Metuchen, NJ — The United Women’s soccer postseason is nearing its peak, with eight clubs set to battle it out to claim four spots in the 2021 UWS National Championship to be held in Round Rock, Texas.
There are three conference finals set for Sunday, and another crucial regular-season match in the West Conference that will decide that conference’s representative in Round Rock.
FC Buffalo vs CT Fusion
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST
Venue: Coyer Field (Buffalo, NY)
Top-seeded FC Buffalo meets third-seeded Connecticut Fusion in the East Conference final on Sunday after both clubs advanced through the semifinal round with wins on Friday. FC Buffalo bested LANC Inferno, 3-2, behind Kelsey Araujo’s big game. The FC Buffalo attacker played a part in all three goals scored by her side against the Inferno. Connecticut Fusion’s victory over Syracuse DA came on the back of a strong defense that kept a clean sheet against one of the hottest sides in UWS coming into the match. Brenna Brown and Tori Sousa scored two second-half goals that got Fusion through to the final. CT Fusion will bring an attack that scored 39 goals this season — 11 more than any other side in the division — into the title game, while FC Buffalo will rely on a solid defense and a winning pedigree. These two sides did not meet in the regular season, so they’ll be getting a first look at each other here.
Midwest United vs St. Louis SG
Time: 5:00 p.m. EDT
Venue: Midwest United FC Complex (Kentwood, MI)
Midwest North champion Midwest United will meet Central Conference champs St. Louis SG in this match to decide who gets a place at the National Championships. Midwest United took the dramatic route to the title game, needing penalties to beat Corktown AFC in the semifinals. That came after a dramatic equalizer from Avery Lockwood in stoppage time of extra time, slotting home a rebound off the crossbar for her second goal of the match to keep her side’s championship hopes alive. St. Louis SG’s route to the final was a bit more simple, scoring a 2-0 win over Chicago Mustangs that cut their unbeaten season short. Emily Groark and Gabby Holtrop scored the goals for St. Louis in that match, and the defense shut down what had been one of the more prolific sides in UWS during the regular season. St. Louis, which has conceded only six goals all season, will hope to bring the same defensive fortitude into the final, while UWS leading scorers Midwest United might look to make this game a bit more expansive, making this match an intriguing contrast of styles.
SA Athenians vs Lone Star Republic
Time: 7:00 p.m. CDT
Venue: R L Anderson Stadium (Mansfield, TX)
The top two seeds in the Southwest Conference will clash here with the conference title and a place in the National Championships on the line. SA Athenians earned their place in this match with a 2-1 victory over Side FC 92 in the semis. Paityn Bretzer and Emma Durain grabbed two early goals for Athenians to put them up 2-0. Side FC got a goal back before halftime, but the Athenians defense held firm from that point forward to claim a spot in the final. Lone Star Republic needed a dramatic goal in the 90th minute from Renata Vargas to advance past FC Austin Elite, 2-1, and claim a spot in the title game after a perfect regular season. In fact, the only time either of these clubs have dropped points this season came when Lone Star Republic beat SA Athenians, 6-0, back in May. Athenians will surely have revenge on their minds as they approach the rematch on Sunday in what should be a thriller.
SC Blue Heat vs Calgary Foothills
Time: 6:00 p.m. PDT
Venue: Masters’ University Reece Field (Santa Clarita, CA)
The West Conference will send its regular-season champion to the UWS National Championship game rather than crown a champion with playoffs. As such, there is no official title game, but there is a high-stakes match to finish the regular season between the two top seeds in SC Blue Heat and Calgary Foothills. SC Blue Heat have performed well this season, winning every match they’ve played against the four sides in the West competing for a playoff spot. Calgary Foothills got a late start to the campaign, but have positioned themselves well to still claim a National Championship spot with a victory Sunday.
Kongo SC vs Impact FC
Date: Sunday, July 18
Start Time: 6 pm MT
Venue: Spence Eccles Sports Complex (Ogden, UT)
Impact FC (Edmonton, Alberta) and Kongo SC (Kaysville, UT) will face each other for their second match of the weekend to close out their inaugural season in UWS. Watch the game live on Eleven Sports at the following LINK.