METUCHEN, NJ – In the second installment of the 2019 United Women’s Soccer (UWS) All-Conference awards, we make the trek from the East to the Midwest. Lansing United won the regular season title for the second consecutive season, yet, were again knocked out of contention for the UWS National Championship when they lost in the conference playoffs. That opened the door for second-place Indiana Union and they took full advantage. Indiana re-branded as the Union (previously known as Indy Premier SC) in the offseason and the change completely remade their fortunes in the Midwest, as the team went from the cellar to the top floor. A loss in the National Semifinal to the eventual UWS champion LA Galaxy OC did not diminish their accomplishments and – alongside Lansing – were rewarded with five honorees on the 2019 All-Midwest Team.
2019 Midwest Offensive Player of the Year: M Samantha Dewey (Indiana Union)
The reigning BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year for Xavier University kept up her run of strong play this year with a stellar campaign for Indiana. Dewey’s 27 points (11g, 5a) during the regular season were good enough for a second-place tie in the UWS scoring race. On top of that, Samantha’s scoring prowess was very timely as she tallied six game-winning goals for the Union – great enough for two-thirds of the team’s nine victories in 2019. In the Midwest Final, Samantha scored the game winning goal against Grand Rapids FC in the 108th minute of play to send Indiana to the UWS Championship. She went on to score the lone goal in the 5-1 loss in the National Semifinal to LA Galaxy OC. After all was said and done, she finished with 13 goals and six assists (32 points).
2019 Midwest Defensive Player of the Year: M/D Molly McLaughlin (Indiana Union)
When the Indiana Union’s leading scorer and Midwest Offensive Player of the Year Samantha Dewey went forward on attack, someone had to cover for her and that player was Molly McLaughlin. The pair were in sync due to the fact that they are also team mates on the Xavier University women’s soccer team. McLaughlin solidified the center of the pitch as a defensive midfielder and was the first line of defense that allowed the top scoring offense in UWS to flourish. She was fourth in minutes played for Indiana, right behind her older sister Megan. In fact, her family is an athletic one as her father Jim was a NCAA volleyball head coach for more than two decades – most recently as the head coach of Notre Dame women’s volleyball – while her mother Margaret played soccer at Notre Dame as well.
2019 Midwest Coach of the Year: Daniel Seiffert (Indiana Union)
Daniel Seiffert took the helm for the newly-rebranded Indiana Union this season and led an amazing turnaround for the Team Formerly Known As Indy Premier SC. The team went from the cellar of the Midwest standings to the top, winning the title after two wins in the conference playoffs. Indiana defeated two perennial contenders in the Detroit Sun and defending Midwest champion Grand Rapids FC by a 8-3 margin to clinch the automatic berth into the UWS National Championship. In their previous two years in UWS play, the Union compiled a 5-14-1 record which included a last-place finish in the 2017 season. With a 9-3-1 overall record for the 2019 season after their National Semifinal loss to LA Galaxy OC, Indiana came one win away from matching their win total from the 2017-18 campaigns. The Indiana Wesleyan University Head Coach holds a NSCAA Premier Diploma, a USSF “A” license, and a NSCAA National Goalkeeping Diploma.
UWS MIDWEST FIRST TEAM
F Gabriella Mencotti (Detroit Sun)
F Kaley Buck (Lansing United)
F Rachel Sweigard (AFC Ann Arbor)
M Samantha Dewey (Indiana Union)
M Marti Corby (Grand Rapids FC)
M Alexis Mitchell (Lansing United)
M Dani Stephan (Lansing United)
M/D Molly McLaughlin (Indiana Union)
D Julia Leonard (Indiana Union)
D Alia Frederick (Michigan Legends)
GK Katelyn McEachern (Detroit Sun)
UWS MIDWEST SECOND TEAM
F Rachel Deluca (Detroit Sun)
F Camryn Evans (Lansing United)
F Brittany Tanner (Grand Rapids FC)
M Suzuho Yamasaki (AFC Ann Arbor)
M Riko Sagara (Grand Rapids FC)
M Claire Cahalan (Michigan Legends)
M Monica Dolinsky (Indiana Union)
M Nikhita Jacob (Michigan Legends)
D Allison Whitfield (Indiana Union)
D Paige Eli (Grand Rapids FC)
GK Madison Clem (Lansing United)