Metuchen, NJ — Two undefeated teams will battle it out Sunday at Lusitano Stadium for United Women’s Soccer’s ultimate prize.
Calgary Foothills and Chicago Mustangs each advanced to the UWS National Championship Game with semifinal victories on Saturday. The match kicks off at 2:00 p.m. ET.
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No matter which team emerges victorious on Sunday, UWS will be crowning a first-time champion. Calgary Foothills reached the UWS National Championship Final in 2019, and has designs on taking the title north of the border this time around. Chicago Mustangs are just two seasons into their UWS tenure, and already have a chance to make history.
Calgary Foothills has won all 11 of its matches to this point, winning seven of those games by two goals or more. The Canadian side features a bevy of talent with experience in the Canadian National Team system at various levels. Mya Jones, who was outstanding against FC Buffalo in the semifinals, leads the way for the Calgary Foothills attack with eight goals on the season.
Chicago Mustangs arrive in Sunday’s UWS National Championship Game with the top goalscoring record in UWS, but the Central Conference champions had to win in a slightly different manner in their semifinal, besting SA Athenians 1-0. Chicago Mustangs boast the two top goalscorers in UWS, with Nina Nicosia leading the way with her 12 goals. Julia Simon moved within one goal of her teammate at the top of the leaderboard with her 11th tally of the season on Saturday night.
How They Got Here
Calgary Foothills 4, FC Buffalo 1
Calgary Foothills brought its West Conference dominance out east, turning in an outstanding performance to best FC Buffalo 4-1 in the first national semifinal and move within one victory of a championship.
The first Calgary Foothills goal arrived in the 27th minute, when Mya Jones’ determined run down the right flank caused havoc in the FC Buffalo box. The ball found its way to Sarah Kinzner, who made no mistake with her finish. Jones was far from done. In the 43rd minute, she controlled a ball over the top of the defense with a deft touch, dribbled past an FC Buffalo defender and powered home Calgary Foothills’ second goal of the afternoon.
FC Buffalo found its footing after halftime, when Djeynaba Thiam cut the lead in half thanks to an assist by Carissima Cutrona, but Jones once again had the answer for Calgary Foothills. She sealed the result in the 83rd minute when Lara Kazandjian’s cut-back connected with her on the left side of the box. Jones finished to make it a 3-1 Calgary Foothills lead. Grace Moore found the back of the net from just outside the box in stoppage time to add a fourth goal for the victors.
Chicago Mustangs 1, SA Athenians 0
Chicago Mustangs had more playoff seasoning than any of the other representatives at the UWS National Championship event, having won three elimination games just to punch their ticket to Lusitano Stadium. That poise showed in a professional 1-0 victory over SA Athenians, sending Chicago Mustangs to the championship game.
SA Athenians and goalkeeper Mia Wildeman did well to keep Chicago Mustangs off the board for 81 minutes, with most of the action coming in SA Athenians’ half of the pitch. There was a flurry of Chicago Mustangs chances just before halftime, including a point-blank opportunity thwarted only by some last-ditch defending. Wildeman had nine saves on the evening, with Morgan McAslan only called upon to make one save in net for the eventual winners.
The decisive moment came in the 82nd minute, moments after Chicago Mustangs had sent a penalty kick wide of the post in their best chance of the night. Hannah Bebar’s perfectly weighted pass into the right channel allowed Carol Soto space to cross for Julia Simon, who sent her 11th goal of the season into the back of the net with a pristine, first-time finish into the top-right corner.