Metuchen, NJ — United Women’s Soccer is pleased to announce that four teams have earned a place in the UWS National Championship Tournament in Round Rock, Texas.
Connecticut Fusion will represent the East Conference in Round Rock, after successfully navigating two playoff games as the conference’s third seed. Joining them will be Midwest United out of the Midwest North Conference, who bested Central Conference champion St. Louis SG to earn a place. The Southwest’s representative will be SA Athenians — the second seed out of that conference. The final team in Round Rock will be SC Blue Heat, earning a bid by winning the West Conference’s regular-season title.
The National Semifinal games will be played on Friday, July 23 at Round Rock Multipurpose Complex. The first semifinal begins at 6:00 p.m. CT as Midwest United takes on Connecticut Fusion. The second semifinal will follow at 8:30 p.m. CT between San Antonio Athenians and Santa Clarita Blue Heat. The final will be played on Sunday, July 25 at 11:00 a.m. CT.
Individual game and weekend passes are available for purchase at Passage Ticketing — the official ticketing partner of UWS. All games will be streamed live at Eleven Sports — the league’s streaming partner.
East Conference Final
CT Fusion 2, FC Buffalo 0
CT Fusion punched their ticket to Round Rock on Sunday, besting the top seed in the East Conference, FC Buffalo, 2-0. It was the second consecutive 2-0 win of the playoffs for CT Fusion, who also bounced Syracuse DA from the tournament by the same scoreline in the semifinals. Despite entering as the lower seed, CT Fusion grabbed a firm hold of the game, outshooting FC Buffalo, 6-2. Tori Sousa, who also scored in the semifinals, gave CT Fusion an early lead with a finish at the back post off a cross by Chloe Landers in the 8th minute. CT Fusion struck again shortly after halftime, as Cara Jordan pounced on an FC Buffalo giveaway and finished low to give the CT Fusion defense all the breathing room it would need to close out an East Conference title.
Midwest/Central Conference Final
Midwest United 3, St. Louis SG 1
Midwest United were always in control of their contest against St. Louis SG, besting the Central Conference champs 3-1 and outshooting them 15-6 to claim a spot in the National Championship Tournament field. Midwest United are one of two sides to bring an unbeaten record into Round Rock, joining SC Blue Heat. Midwest United grabbed the early advantage in this game, with Avery Lockwood finishing Anna Bennett’s cross in the 28th minute. Bennett was far from finished, though. Provider turned goalscorer in the 66th minute, when Bennett controlled Paige Eli’s long ball into the box and turned it into a second goal for Midwest United. St. Louis pulled a goal back in the 81st minute, but Bennett again met the challenge to relieve any nerves her side may have been feeling, assisting Hannah Crum with a cross a few moments later and putting the victory beyond doubt.
Southwest Conference Final
SA Athenians 1, Lone Star Republic 0
SA Athenians claimed their place in Round Rock with a 1-0 victory over previously unbeaten Lone Star Republic and earned a bit of vengeance in the process. Lone Star had accounted for Athenians’ only defeat of the season — a 6-0 loss back in the early stages of the regular season. But when it mattered most, Athenians were the ones who got the job done in this clash between two high-powered sides, and they did so in dramatic fashion. A surprisingly cagey game broke out in this final between two of the six high-scoring sides across all of UWS this season, with neither team finding the back of the net through 88 minutes. With extra time looming, Jamie Erickson controlled a loose ball in the box and sent it past the Lone Star keeper for the winning goal.
SC Blue Heat 1, Calgary Foothills 1
There were no playoffs in the West Conference this season, but the final game of the regular season still carried the weight of a final. SC Blue Heat entered this match against Calgary Foothills on Sunday knowing that a draw would be enough to send them to Round Rock, while Calgary would need three points to claim the West’s bid. Ultimately, SC Blue Heat did what was needed, grinding out a 1-1 draw to book their place. But that result didn’t come without some nerves. Calgary Foothills took the lead in the 23rd minute, when Anna Hauer’s strike from the top of the box found the top corner of the goal. For a few moments, it seemed as though Calgary would go through. But SC Blue Heat responded before halftime. Gisele Thompson dribbled to the left end line and delivered a pinpoint cross to Lena Silano, who headed home for the crucial equalizer. The Blue Heat back line did the work from there to secure a place in the National Championships.