference standings – and a berth into the UWS Championship for the second consecutive campaign. His 2018-19 success (nine wins in both seasons) has pushed his overall record for the Inferno to a 26-19-1 mark.


F Kate Howarth (New England Mutiny)
F Haley Crawford (Lancaster Inferno)
F Taylor Wingerden (Rochester Lancers)
M Vivien Beil (Connecticut Fusion)
M Teresa Rook (Lancaster Inferno)
M Brooke Barbuto (Syracuse DA)
M/D Ellie Jean (New England Mutiny)
D Kylee McIntosh (Connecticut Fusion)
D Sonia Rada (Lancaster Inferno)
D Shauny Alterisio (New England Mutiny)
GK Kelly O’Brien (Lancaster Inferno)


F Melanie Cunha (New Jersey Copa FC)
F Grace Hawkins (Long Island Rough Riders)
M/F Maegen Doyle (Connecticut Fusion)
M Christina Tesoriero (Long Island Rough Riders)
M Lily Fabian (Connecticut Fusion)
M Breukelen Woodard (New England Mutiny)
D Ashley Chilcoat (Lancaster Inferno)
D Amanda Buck (Long Island Rough Riders)
D Meghan Cunningham (New England Mutiny)
D Caroline Kopp (Syracuse DA)
GK Brittany Henderson (Worcester Smiles)

East Offensive Player of the Year: F Kate Howarth (New England Mutiny)
East Defensive Player of the Year: GK Kelly O’Brien (Lancaster Inferno)
East Coach Player of the Year: Francisco Cleaves (Lancaster Inferno)

uws east conference offensive player of the year kate howarth
Kate Howarth (credit David Henry)

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