Round Rock, TX — A thrilling pair of United Women’s Soccer national semifinal games concluded at Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, as CT Fusion and SC Blue Heat advanced to play in Sunday’s national championship game.
Semifinal 1: CT Fusion 2, Midwest United 1
Connecticut Fusion’s first trip to the UWS National Championship Tournament will see them go all the way to the final. CT Fusion earned a 2-1 win over Midwest United, handing the Midwest Conference champions their only loss of the season. In this game between two offensive powerhouses, CT Fusion’s defensive solidity made the difference. The first half was tense and cagey, with neither side carving out very many chances. After the break, CT Fusion grabbed firm control with a bit of class from one of their stars, Tori Sousa. Sousa controlled a cross from Kylee McIntosh and volleyed it into the back of the net to give her side the breakthrough in the 62nd minute. CT Fusion quickly began chasing some insurance. Chanel Johnson put a shot just wide of the post a minute later, and in the 67th minute, Fusion connected once again. Sousa’s low cross found Chloe Landers at the back post who made it 2-0. Only a last minute consolation goal from Midwest United’s Avery Lockwood kept CT Fusion from their third clean sheet in three playoff games.
Semifinal 2: SC Blue Heat 4, SA Athenians 0
SC Blue Heat will get their shot at claiming a second UWS National Championship after winning the inaugural title back in 2016. The West Conference champions punched their ticket to Sunday’s final with a convincing 4-0 win over Southwest Conference champs SA Athenians. SC Blue Heat did most of their hard work early. In the 7th minute, a through ball by Savannah DeMelo split the Athenians defense and found Gisele Thompson, who made no mistake and gave her side the early lead. About 10 minutes later, with Athenians pushing for an equalizer, Blue Heat’s Olufolasade Adamolekun helped her side reclaim the momentum, delivering a fantastic assist to Lena Silano, who made it a 2-0 lead. Silano became the facilitator just before the end of the first half, feeding Alyssa Thompson with a through ball that Thompson put in the back of the net to make it 3-0. SC Blue Heat did well to weather some significant pressure from Athenians in the second half, bending but refusing to break at the back. With about six minutes remaining, Angeles Escobar punctuated the victory with Blue Heat’s fourth goal of the game, sending them into the title game in style.