EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ – The midway point of the 2016 season in United Women’s Soccer (UWS) has passed and teams are either jockeying for position in their respective conference title races or simply want to show improvement over the course of their campaign. This past weekend, the Long Island Rough Riders (2-2-1) got back into the East title race with a 2-1 win over the Lancaster Inferno (2-4) while the TSF Academy Valkyries (1-2-1) notched their first win of the season over a strong New England Mutiny (4-2) side.
Rough Riders goalkeeper Melissa Guglielmo has been a steady presence all season long for her team in net, and has allowed only six goals in five starts. Valkyries midfielder Nickolette Driesse has translated her success with the 2015 NCAA National Champion Penn State Nittany Lions last fall to the pitch this summer, providing a dynamic presence for TSF Academy. For their efforts in both teams’ wins over the weekend, Guglielmo has been named the UWS East Defensive Player of the Week while Driesse nabs Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Take out her performance in a 3-2 loss to the Mutiny two weeks ago and Guglielmo’s stats as far as goals allowed would be at the top of UWS, alongside Real Salt Lake Women keeper Rebecca Ritchie. The former Dowling College Golden Lion shot-stopper helped her team rebound from that setback, making five saves in an important win over Lancaster on Sunday afternoon that has kept Long Island mathematically in the race for the East title and the automatic berth into the UWS National Championship held the weekend of July 30-31.
Up to last Sunday’s 3-1 win over New England, TSF Academy had only scored one goal in their first three matches of the season. Driesse and her Valkyries teammates looked to reverse that trend and did so in impressive fashion against one of the East title contenders. After the Mutiny went up 1-0 in the 23rd minute, the Penn State star almost leveled the score just a minute later. Her free kick early in the second half would prove to be the game-winner as TSF would hold the run of play from there for the team’s first win of 2016.
About United Women’s Soccer (UWS): UWS is a national women’s soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer through the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars. You can follow UWS on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
UWS is managed by EDP, a leading soccer management company that runs a number of leagues and tournaments. In addition to UWS, EDP operates youth leagues that includes an NPL league, the EDP Super Club program, the EDP Premier League and the EDP Championship League. EDP also runs EDP Futures programs for U-7’s to U-12’s and it conducts more than 20 youth tournaments, including tournaments within its EDP Cup Series and EDP Showcase Series.
Media can contact UWS Director of Communications Jorma Kansanen by e-mail at Press@UWSSoccer.com. You can visit the league’s official website at UWSSoccer.com. Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.