The 2023 UWS season began where the 2022 season ended, in Ludlow, Massachusetts, as the ever-growing East Conference kicked off play a week earlier than most. The New England Mutiny hosted the Worcester Fuel in a thrilling 7-1 match on Saturday evening, with Catherine Barry leading the charge for the Mutiny and securing the first Offensive Player of the Week award for the 2023 season.
The United Women’s Soccer East Conference provided high-level entertainment throughout the season, with three competitive division races ensuring playoff berths came down to the wire. Ultimately, FC Buffalo emerged as the conference’s champion for the first time, thanks to Offensive Player of the Year Carissima Cutrona and Coach of the Year Nikki Bartholomew. Rochester Lancers’ Katie Cappelletti claimed the award for the conference’s best goalkeeper, while Marcela Robinson of Coppermine United emerged as the Defender of the Year.
An exciting season in the South Conference saw SA Athenians advance to the UWS National Championship Tournament for the second year running. They’re represented in this year’s awards by Goalkeeper of the Year Mia Wildeman and Defensive Player of the Year Eve Clarkson. Luxoria FC standout Kennedy Kessler was honored as the South Conference Offensive Player of the Year, while Garvin Quamina of Atlanta Panthers was the conference’s top coach.
Calgary Foothills WFC ran the regular-season table in the West Conference on the way to the United Women’s Soccer National Championship Game. As a result, the Canadian side is well represented in the West Conference awards. Sarah Dilling is the West’s Goalkeeper of the Year, while Mya Jones won Offensive Player of the Year honors, and Lee Tucker was recognized as the conference’s top coach. Maddy Perez of Santa Clarita Blue Heat stood out on her way to claiming Defensive Player of the Year recognition.
The United Women’s Soccer Central Conference provided the league’s National Champions in the 2022 season, with Chicago Mustangs taking home the title. There were several standout individuals throughout the conference deserving of recognition as well. Kaylin Williams sparkled in net for KC Courage, while Rachel Kutella and Nina Nicosia were outstanding in defense and attack for Chicago Mustangs. After leading the Mustangs to a title, Dino Delevski claimed the conference’s Coach of the Year honors.
Weeks Three and Four of United Women’s Soccer action put some incredible talent on display. Elliott Breech and Allie Augur claimed the weekly honors for their exploits in goal. Grace Stordy and Schuyler Riese showed their class at the back on their way to becoming the Defensive Players of the Week, while Ariana Mondiri and Jackie Richards won plaudits for their attacking play.
The performance level keeps rising as the United Women’s Soccer season gains steam, with plenty of brilliance to highlight in the second edition of the UWS Team of the Week. In goal, Maddie Smith’s stellar performance on the way to a vital clean sheet earned her the weekly honors. Lauren Sesselmann claimed Defensive Player of the Week with her stout defending in a 4-0 victory. At the top of the pitch, Catherine Barry’s four goals helped her earn the Offensive Player of the Week award.