WPSL Week in Review: Season debuts and multi-goal games highlight weekend
By Kaeley McEvoy
In the second weekend of WPSL play, more than 25 games were played, which included the debut of some of the season’s newest teams, a few out of conference games, and the openers for Big Sky North and Sunshine Conference, the second week of action left plenty of room for surprises, upsets, and triumphs for all WPSL teams.
In the East-Northeast, a surprising result was recorded by the Boston Aztecs U23 team when little sister recorded a 3-nil victory over Seacoast United, a team their elder reserves played to a draw last weekend. Also in Eastern Conference play, the New England Mutiny traveled to the Sunshine State to face the newly established Tampa Bay Hellenic. A goal by Mutiny forward Deb Nelson was all the New England Mutiny needed to head back to New England happy after defeating Tampa Bay on their debut match.
Surprise was also the name of the game for Mid-West South Conference powerhouse F.C Indiana, who went 1-1 on their opening weekend. Fort Wayne FC was able to shutout and triumph over division favorite FC Indiana on Saturday. Two goals and one assist were tallied by University of Louisville star Jordan Pawlik, while Stephanie Thompson of the University of Evansville added the final goal to grab three points for Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne Coach Ann Housliston said, “everyone played well and it was really a great team effort.” F.C Indiana was able to find redemption on Sunday when they overcame in-state foe Indiana United by a margin of 4-3.
On the West Coast, the Orange County Waves took the award for best in show after recording a 1-1 draw with a the newly established and very competitive Bay Area Breeze on Saturday and a very impressive 6-0 victory over SF Nighthalks. Kristina Larsen scored a hat trick in her OC Waves debut in the WPSL to add the Waves large victory. Also in Pacific Conference play, the San Diego SeaLions walked away from the weekend with one victory and one loss after the recent signing of former WPS FC Gold Pride player Rosie Tantillo. Tantillo and the SeaLions will have their next test weekend when they travel to play Ajax America Women.
Notable games further included the opening match of the Big Sky Northern Conference when the Utah Starzz put in five goals against in-state rival, the Salt Lake Sparta. Also in the Eastern Mid-Atlantic Conference, youth club powerhouse F.C. Bucks may need more time to adjust to transition from elite club play to the WPSL standards as they lost their debut game in the WPSL, 3-1, to the SA Chesapeake Charge.