WPSL Central: Regional XI

Khyah Harper, Salvo's hottest attacking player at the moment is not a shock, but comes to the postseason with a track record at the University of Minnesota and with Salvo. She is joined by club mates Ansley Atkinson, Lauren Eckerle and breakthrough highschooler Ayden Gagner in goal. At the other end of the experience range, FC Milwaukee Torrent's goalie Mikki Easter (joined by Kelli Swenson) and Kaylin Williams (joined by Aya Saiki) from KC Courage also received a nod.

Alyssa Glover, Sophia Nguyen and Hannah Gallegos of Colorado Rapids were named to the team.

 


NPSL Midwest: Conference XIs

https://twitter.com/NPSLSoccer/status/1682104281468370944

 

These Conference Best XIs throw up some interesting results. Sunflower State FC and Club Atletico St Louis have the most members of the Gateway, even though they both failed to make the playoffs. On the other hand, 8 of the 12 selections in the Great Lakes, Heartland and North all come from the Conference Finalists. Obviously, if you want to spin that as a bad thing, that could point towards recency bias and against good performers on bad teams.   

Three of the top four in goals per game make their respective XIs (Yu Tsukanome, Miguel Arellano and Colin Innes) as does the player with the tenth highest number of mins per game (Colin Biros). Benjamin Colborn makes the charts with the tenth highest number of games played. I assume that the players voted into these XI form the nominees for the Regional XI (voting this weekend), therefore the Gateway's voting in of non-playoff players will presumably not be reflected in the latter vote. 


NPSL Midwest Playoffs: Conference Finals Review

For more on the results that got us here, click here

The rankings featured are the national points-per-game ranking. All Conference Finals are hosted by the higher seed. The NPSL has decided that the Conference Champion title will belong to whoever wins these matches. Amid those we surveyed, the move was unpopular.

https://twitter.com/Lights_Football/status/1674280797086384128

North

#1 Duluth FC 1-2 #28 Med City FC at Public Schools Stadium, Duluth, MN.

A shocking game to end an unbeaten season. The BlueGreens were held scoreless until the third minute of first half stoppage time when Felipe Santos tapped home from close range. Duluth were reduced to ten men as Dylan Zavatini was sent off for a second yellow card in the sixty-fifth minute.  Med City equalized in the seventieth minute as Andres Solares committed a foul in the penalty area. The PK from Tristan Jumeau hit Zeke Foltz in the Duluth goal and crept into the goal. In the eighty-sixth minute, Duluth were down to nine men after a late tackle by Solares sent Lucas Hart up in the air. Med City head coach Neil Cassidy received a red card in the one-hundred and tenth minute for abusive language.

Ricardo Schroeder scored the winner in the one-hundred and fifteenth minute, tapping home from a Scott Neil cross from the right. Ignominiously, the hosts were eventually reduced to seven men as Colin O'Mahony was given a second yellow card and Kostya Domaratskyy a straight red (for abusive language) in stoppage time at the end of the game. Cassidy's red card could end up being the costliest, as it would mean his absence from the Regional Semifinal against Steel City FC.

Gateway

#10 Des Moines United 2-1 (AET) #35 FC Milwaukee Torrent at MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex, West Des Moines, IA

In the thirty-first minute, Torrent took the lead as Kyle Crain dribbled through the United defense and slotted it home. The equalizer came in the sixty-fifth minute as a deep cross from the right was met on the volley by Jayce Berger. The winner came in the one-hundred and nineteenth minute, as a deflection took the ball in the opposite direction than a despairing Nick Chiappa's dive.

Great Lakes

#4 Steel City FC 2-0 #36 Cleveland SC at Founders Field in Cheswick, PA.

Steel City took the lead in the thirty-seventh minute after a series of overlaps finished with a short pass into the six yard box where it was finished with aplomb by Gabe Norris.  A free kick from the left was nodded home in the eightieth minute by Ryan Landry to settle the game.

Heartland

#16 Tulsa Athletic 2-1 #22 OKC 1889 at Rogers State University, Claremore, OK.

After a goal-less first half, it only took Tulsa take two minutes to break the deadlock, Luis Flores flicking the ball home at the near post after a pin-point drive free kick from the left. In the forty-ninth minute, OKC levelled the game through a blast from Nickell Alexander. Athletic took a quick free kick in the seventy-fourth minute and the cross was deflected home by Flores, with OKC out of shape.

Coming Up

The four Conference winners now move onto the Midwest Regional Semi-Finals, which will take place in Indianola, IA (One of the homes of Des Moines United) on Friday. Those matches will be:

Steel City FC v Med City FC and Des Moines United v Tulsa Athletic.

The Regional Final will then follow on Saturday at the same site.

Stay tuned for coverage of the regionals.


WPSL Central Region Semifinals: Colorado Rapids Women v KC Courage - July 15 - 4:00 pm CDT FC Milwaukee Torrent v Salvo SC - July 15 - 7:00 pm CDT Regional Finals Central Winner Game 1 v Central Winner Game 2 - July 16 - 3:00pm CDT

WPSL Central: Regional Finals Review

How it works:

At this stage, the Conference winners face each other in a central location of Wauwatosa, WI. For more on how the Conferences were won, see here

Semi-Finals

Colorado Rapids Women (Mountain) 1-0 KC Courage (Heartland)

Last year's national runner-up faced a club returning to WPSL after a spell in UWS. Rahael Akaety made the first notable contribution to the game, curling a shot wide from the right for Courage in the second minute. Annest hit a Rapids free kick up and over from the top of the penalty arc a minute later. The Rapids goalkeeper took a big risk in coming out of her area for a ball, but Courage were unable to capitalize on her being out of position. Rapids were hitting hard and fast, whereas Courage were choosing to build up more methodically. Slowly, Rapids moved into a position of strength for ten minutes but could not capitalize, with the best chance coming about when the ball pinballed around the six yard box but ended up with the keeper. In the thirty-third minute, a Rapids player went down in the area after a strong slide tackle, but a corner was given. A minute later, Glover countered but her shot was saved well by the sliding feet of the Courage keeper rushing out. The half ended with a Courage attacker seemingly shouldered off the ball in the area, but the referee gave a goalkick.

There was a frantic start to the second half. Courage with a free kick on the left side, 20 yards out on the left. The ball drifts into the box but no shot on goal. Courage with a spell of pressure for ten minutes. Rapids' Silverman on the counter, closed down. In the last five minutes, Rapids upped the pressure and had a great chance on goal in the eighty-fourth minute but the Rapids free kick drifts harmlessly past a sliding attacker.

In the ninety-seventh minute, there was a heavy collision between the Rapids goalie and an onrushing Courage attacker. Both are ok, but there was no goal. In the one-hundred and first minute, Silverman is taken down in the box but only a Rapids corner was called. The deciding goal came in the one-hundred and twelfth minute, when a corner was whipped into the near post from the left wing and Marie Annest leapt up and header the ball past the hands of the keeper in the aerial challenge.

FC Milwaukee Torrent (Midwest) 0-0 AET (6-7 on PKs) Salvo Soccer Club (North)

Torrent were knocked out in the Divisional Round last year, whereas Salvo were beaten in the Regional Semis.

Salvo dominated the first half, with Mikki Easter providing several highlight reel saves from Khyah Harper in particular. Sophia Boman hammered a long ball towards goal in first half stoppage time but again Easter was equal to it. The hosts only had a handful of chances in the first half.

Salvo finally got the ball in the net in the fiftieth minute, but it was ruled offside. Torrent finally got some purchase in the game, and had a chance in the center of the box in the fifty-third minute. In the fifty-seventh minute, Maddy Celerek took a ball to the chest but almost immediately was down the other end with a shot on goal. Salvo's best chance came in the sixty-sixth minute, when Harper twisted and turned her defender but the shot was saved. Two minutes later, Alexa Maletis ran in on a recycled ball from a Torrent corner but skews her shot wide from the edge of the area. In the seventy-seventh minute, Leyla Kelbel of Torrent passed directly to Harper but Torrent escape. Both teams had chances before Torrent finished regulation on top, pressing for a last minute steal of a win. Instead, it went to Extra Time. In the first half of Extra Time, the pattern was the same and Harper remained a threat to the Torrent defense but was unable to break through. In the second half of ET, play understandably got scrappy and Salvo had a chance right across the six yard box but no one was around to finish it.

In the end, it took sudden death penalties in a shootout to separate the two sides. Ayden Gagner with a save for Salvo and a subsequent winner by Bella Meier.

Final

Colorado Rapids Women 0-2 Salvo SC

In a relatively even game, Khyah Harper broke through for Salvo in the 61st minute, something she unaccountably failed to do the previous day, with an assist from Meredith Haakenson, blasting home from twenty yards out, having dribbled into position. The same combination also accounted for the second goal, Harper hammering a ball past the keeper into the far side of the net from the right only five minutes later.

Salvo move on to represent the Central in the WPSL National Semifinals in Stillwater, OK on Saturday.

Stay tuned for our coverage of that event.


NPSL Midwest Playoffs: Conference Semi-Finals Review

How it works:

North

#1 Duluth FC 5-1 #51 Minnesota TwinStars

In the twenty-fifth minute, Duluth had a chance to go ahead from the penalty spot but Rory Doyle's PK was saved. Instead, TwinStars took the shock lead, on the break through Sidike Jabateh in the thirty-fifth minute. Only five minutes later, the BlueGreens equalized through leading goalscorer Tyler Limmer. In first half stoppage time, Duluth secured a second PK of the half, this time successfully completed by Kostya Domaratskyy.

TwinStars received a red card for dissent in the fiftieth minute. In the sixty-second minute, Andres Solares curled the ball past the keeper from the top of the box to make it 3-1. Felipe Santos hammered a shot off the crossbar at the near post to make it 4-1 in the seventy-fifth minute. The scoring was completed by Duluth's third PK of the night, Tyler Limmer with the shot.

#12 Dakota Fusion 0-2 #28 Med City FC

This matchup always promised to be a tight one, given the proximity of the two clubs in the standings and in the end it took a couple of shots in the second half to provide the difference. The opening five minutes was frantic and accented by an audacious attempt at a chip by Med City of the Fusion goalkeeper. The first half also ended with a sequence of stops by the Fusion keeper on Med City shots on goal.

In the fifty-seventh minute, with the score still 0-0, the home side had a golden opportunity but an unmarked header from a corner somehow skimmed off the attacker's head and into the goalkeeper's grasp. In the end it was more grit than artistry which secured the win, Lucas Hart with the scrambled opener in the sixty-ninth minute. Five minutes later, Med City methodically moved the ball around the Fusion defense and then Tristan Jumeau blasted it home from close range. Fusion had another good chance to get on the scoresheet in the seventy-sixth minute but a header was planted right at the keeper. The best chance for the home team came in second half stoppage time, when a shot off the rebound hit the foot of the post and bounced wide.

Great Lakes

#20 Michigan Rangers 0-1 #36 Cleveland SC

Cleveland pull the upset in a rain soaked semifinal, eventually called due to lightning. Julian Pellegrini had the winning goal.

Heartland

#16 Tulsa Athletic 2-0 #61 Demize NPSL

Luis Flores scored both goals for Athletic, who move on, although it took until the seventy-first minute for Athletic to break through.

#22 OKC 1889 2-1 #48 Kansas City Sol

The away side took the surprise lead in the twelfth minute through Dontell Gilyard but Nickell Alexander proved key to the turnaround, scoring the equalizer in the sixtieth minute and the winner in the eighty-sixth.

Coming Up on Saturday

North - #1 Duluth FC v #28 Med City FC at Public Schools Stadium, Duluth, MN.

Heartland - #16 Tulsa Athletic v #22 OKC 1889 at Rogers State University, Claremore, OK.

Great Lakes #4 Steel City FC v #36 Cleveland SC at Founders Field in Cheswick, PA.

Gateway - #10 Des Moines United v #35 Milwaukee Torrent at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, IA


WPSL Central Region Semifinals: Colorado Rapids Women v KC Courage - July 15 - 4:00 pm CDT FC Milwaukee Torrent v Salvo SC - July 15 - 7:00 pm CDT Regional Finals Central Winner Game 1 v Central Winner Game 2 - July 16 - 3:00pm CDT

WPSL Central Playoffs: Divisional Round Review

How it works:

At this stage, the divisional winners face each other. Don't see Heartland or North? That's because those conferences only have one division, so the regular season champion is the Conference champion and goes through to the next round. Or at least, they do if they don't withdraw (see below).

Colorado Rapids Women 5-1 Utah Avalanche for the Mountain Conference in Denver, Colorado

Rapids got off to a scorching start, Alyssa Glover sliding in to finish a mazy run by ... with only two minutes on the clock. Marianna Annest made it 2-0 with a PK in the eighth minute. The third goal came in the twenty-ninth minute, Sophia Nguyen slotting in at the near post after a long ball forward met her in stride in the penalty area.

It would remain 3-0 until the fifty-sixth minute when a long cross from the right was met by the diving head of Camryn Macmillan, who sent a looping ball back past the keeper at the far post. Callie Blaylock made it 4-1 in the seventy-first minute,  with a long distance snap shot which seemed to catch the Rapids keeper off-guard. Glover scored again in the seventy-ninth minute to make it 5-1, blasting a shot from the top of the area after a perfectly placed pass.

FC Milwaukee Torrent 3-2 Columbus Eagles FC (AET) for the Midwest Conference crown in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Columbus made the nine-hour road trip on the day of the game and arrived in Milwaukee around three hours before kick-off, with only two available subs (not including our woman to watch Abby Townsend) - in a league where substitutions are unlimited.

Lola Wojcik provided an early test of Celeste Sloma in the Eagles net but was unable to break through. In the fifteenth minute, Alexa Maletis played through Sophia Balistreri but the shot was sent wide by Sloma. Eagles were playing slow-slow-quick-quick-slow and the quick came through some audacious shot attempts, the first of which was Lacee Bethea trying to chip Mikki Easter in the Torrent goal, but it went wide in the seventeenth minute. Even as the Eagles had the stronger chances it was Torrent who went ahead through a penalty kick in the twenty-fifth minute, after a foul on Elsi Twombly, with the aggrieved party taking the shot herself. Columbus still did not stop attacking and had a chance to level it in the 29th minute but the ball was comfortably caught by Mikki Easter in the Torrent goal.

Instead, it was Torrent increasing their lead - also from the penalty spot - as Lainey Higgins was fouled in the back and stepped up to also score her penalty kick. At that point it seemed that everything Columbus could throw at the challenge was going to founder on the rocks of a Torrent defense that had not conceded a goal at home this season but the Eagles kept trying, with Tori Haggitt and Lacee Bethea both missing chances before half time.

Torrent would come out of half time with an apparent desire to drive in a nail, but a chance in the forty-sixth minute was saved by Sloma. Eagles then had a chance put wide and Maletis slashed a shot wide in the fifty-fifth minute.

Columbus finally made a dent in the deficit only four minutes later, as Victoria Kevdzija on a one-two with Lacee Bethea unleashed a shot from twenty-two yards out into the bottom corner of the net to stun the Torrent players and fans. The Eagles continued to attack and they found their equalizer in the seventy-second minute, as Bethea pounced on a rebound from a save.

The last fifteen minutes of the half saw the Eagles dominate possession, seemingly looking to settle the result without Extra Time, and Sydney Worthy hammered a shot against the crossbar and away from danger but neither side could find a break through and we went on to an extra 30 minutes.

Extra Time opened with the Eagles still applying the pressure and Torrent on the counter-attack, however the best chance in the first half of ET was a shot from Twombly, deflected over.

The Torrent would not have to wait much longer for a breakthrough, however, as they burst out of the blocks from kick off in the second half of ET and Alexa Maletis side-footed the ball into the net within 30 seconds of the restart.

It was at this point that the wind finally left the wings of the Eagles as they took a series of long range shots on goal, perhaps in the hope of duplicating the momentum shift of regulation time.

 

Coming Up

The winners of these two matches will join Salvo (representing the North Conference) and KC Courage (Heartland champions) in the Central Region semifinals on Saturday July 15th in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Northern winners Minnesota Thunder declined their invite because of player availability.

Salvo lost narrowly in the regional semi-finals last year, although this year, they avoid facing the #1 seeded Rapids until a potential Regional Final. Courage were in UWS. Torrent lost (in less than ideal circumstances) to KC Current II.

WPSL Central Region Semifinals: Colorado Rapids Women v KC Courage - July 15 - 4:00 pm CDT FC Milwaukee Torrent v Salvo SC - July 15 - 7:00 pm CDT Regional Finals Central Winner Game 1 v Central Winner Game 2 - July 16 - 3:00pm CDT
The regional finals for the Central region of the Women's Premier Soccer League
Image: WPSL

The ball is in the center-left of the frame, just inside the goal. Yellow kitted goalkeeper is horizontal across the goal. White kitted defender is in center of frame. Black kitted attacker is in right of field

NPSL Round Up: Week 8/9

This Week

Friday

Cleveland SC 3-2 Erie Commodores

Twelve minutes into the game, Erie broke through after a free kick was deflected for a corner and the corner was headed home by Joe Gasper. It was 1-1 in the seventeenth minute as Janis Schmidt put his foot through a ball from over twenty yards out and laced it into the back of the net. Paul Katende tripped Julian Pellegrini and in the forty-third minute it was a Cleveland PK by Bojan Kolevski, for the lead.

Shota Toyama hammered a ball home from the top of the area off a corner to make it 2-2. Benjamin Hryszko made it 3-2 in the sixty-second minute, intercepting a ball on the edge of the area. With the win, Cleveland SC secured the third seed in the Great Lakes Conference.

FC Columbus 3-4 Carpathia FC

Carpathia's Mohammed Hammoud virtually dribbled the ball into the net in the twelfth minute on the high press, to put his team ahead. The visitors made it 2-0 in the fortieth minute, as Marco Mazzei blasted a ball from the edge of the area, whilst nearly falling down. Rounding out the first half, a PK was awarded for Carpathia after Doug Hainer was stood on. Luke Morrell's shot was saved but Morell himself snapped up the rebound.

The home side started the second half with a bang, Damani Camara lacing a shot into the net on the half volley to make it 3-1. Camara chipped the ball over the keeper on the run to make it 3-2 in the sixty-second minute. Columbus's Yusuf Dabo hit the post in the 70th minute. Camara hit the crossbar in the eighty fifth minute, but still it remained a Carpathian lead. Hainer made it 4-2 in the eighty-seventh minute, capitalising on a searing run down the endline, crossed in by Alex DeMorow.  Matarr Sowe made it 4-3 in second half stoppage time.

Saturday

Ehtar Belleville 1-1 Milwaukee Torrent

After a goal less first half, it was the hosts who struck first. David Cole laying the ball perfectly into the path of Brandon Nyagurungo to finish in the fifty-first minute. Torrent rescued a point in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time through Jonas Luskey Sanders's bobbled shot through traffic from the top of the box into the bottom corner.

Steel City 3-2 Michigan Rangers

Three minutes into the game, Chris Mendez converted a right wing cross to put Michigan Rangers on top. Nathan Prex equalized in the eleventh minute, dribbling in from the left and slotting the ball past the keeper into the bottom right corner of the goal. Prex then hit the post in the fourteenth minute.

Anthony DiFalco put Steel City ahead in the sixtieth minute, firmly into the right corner of the goal while running away to the left. In the seventy-third minute, Tomas Echevarria equalized, placing the ball hard into the roof of the net.  Michigan Rangers' Adam Hanson got two yellow cards in seventeen minutes and was dismissed in the seventy-seventh minute. Bryan Akongo put the home side back ahead, with a solo dribble and juke before slotting the ball home. Rangers' Nicolas Baigrie received a straight red card for Serious Foul Play in the eighty-fifth minute, scything into a challenge in midfield and both he and Hanson will be suspended for the playoff match Rangers will play.   

Sunflower State FC 5-2 Iowa Raptors

Elyes Ellouz broke the deadlock in the seventh minute for Sunflower but the Raptors replied almost immediately, through Saiheed Jah.  Kolby Godbolt made it 2-1 to Raptors on the breakaway. Ellouz turned provider in the fifth minute of first half stoppage time, slotting the ball through to Kevin Hubbell.

Bryce Dickerson put Sunflower ahead in the seventy-fifth minute with a delicate chip from a pass after Prince Idornigie had tight-roped the left touchline. Ellouz made it 4-2 in the eighty-second minute. Two minutes later, Colin Innes scored a PK for Sunflower (at the second ask) after an agricultural challenge. The win vaults Sunflower ahead of Torrent in the race for the second place in the Gateway Conference Championship.

Dakota Fusion 8-2 Joy

Interesting scenario. Joy traveled to Moorhead with their black jerseys, but that was also the kit that Fusion were expecting to wear, so the operations staff for the home team scrambled to get an alternative kit on site. Such a scenario is not unheard of, but the stadium is in the middle of a building site and the floodlights are out of action so there was a hanging question mark over whether a) the game would be completed before sunset and b) if it would be called at sunset.

Fusion started the game on the front foot, including a couple of corners and a cross across the six yard box but no goal. Yu Tsukanome put the home side ahead in the twelfth minute, sweeping the ball home after a scramble in the six yard box. Fusion doubled the lead in the twenty-seventh minute, a neat passage of passes ended on the foot of Tsukanome via a Cai Pritchard run for him to tap home. Rashaad Ogun scored the third goal for the home side in the thirty-fifth minute, intercepting a misplayed square pass at the back and finishing past Edward Holmes.  Only a minute later, Pritchard to Tsukanome again for his hat trick.  Joy struck back immediately, Philip Caputo whipping a free kick from the left wing 20 yards out, inside the near post. Owen Salzwedel made it 4-2 in the forty-fifth minute, on a series of passes right down the gut of the Fusion defense. 

Joy began the second half in much better nick than the first, having chances on goal and more controlled possession in midfield but could not make further inroads. In the seventieth minute, Tsukanome hammered a shot at Holmes but the Joy goalkeeper was equal to it. In the seventy-seventh minute, Tsukanome took sole possession of the lead in the NPSL Golden Boot with his fourth goal of the game (and his fifteenth goal in ten games), connecting on a through pass. Tsukanome scored his fifth goal in the eighty-seventh minute, catching another defense splitting pass. Eddie Burgos made it 7-2 in the ninetieth minute, also connecting with a nice through pass. Brandon Gasper made it 8-2 less than a minute later. Thankfully, the daylight held out. 

Sunday

Club Atletico St Louis 2-3 Milwaukee Torrent

The visitors started early, with Khedive Konde Gwo rocketing a ball into the net from a right wing corner with only five minutes on the clock. Torrent had a golden opportunity to make it two in the twenty-first minute but a shot from in close went sailing over the goal. Konde Gwo then made it two in the twenty-fifth minute, capitalising on a series of deflections to tap home from within the six yard box - with CASL calling in vain for offside. CASL had a goal called back in the fortieth minute.

In the sixty-fifth minute, Torrent went 3-0 ahead, Konde Gwo finishing from a right wing cross to collect his hat trick. It was 3-1 in the seventieth minute as Nedim Sarajlija blasted home from the edge of the area. Only three minutes later, the home side scored again, Zach Renz smashed the ball home from a corner. CASL were reduced to ten men in the eighty-seventh minute, as  Xavier Brown was dismissed for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity.  The result puts Torrent within one point of the second spot in the Gateway Conference Championship, but they were to face fellow challengers Sunflower State FC next, in what amounted to a play-in game.  See below for details of that match.

Med City FC 1-1 Duluth FC

After an intricate sequence of passes down the left by the hosts, it was Tristan Jumeau who laced one from just outside the area into the back of the net in the seventeenth minute.

The equalizer came from Conor Behan in the forty-ninth minute off a free kick six yards out on the left wing. A Med City free kick in the sixty-fifth minute struck the wall and the rebound from Scott Neil went flying past the outside of the far post.  Julio Rojo narrowly missed a headed chance to put the hosts back ahead in the eightieth minute. What were Duluth's first dropped points of the entire season, could have been even more pronounced. In a strange sequence in the eighty-eighth minute, a PK was awarded to Med City - and then rescinded on consultation with the linesman -  but a red card was issued to Duluth FC's Colin O'Mahony for abusive language.

Akron City FC 0-1 Carpathia FC

Francesco Mazzei provided the decisive blow, slotting into the side netting on the far post after a sequence of exchanges between Mazzei and his brother, Marco in the thirty-eighth minute.

Erie Commodores 3-0 FC Columbus

The Commodores announced that the game was canceled, and the league has it as a 3-0 win, so our best guess is that it has gone in the books as a Columbus forfeit.

Wednesday

Med City FC 3-0 Sioux Falls Thunder

Scott Neil rocketed home from just outside the penalty area in the twenty-fifth minute from a pull back by Tristan Jumeau to put the hosts ahead. Gio Soares set up a second Neil goal in the fortieth minute, placed into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Joshua Seyer received a straight red card in the fifty-fifth minute for the denial of a goalscoring opportunity. From the resultant free kick, Lucas Hart curled one over the wall and into the top corner of the goal to make it 3-0.

As well as a playoff date in Fargo-Moorhead on the 12th, Med City also have a Minnesota Super Cup semifinal at home on the 22nd.

Minnesota TwinStars 5-1 Aris

Aris went ahead through Ernesto Ascenzo in the twenty-fifth minute after a long ball down the left flank sprung the TwinStars offside trap, three minutes later TwinStars equalized as a series of close passes in the middle of the pitch culminated in Miguel Arellano finishing the chance. The home side went up 2-1 in the thirty-fifth minute when a cross from deep on the right was driven hard and low into the goal by Arellano. It was 3-1 in the fortieth minute as Sadra Golzarian finished off a move triggered by an interception of aimless passing by Aris twenty yards from their own goal.

A long ball up field bounced high off the turf in the fifty-fifth minute and Sidike Jabateh beat the goalkeeper to the spot and headed it home for his hat trick. Five minutes later, Aris scored again, a solo dribbling effort followed by a curled shot into the bottom right corner by Stan Cargill. In the seventy-first minute, it was 5-2 as an interception in midfield led Arellano on a run of his own, including a cheeky move around the keeper for his hat trick. The win seals TwinStars place in the playoffs, although they face the daunting task of a road trip to Duluth.

Sunflower State FC 0-4 Des Moines United

With Sunflower fighting for the only remaining spot in the Gateway Conference Championship, Evan Carlson dribbled across the top of the area and through a challenge from a defender before curling it beyond the Sunflower keeper Noah Reuscher, to put Des Moines in front in the eleventh minute. Sunflower had a period of possession around the half-hour mark and it gave them their first shot on goal in the twenty-ninth minute.

Jayce Berger set up Erich Legut in the fifty-first minute to make it 2-0, with a rocket from close range into the roof of the net. In the seventy-seventh minute, United's Andre Lopes made it 3-0, also from close range after he connected with a long ball upfield. A neat sequence of passing lead to number four, scored by Kais Sabic. This defeat is immaterial to Sunflower's playoff hopes, which hinged entirely on the game against Milwaukee Torrent (outlined below). Des Moines United secured their spot a while ago.

Friday 7/7

Carpathia FC 2-0 FC Columbus

A fifth minute PK was ordered for Carpathia after a Columbus defender clumsily ran into the back of a counterpart, and it was successfully taken by James Todd.

The lead was doubled by Joshua Rubin, finishing off a neat exchange of passes between the gridiron hashes in the fifty-first minute.

Cleveland SC 1-1 Steel City FC

Ryan Landry nailed a header from six yards out from a left wing cross in the thirty-ninth minute to put the division winners on top. Bojan Kolevski dribbled into position along the top of the penalty area and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of the net for the equalizer in the fifty-first minute.  Pedro Alves in goal for Cleveland blocked an immediate effort by Steel City to reclaim the lead but that was the best chance either side had in the second half. The Pittsburghers have earned slightly more than a week of rest before the Great Lakes Conference Final on the 15th, whereas Cleveland will have to play on Wednesday the 12th and then again on Saturday.

Saturday

Sunflower State FC 0-1 Milwaukee Torrent

Sunflower needed a win, but came away with a loss.

After a goal-less first half, Sunflower had a PK early in the second half to go ahead. Unfortunately for the hosts, it was well saved by the Torrent goalie Nick Chiappa. Torrent eventually gained the goal which would be insurance in the eightieth minute as Cole Stephens took advantage of a Sunflower team pushed high in search of their essential goal.

Duluth FC 4-1 Dakota Fusion

Duluth started quick. Rory Doyle scored a penalty earned by Tyler Limmer in the twelfth minute and made it 2-0 only two minutes later through Joshua Bellamy. Fusion scored three goals against the BlueGreens. Unfortunately, two of those goals were in their own net. Benjamin Colborn scored the only time they struck at the right end.  In the end, this match was academic in every sense but one: If the top seeds both win their semi-finals, this is the exact two opponents and venue that will host the North Conference championship on Saturday.

Minnesota TwinStars 0-2 Joy Athletic

An own goal in the sixty-third minute gave Joy a lead in this Twin Cities derby, and victory was sealed when Freddy Fernandez scored in the ninetieth minute.

Sioux Falls Thunder 1-1 Aris

Sioux Falls finished the first half leading thanks to a late goal by Lubos Polacko. Benjamin Pena scored the equalizer in the fifty-sixth minute.

Erie Commodores 1-1 Michigan Rangers

Michigan Rangers took the lead on a thirtieth minute Max Wilhelm PK after an attacker was clipped in the box. Erie found their equalizer in the seventy-second minute through Kaito Ueki but in the end it was a drawn game to end the Commodores' season and send the Rangers back home for the playoffs.

Goalscoring Note

Dakota Fusion forward Yu Tsukanome has finished the regular season with 16 goals from 10 games NPSL North schedule, or 1.6 goals per game. This means he has won the Golden Boot as the regular season's top goalscorer across all the entire league. This is the third time in three years that the Midwest has contributed the Golden Boot winner (2021 saw the award go to Duluth FC's Sidney Warden, also with 16 goals, last year it went to Damani Camara of FC Columbus, with 15 goals).

Tsukanome is also in pole position for the Golden Ball, awarded to the best player overall. That award last went to someone in our region in 2017, when Jade Johnson (also of Dakota Fusion) won it with a Fusion-record 17 goals but a GPG of 1.3077, which meant he was pipped to the Golden Boot by 1 goal.

Coming Up - Playoffs:

(# = National ranking)

North

#1 Duluth FC v #51 Minnesota TwinStars

#12 Dakota Fusion v #28 Med City FC

Great Lakes

#20 Michigan Rangers v #36 Cleveland SC

 

Heartland

#16 Tulsa Athletic v #61 Demize NPSL

#22 OKC 1889 v #48 Kansas City Sol

For more about these match-ups, go here.


A yellow kitted goalkeeper is diving diagonally to the right, the ball is just above his left hand

NPSL Midwest Playoffs: Conference Semi-Finals Preview

How it works:

#1 Duluth FC v #51 Minnesota TwinStars

The biggest mismatch in seeding, and therefore overall record. Even being here is an achievement for the reanimated TwinStars. Keep an eye out for Kostya Domaratskyy and Sadra Golzarian.

In the head-to-head, the BlueGreens won 3-0 and 6-1.  Duluth are looking to go undefeated into the regionals. 

#12 Dakota Fusion v #28 Med City FC

Ah yes, a nuanced matchup. These two sides have been nip and tuck all season. Med City have the history (as defending Champions of the North) and the head-to-head (as 1-0 victors in Rochester, the match in Moorhead finished tied) but Fusion have warmed up and have two of the hottest players in the Midwest right now in Shoki Yoshida and Yu Tsukanome (who won the Golden Boot as top goalscorer nationwide). Keep an eye out for Lucas Hart for the Mayhem. 

Great Lakes

#20 Michigan Rangers v #36 Cleveland SC

Rangers have handed out some punishment this season on their day, but they are an expansion club against the defending Rust Belt champions... albeit a CSC without Vinny Bell. Rangers only won their matches this season by a single goal both times. Keep an eye out for Rangers' Daire O'Riordan, who has 7 goals. 

Winner plays #6 Steel City

Heartland

#16 Tulsa Athletic v #61 Demize NPSL

Athletic won their first match 3-1 and drew the second. Still, they have only lost once this season, so should advance. Keep an eye out for Brandon Smalley and Aboubakr Sidiki Moubarak Diallo. 

#22 OKC 1889 v #48 Kansas City Sol

OKC 1889 won both their meetings this year, albeit by a one-goal margin both times. Anthony Rangel of the Sol is in the top 10 most goals scored in the regular season.  Also of note is the presence of former Kansas City Current head Huw Williams as Sol's head coach. His time at KCC came to a halt after only a year.

Gateway (Saturday)

#9 Des Moines United v #35 Milwaukee Torrent

Yes, I know this isn't a Conference semi-final, but I figured it should be previewed.  Torrent claimed one point from the six available in the head-to-head, and could have (possibly should have) had more, having led for most of the match on the road. It finished 1-1. On the other hand, Torrent looked lacking in the loss. Keep an eye out for Jayce Berger on United and Paco Piscaglia for Torrent.  

Still with me? Stay tuned for all of Saturday's Conference Finals. 


A white woman in all pink kit jumping

WPSL Wrap Up: Week 7/8

This Week

Wednesday

Manitou FC 0-1 Salvo

Katherine Jones struck the deciding blow, a rocket from twenty yards out, to give Salvo a win.

St Louis Scott Gallagher 2-0 Sunflower State FC

After a short trip across Missouri, from the Kansas border to the Illinois border, the visitors returned home with nothing to show for their neat passing, albeit with no end product. SLSG went ahead in the twenty-seventh minute, a free kick curled from twenty yards out past the Sunflower keeper and into the top corner of the net by Hannah Larson. Aubrey Mister leant a deserved gloss to the performance by bursting away from a Sunflower State attack on the edge of her own area and sprinting all the way down the other end to score.

Thursday

Kansas City Scott Gallagher 3-0 AFC Columbia

Keegan Good (who also picked up an assist) in the first half, Monica Brauner and Abby Hanson in the second half on the scoresheet for KCSG.

Friday

St Croix Legacy 7-0 Dakota Fusion

St Croix took the lead when Fusion keeper Quinn Carter came out to the edge of her area to sweep a ball clear but only succeeded in clearing the ball to Clare Cater, who chipped it past her and into the net in the fifteenth minute. In the forty-third minute, Carter once more came out to a long ball and the defender and goalie collided with an onrushing attacker, Anna Wagner, who tapped it in. Jenna Hallen put a shot on target and it was deflected home on an attempted goal line clearance for 3-0 in the fifty-ninth minute. Madison Gaffney hammered home the fourth goal of the game from outside the area off the near post in the sixty-third minute. Cater claimed her second only two minutes later, passing a ball from the left back position into the left hand side netting past Carter. Wagner connected on another long ball in behind to pick up her second of the day, and number six overall. Jordyn Jeffers made it 7-0 in the seventy-sixth minute, blasting a ball home from outside the area.

Sioux Falls City 3-0 Manitou FC

After devolving into SFC attack versus Manitou defense, Lourdes Moreno put City ahead in the fortieth minute, picking up a pass from McKenna Lehman before slotting the ball inside the near post from the top of the area. At half time, Barbie Castellanos was withdrawn because the referee identified that Sioux Falls City had played the first half with one too many player on their bench (and thus, in a league with unlimited re-entry, playing).

City made it 2-0 in the fifty-fourth minute as Kaylie Rock wrapped her foot around a ball at the top of the penalty box and drove it into the bottom left hand corner of the net. Rylee Haldeman basically scored a mirror image in the seventy-first minute, off a Jozy Bardsley pass. This game was the last ever competitive match for South Dakotan Hailee Fischer in net for Sioux Falls City.

Midwest Muskrats 0-4 Milwaukee Torrent

Torrent secured their Divisional title and a spot in the playoffs with a routine win over a struggling Muskrat team. Lainey Higgins opened the scoring with a free kick 22 yards out from goal, hammered into the roof of the net. Another firmly struck shot made it 2-0 from Adrianna Alberts. It was 3-0 just before the half as Camryn Ries slotted home.

Sofia Miranda completed the win with a nutmeg of the goalkeeper at her near post in the sixtieth minute.

Iowa Raptors 2-1 Chicago KICS

KICS fall in this match and thus miss out on a chance to play the Torrent in what would have essentially been a play-in scenario, and is now academic. Hallie Peak and Reegan Hess got the goals for Raptors. Katelyn Robinson got the sole goal for the visitors.

Salvo 5-0 Rochester United

It took Salvo until midway through the first half to break through but it was mostly a matter of the home side getting their rhythm and Katelyn Beulke eventually provided the pass from the right for Meredith Haakenson to tap home. In the thirty-sixth minute, Khyah Harper provided the finish on the break, striking firmly past the Rochester keeper.

The third goal came from an Emily Heslin free kick, 30 yards out on the right wing, tapped home by Harper after a close control in the six yard box in the fiftieth minute. A cross from the right was converted by Madison Ishaug in the fifty-fifth minute for 4-0. The fifth and final goal was a tap in by Loretta Wacek after a goalmouth scramble.

Saturday

Columbus Eagles 9-0 FC Spirit

Alivia Milesky, Gabi Hollar and two goals from Victoria Kevdzija in the opening half-hour put the Eagles well on the way to a spot in the playoffs. Lacey Bethea found Sydney Worthy for 5-0 in the 37th minute.

It was 6-0 early in the second half as Haley Miller tapped home. Bethea curled one into the top left corner of the goal from the edge of the area in the sixty-fifth minute. Annalise Grammel set up Katie Cox in the eighty-eighth minute for the eighth goal. Cox made it 9-0 in the ninetieth minute, flicking the ball home from short range.

Sunflower State FC 3-0 Lou Fusz

A backheeled pass by Mackenzie DiMarco across the top of the area led to a howitzer from Thayline Teixeira for a 1-0 lead to Sunflower in the twenty-fifth minute. Then there was some late action, with goals in the eighty-ninth and ninety-second minutes from Renee Berak and DiMarco respectively.

KC Courage 6-1 Kansas City Scott Gallagher

KC Courage secured the win and the playoff spot on the birthday of Courage coach Candice Fabry.

Having slowly racheted up the pressure, Courage went ahead in the seventeenth minute through Raheal Akaety's close range finish. KCSG had a solid chance in the twenty-fifth minute, but the keeper smothered it. KCC had a strong shout for a PK turned down in the thirty-second minute. They made it 2-0 in first half stoppage time, Courtney Claassen nearly breaking the net after a succession of chances in the area.

Kaira Houser scored the fourth goal on the break in the fifty-fifth minute. Another breakaway five minutes later by Addison Steiner made it four. It was 5-0 after Akaety headed home following head tennis from a short corner on the right in the sixty-fifth minute. KCSG got one back in the seventy-eighth minute as Caroline Carter connected on a left wing cross, pounding it back across the keeper. Another counter attack goal, this time by Houser , made it 6-1 in second half stoppage time.

Dayton Dutch Lions 0-6 FC Dayton

FC Dayton opened the derby scoring in the seventeenth minute, as an FCD attacker was body checked in the penalty area. Laney Huber converted the PK. Huber doubled the lead three minutes later, finishing a flowing move which started in their own penalty area. In the forty-third minute, Natalie Hegg finished off a rebound to make it 3-0.

Diana Benigno kickstarted the second half for FCD in a big way, rocketing a ball into the roof of the net from 25 yards out. Another PK was called in the fifty-eighth minute, as another attack was brought to an abrupt halt in the area, but the DDL keeper stepped up and stopped it. Alisa Arthur made it 5-0 on the hour mark, sweeping home from the middle of the area after a midfield interception. Abbi Maier completed the rout in the seventieth minute, blasting home from the edge of the area.

Sunday

Milwaukee Torrent 5-0 Chicago KICS

This match ended up not being the divisional showdown that it was looking like it would be, but Torrent decided to go into their home playoff match swinging. Adrianna Alberts opened the scoring in the eleventh minute, lobbing the goalkeeper from twenty yards out, like a golfer with a wedge. Katie Swenson from thirty-five yards out lasered a shot over the goalkeeper in the forty-fifth minute, to make it 2-0.

Greta Hanson scored the third goal, dribbling through contact and benefiting from a deflection off the keeper back into her path, in the seventieth minute. Lola Wojcik made it 4-0 in the seventy-ninth minute, dribbling through the middle before tapping home, falling down, from the penalty spot. Liesel Odden completed the scoring in the eighty-second minute, from seven yards out in the middle.

Quad Cities Rush 2-2 Iowa Raptors

Rush and Raptors play to a tie. Emily Bollman picked up both goals for Quad Cities, one from a PK and one from a Colleen Rumpza assist. Brynn Jacobi set up both Raptors goals, with Alexis Vasquez and Madisyn Hunt providing the finishes.

Wednesday 7/5

Sunflower State FC 0-2 Kansas City Scott Gallagher

This game was goal less through the first half, but Reiss Wood broke the deadlock in the seventy-fifth minute. A neat exchange of close passes led to a shot from just outside the penalty arc, swept inside the left-hand post. A ball in from the left was tapped home by Kate Gibson to make it 2-0 in the eighty-third minute, a harsh reflection of a relatively equal game.

Saturday

AFC Columbia 0-2 Lou Fusz

Lou Fusz scored the opening goal of the game through Emily Gaebe, in the seventh minute, who spun around and volleyed the ball into the goal from the top of the penalty area after a right wing corner was recycled and a first shot was blocked. Solid defending from AFCC held the visitors to one more goal, an eighty-seventh minute own goal.

Coming Up - Playoffs:

They start tonight, so strap in.

This is the only time of year when we pay attention to the Mountain Conference.

Colorado Rapids Women will play Utah Avalanche for the Mountain Conference, in a repeat of last year's mountain mash. 7pm MT kickoff.

FC Milwaukee Torrent will play Columbus Eagles FC for the Midwest Conference crown. 7pm CT kickoff.

For more on these match-ups, go here

 

The Heartland winners KC Courage gets a bye as winner of a conference with no divisions. Northern winners Minnesota Thunder have declined their invite because of player availability, so someone else will get their bye (since the North also only has one division).


WPSL Central Playoffs: Divisional Round Preview

https://twitter.com/Lights_Football/status/1674280797086384128

How it works:

At this stage, the divisional winners face each other. Don't see Heartland or North? That's because those conferences only have one division, so the regular season champion is the Conference champion and goes through to the next round. Northern winners Minnesota Thunder have declined their invite because of player availability, so someone else will get their bye (since the North also only has one division).

Both these games will be played on Saturday. 

Colorado Rapids Women v Utah Avalanche for the Mountain Conference, in a repeat of last year's mountain mash. The kickoff is 7pm Mountain Time. 

Rapids were the losing finalists of the entire league last season, and are on a run as #1 seed, having amassed a 10-0 record. They have only conceded a league-leading 2 goals all season. As mentioned above, this is a rematch, so Avalanche will be hoping to avoid another 1 game playoff run. The Utahn side have only dropped two points all season themselves, finishing 7-1-0 (W-D-L). Avalanche also have the Mountain's leading goalscorer - Seven Castain with 8 goals and 3 assists. 

FC Milwaukee Torrent v Columbus Eagles FC for the Midwest Conference crown. Kick off is 7pm Central Time.

Torrent (7-1-0) were in their Conference championship last year and got hosed. Their opponents, Kansas City Current II, have taken a year off.  Torrent are the highest scorers in the region's playoff field (behind only MN Thunder), but Mikki Easter's defense have also have only conceded six goals, so expect Torrent to get out on the attack and trust that their stingy defense will hold the back door shut.

Eagles (6-1-1) are enjoying their best season in the WPSL, but have had to fight their way past FC Dayton to secure the National Road division title on the last day and now face a 450 mile trip North. They are the third highest scorers in the region but middle of the field in goal difference.  Keep an eye out for Abby Townsend on the wing. 

Stay tuned for our review of these games and a look forward to the Regional Semifinals and Final. 


A man in a black and red check jersey and black shorts is in left of the frame, looking from left to right. A goalkeeper in a yellow jersey and black shorts is on the right of the shot. The football is in the extreme right of the frame

NPSL Round Up: Week 7

Our survey said...

https://twitter.com/Lights_Football/status/1669745556481093638?t=-ctu5FEbkKCX4Mo6Cl4aVw&s=19

 

This Week

Friday

Sunflower State FC 2-1 Ehtar Belleville

Blake Barrick opened the scoring for Sunflower just before half time, finishing off a defense splitting pass from midfield by Cooper Forcellini. Colin Innes blasted home a free kick from just outside the penalty area in the fifty-eighth minute to make it 2-0. Ehtar halved the deficit in the eighty-fifth minute, Wyatt Fowler capitalizing on the goalkeeper parrying the ball right back into their path.

Cleveland SC 4-3 Akron City FC

The home side went up 1-0 in the twelfth minute, on the counter attack. A possible foul throw by Cleveland was instead ruled a re-throw by the referee and it was that re-throw which flew into the area to Julian Pellegrini, whose pass was deflected by the goalie into the path of Thomas Beck. Colin Biros equalized in the twenty-fifth minute, driving across the top of the area from the right before letting fly. Beck made it 2-1 in the thirty-fourth minute, hammering the ball home at the top of the penalty area. Nathan Childress equalized again for Akron City in the thirty-seventh minute, another firmly hit shot from the apex of the area. In the forty-first minute, the visitors took the lead with another shot from the same range - Ryan Kingsford with the finish.

Admir Suljevic whipped a ball into the box from the left and Keegan Dawson equalized in the fifty-first minute. Bojan Kolevski put Cleveland into the lead in the seventy-eighth minute as he fought his way through Akron defenders and poked the ball home from close range. Akron pushed everyone forward in search of the final equalizer but it did not come.

Saturday

Carpathia FC 3-5 Erie Commodores

The visitors scored within the opening ninety seconds through an own goal. They doubled their lead through Jacob Hancock, volleying a shot from close in, only five minutes in. Carpathia made it 2-1 in the ninth minute off a Francesco Mazzei counter attack down the left wing.  The Commodores stretched their lead again in the 17th minute, Hancock powering down the left before turning inside the right back and slotting the ball high into the net. It was 3-2 in the twentieth minute as Ryan Williams calmly finished a pass from the left wing. In the twenty-seventh minute, it was 4-2 as Joseph Gasper went on a solo counter down the right wing and finished it himself. Mazzei made it 4-3 in the fifty-sixth minute but Kaito Ueki made it 5-3 in the sixty-second minute.

Dakota Fusion 5-4 Sioux Falls Thunder

Shoki Yoshida put Fusion ahead in the 15th minute, connecting on a long clearance up field before putting the ball under the onrushing goalkeeper. Thunder equalized only five minutes later through Marcus Horwood's bullet header from close range, off a right wing cross. Sioux Falls went ahead in the forty-first minute when Fusion only partially cleared an attempted shot inside the penalty area, the deflection was rifled home by Horwood. The Midwest region's leading goalscorer Yu Tsukanome levelled matters only three minutes later on a counter attack.

Yoshida scored his second goal in the forty-ninth minute to put Fusion ahead, blasting in from the left side of the penalty area. Callum Bryan provided the South Dakotans' third goal of the game, hammering the ball home after an initial save. Tsukanome missed an easy chance in the eightieth minute to re-establish the Fusion lead, as a shot was parried right into his path but he put the shot high. Two minutes later, however, Fusion did take the lead as a neat 1-2 led Edward Burgos to the heart of the box. Thunder went right back up field and equalized through Eric Beltran. Fusion then returned the favor, Mate Lengel getting the fifth goal.

Milwaukee Torrent 2-0 Iowa Raptors

A goal in each half was enough for Torrent to claim all three points. Paco Piscaglia scored the opener for Torrent in the fourth minute, tipping home a Max Ludwig worm-burner of a free kick. Lucas Nesthus made it two in the sixty-third minute, converting off a Khedive Miguel Konde Gwo pass with the defense hopelessly out of position.

Joy Athletic Club 1-3 Duluth FC

Duluth went ahead through Colin O'Mahony in the fifth minute but Joy equalized from the penalty spot via Zinedine Kroeten in the thirty-fifth minute. Liam Pritchard re-established the BlueGreen lead in the thirty-ninth minute.

Tyler Limmer scored the third Duluth goal, in the seventy-second minute. Five minutes later, the home team were reduced to ten men as David Riera was sent off for a second bookable offense, the first having been unsportsmanlike behavior.

Med City FC 1-1 Minnesota TwinStars

TwinStars went into the lead in the fifty-fourth minute through Eric Rosas-Rosas, with close control in the box after a cross from the left. Henry Tolbert was the finisher after a swift counter attack down the left for Med City's equalizer in the eighty-fifth minute.

Sunday

Ehtar Belleville 0-0 Club Atletico St Louis

The second Gateway Derby went scoreless, despite plenty of action. Club Atletico had the best chance, with a free kick on the edge of the area tipped wide by Jose Ogaz.

FC Columbus 1-3 Akron City FC

The opening salvo in this game was struck with four minutes on the clock, when an Akron City snap shot forced an acrobatic tipping of the ball over the crossbar. From this small opening, the visitors forced a sustained few minutes of attacking one way, culminating in a goal by Daniel Baumgartner from a direct ball into the box in the ninth minute. Baumgartner got his second of the match in the twelfth minute, heading a cross from the right back across goal. He had a chance for his hat trick in the fifteenth minute but his shot went just over the crossbar. Just before the nineteenth minute, another direct ball up the center of the Columbus defense led to Jaden Wright slotting the ball home through the keeper's legs for 3-0. In the twenty-fifth minute, Columbus were awarded a penalty kick, although the offense was unclear. Damani Camara scored their first goal in six games.

Baumgartner again had a chance for his third in the seventieth minute but Raymel Bowden in the Columbus net stuck out a hand and denied his point blank header. Columbus's best chance in the second came from Ridwan Abdi, but Cameron Victor in the Akron net shut it down.

Steel City FC 3-2 Cleveland SC

Chris Cvecko put the visitors on top early, a close range opportunity after the ball was turned around the back of the Steel City defense by Cleveland. Tate Mohney equalized off a driven Anthony DiFalco cross from the right with the last kick of the first half.

Five minutes into the second half, Justin Kopay wound his way across the top of the penalty area before sliding the ball to DiFalco who uncorked a curler past the goalkeeper to put Steel City ahead. They were only ahead for six minutes after a handball by a Cleveland player was adjudged to have happened just outside the penalty area. Marcus Pereira made the distinction academic as he drove a free kick off the underside of the wall and in at the far post. The final twist came only five minutes later, a cross-field pass by Mohney led to a shot by Copay and the rebound was finished by Ryan Landry. A flurry of late attacks from Cleveland foundered on the rocks of a sturdy Steel City defense.  

Wednesday

Dakota Fusion v Aris

Yu Tsukanome opened the scoring for the home team in the fourth minute of play, connecting on a long ball down the right to blast the ball past Aris's Jacob Havlik from the edge of the area. That goal gives the Japanese player 11 goals from 9 games. A ball from the right was met by Herman Fernandez Ortega at the near post to equalize in the twenty-third minute. Rashaad Ogun made it 2-1 only two minutes later as a goalmouth scramble resulted in a header for Fusion to go back ahead.

Cai Pritchard doubled the lead for Fusion in the fifty-second minute, slotting home a Brandon Gasper pass from the edge of the area - moments after he had joined the game as a substitute. Tsukanome hammered a free kick from twenty yards out but Havlik was equal to it.

Sioux Falls Thunder 6-1 Joy Athletic Club

Sioux Falls took the lead in the twentieth minute after a promising attack was cut short by a foul in the penalty area. The PK was converted by Marcus Horwood , hard to the keeper's right. In the thirty-fifth minute, Joy equalized when a long ball upfield was misjudged by the Sioux Falls center backs and Denilson Ramos ran past them, to make it 1-1.

Thunder went back ahead in the fifty-first minute, a recycled ball from a partially cleared corner was slotted home from within the six yard box by Jack Crombie.  A long ball down the middle in the fifty-ninth minute saw Crombie round the right back and slot the ball calmly home for his second. In the seventy-first minute, a bullet header by Trace Dobson from a raking ball from the right wing made it 4-1. Crombie set on a dribbling run across the left wing before sliding home the fifth goal, and his hat trick, in the seventy-eighth minute. A pass from the left, flicked into the area was finished off by Eric Beltran in the eighty-seventh minute.

 

Schedule note: Duluth FC's match with Med City FC was postponed due to bad air quality in Rochester, MN. The postponement could make life interesting for Med City and Dakota Fusion, who both have to face the Duluth buzzsaw before they can secure their playoff seed.

Playoff Projection - as of 6/30. (# = National points-per-game ranking)

North

#1 Duluth FC v #60 Minnesota TwinStars

#21 Dakota Fusion v #28 Med City FC

Great Lakes

#11 Michigan Rangers v #33 Cleveland SC

Winner plays #5 Steel City FC

Heartland

#19 Tulsa Athletic v #55 Demize NPSL
#25 OKC 1889 v #41 Kansas City Sol

Gateway

#10 Des Moines United v #35 FC Milwaukee Torrent

Coming Up

Tonight

Cleveland SC v Erie Commodores - 7pm ET

FC Columbus v Carpathia FC - 7:15pm ET

Saturday

Ehtar Belleville v Milwaukee Torrent - 6pm CT

Steel City v Michigan Rangers - 6pm ET

Sunflower State FC v Iowa Raptors - 6pm CT

Dakota Fusion v Joy - 7pm CT

Sunday

Akron City FC v Carpathia FC - 6pm ET

Club Atletico St Louis v Milwaukee Torrent - 6pm CT

Erie Commodores v FC Columbus - 7pm ET

Med City FC v Duluth FC - 7pm

Wednesday

Med City FC v Sioux Falls Thunder - 7pm CT

Minnesota TwinStars v Aris - 7pm CT

Sunflower State FC v Des Moines United - 7pm CT

Friday 7/7

Carpathia FC v FC Columbus - 7pm ET

Cleveland SC v Steel City FC - 7pm ET

Erie Commodores v Michigan Rangers - 7pm ET

Saturday

Sunflower State FC v Milwaukee Torrent - 6pm CT

Duluth FC v Dakota Fusion - 7pm CT

Minnesota TwinStars v Joy Athletic - 7pm CT

Sioux Falls Thunder v Aris - 7pm CT


The sun sets behind a grandstand, with floodlights on either side

WPSL Wrap Up: Week 6

This Week

Wednesday

Rochester United 0-9 Minnesota Thunder

The North's leaders got off to a storming start, with Paige Kalal converting an Olimpico from the left after only ninety seconds. Thunder continued to press but United had a chance to equalize in the eleventh minute, Samara Nunn seizing on a lax back pass towards the keeper but she was unable to control the shot and it blazed high. Kaitlyn MacBean made it 2-0 in the nineteenth minute with a delicate ball across the goal and off the inside of the far post following neat buildup down the left. The hosts had their own moments of composed possession and passing, without really threatening the goal. Kendall Stadden belted Thunder into a three goal lead in the forty-third minute, from the middle of the box on the left side across into the top right hand corner of the Rochester net.

MacBean made the score 4-0 early in the second half and then Paige Peltier headed the ball home from a corner in the fifty-eighth minute to make it 5-0. She repeated the trick only a minute later. Taylor Heimerl volleyed the seventh goal in the sixty-second minute, off a searching cross from the right to the top of the box. Stadden picked up her second of the game in the eighty-fifth minute, turning into a shot from the top of the box. Stadden then completed her hat trick with the last kick of the game, a firmly placed shot, also from the top of the penalty area.

Thursday

Kansas City Scott Gallagher 0-2 KC Courage

A free kick from deep in midfield was allowed to bounce and skip its way past the KCSG keeper for Aya Saiki to make it 1-0 in the 35th minute. Courage made it 2-0 through Gail Logan, tapping home from close range in the 42nd minute after a long, raking ball down the right wing resulted in a scramble for possession.

Friday

Dayton Dutch Lions 0-3 FC Pride

For a Dayton Dutch Lions side who only have one point all season, the game couldn't really have begun much worse. In the seventeenth minute, a Pride attacker was dragged back, inches from the penalty area. Paige Miller finished off the free kick, round the wall and into the bottom left corner and the defender, Suzy Hayes was given a red card for denial of a goal scoring opportunity. In the twenty-fifth minute, the lead was doubled after a cross from right on the endline was tapped home by Miller.

The game entered a lengthy injury break midway through the second half, which saw extensive treatment on the pitch-side running track and the eventual departure of an injured Dutch Lion, Tenley Mcnutt, in an ambulance.

Eleven versus ten is a tough assignment under the best circumstances, but a 37+ minute delay and the departure of an injured player always tends to make such restarts somber and tense affairs. The clock kept running, which will make any references to time in the remainder of this piece look very odd.

Pride scored their third goal in the ninety-fifth minute, Dana Fish with the smart finish from close in. The clock read 122 minutes when the referee blew for full time.  My thanks to Brian at Gem City Sports Network for his assistance keeping track of this most unusual of games.

Mankato United 1-5 Rochester United

The Highway 14 Cup comprehensively went the way of the visitors. Sienna Latta opened the scoring in the seventeenth minute, the last player to make contact after Rochester United's fifth corner pinballed around the box. Mankato called for a handball on Latta's control, but it was denied.   RU dominated possession but were unable to widen the score margin until first half stoppage time. Briana Johnson clipped a right wing pass home at the near post. Another right wing pass only a minute later was finished by Franciele Cupertino for 3-0 almost immediately before half-time.

Abby Rieff claimed Mankato's only goal early in the second half, off an Olivia Thoen pass. Latta got a gift in the fifty-second minute as the ball deflected right into her path on the goal line. She tapped home for 4-1. MUSC pushed their opposition more in the second half, but it was Rochester United who found the finishing touch - in the eighty sixth minute through Samara Nunn.

MapleBrook Fury 1-1 Joy Athletic Club

Paige Goaley broke the deadlock for the home team in the thirty-third minute, volleying home from the top of the box. Joy found their equalizer in the eighty-third minute from Aliviah McClinton.

Sioux Falls City 2-1 Dakota Fusion

A 2-1 hammering, with the home side dominating possession and Quinn Carter in the Fusion goal arguably the player of the match. Juni Ejere opened the scoring for City in the seventh minute, taking on a defender successfully on the left before placing the ball past the diving Carter into the bottom right corner. Ejere turned provider in the seventeenth minute, setting up a tap in from Rylee Haldeman, who beat a sliding defender to the goal. Blayke Hurley halved the deficit in the forty-second minute, a snap shot going through the hands of Hailee Fischer.

Ejere hammered a ball in the sixty-fifth minute but Carter tipped it on to the crossbar, in the best chance City had in the second half. Chloe Allen also hit the outside post in the eighty-sixth minute and Barbie Castellanos had a late shout for a PK turned down.

Saturday

AFC Columbia 0-6 Kansas City Scott Gallagher

With 31 goals conceded in their first six matches, Columbia made a surprisingly robust start to this match. However, KCSG broke through in the forty-third minute - Monica Brauner dribbling through the defense in the penalty area before slotting the ball home from midway in the box.

The visitors doubled their lead in the fiftieth minute, Adriana Benassi powering one home from the edge of the penalty area. The third goal, in the sixty-third minute, was a spinning shot from the top of the box which snuck inside of the left hand post through traffic by Kate Gibson . In the seventy-fifth minute, it was 4-0 as Gibson drove one past the diving keeper from the outer edge of the box. It was 5-0 in the eighty-sixth minute after Hailey Palmer finished off a neat exchange of passes into the penalty area. The final goal came in the 90th minute , Palmer finishing smartly from a pass into the area.

Sunflower State FC 1-3 St Louis Scott Gallagher

Mackenzie DiMarco opened the scoring for Sunflower, slotting home after a break down the left in the eighth minute. SLSG equalized from a left wing corner in the sixteenth minute, tapped home at close range by Leah Selm . The go-ahead goal for the visitors was struck with fury from just outside the area by Izzy Patterson in the 60th minute. Seven minutes later it was 3-1 after the Sunflower goalkeeper misjudged a long ball and Hannah Larson tapped into the empty net.

Midwest Muskrats 2-2 Iowa Raptors

A turnover in midfield and a through pass down the left wing set up Kelly Schaffer to chip the ball into the roof of the Raptors net for a 1-0 Muskrat lead. The equalizer came in the fourteenth minute after a ball was blasted into the hands of a Muskrat defender from close range for a PK to be harshly awarded. The equalizer was converted from the spot by Jessica Reinhardt.  Raptors took the lead in the twenty-first minute in almost the same fashion as the Schaffer goal, Eliza Evans the scorer. Olivia Shaw spun the equalizer in the twenty-sixth minute over the goalkeeper from 30 yards out.

Quad Cities Rush 3-0 Chicago KICS

Emily Bollman broke the deadlock for the struggling QC Rush and it was 1-0 heading into the half time break. The match entered a lightning delay in the eighty-seventh minute. Bollman finished the game with two goals and the other goal was scored by Colleen Rumpza. Once again, Allison Mirimanian racked up the saves in goal for Rush.  We believe this is Rush's first win in the WPSL (in their second season), and it puts a spanner in KICS' season, where they are fighting with Milwaukee Torrent on 12 points for the one playoff berth from the Lake Michigan division of the Midwest Conference.

Sunday

Dakota Fusion 0-11 Minnesota Thunder

I was gonna say "it brings me no joy" to report another hammering of Fusion, but that's not true. The truth is, there were no howlers by Fusion in this game, only spotless football by Thunder.

The scoring began in the third minute, after relentless pressure from kick off resulted in a shot in at the near post by Kaitlyn MacBean. Two minutes later, a pass centrally was finished by Paige Peltier from close range. Fusion had a good chance in the fifteenth minute but the counter attack shot did not go in. At the other end, Quinn Carter once again stopped a few shots, but the vast offensive pressure of possession remained with Thunder. In the nineteenth minute, Peltier grabbed her second on a tap in after MacBean broke away and set her up. MacBean had another good chance to add to the score, but the ball across the six yard box was not finished. Carter stopped a MacBean chance at point blank in the twenty-sixth. Taylor Heimerl (the 2022-23 Gatorade Minnesota Girls Soccer Player of the Year) made it 4-0 in the twenty-eighth minute, a curler from the right back spot into the goal. Only four minutes later, a Kalal corner from the right was scored by MacBean to make it five.

In the fourty-eighth minute, MacBean scored number six (and her hat trick) from a PK after a hard challenge on the edge of the area. Peltier secured her hat trick with a finish from the top of the area after a defensive clearance dropped to her, in the fiftieth minute. In the fifty-seventh minute, Morgan Bachelor connected with a Kalal cross and put it into her own net (although the match report credits MacBean with her fourth, so we'll go with that). In the eightieth minute, MacBean spun on the top of the area and made it 9-0. After a Fusion attack, MacBean led a counter and slotted home her sixth in the eighty-fourth minute. Finally, in the eighty-seventh minute, MacBean headed home a Kalal corner from the right for her seventh.

A final note on Kaitlyn MacBean: Having begun her Summer scoring for MN Aurora in USL W League, she now has the most goals in the entire 131 team WPSL, with 13 goals overall and 6 assists. In my years of watching games at this level, I cannot recall another player scoring goals in different amateur leagues in the same season.

Mankato United 0-4 Salvo

Salvo dominated possession in the torrential rain of Mankato but only scored once in the first half, Khyah Harper cleaning up a rebound in the middle of the box with seven minutes on the clock.

Harper hit the ball firmly from around the penalty spot early in the second half, down off the underside of the crossbar to make it two. Ansley Atkinson drove the ball into the box and powered it home in the sixty-first minute for a 3-0 scoreline. Ava Stanchina had a chance for United on the break but the snap shot went wide. Atkinson took a deep free kick and curled it into the goal for the fourth goal in the eighty-third minute.

MapleBrook Fury 0-1 Sioux Falls City

Sioux Falls take all three from a challenging road trip, McKenna Lehman with a blazing strike from the top of the area into the top right hand corner of the goal in the thirty-third minute.

Columbus Eagles 5-4 FC Dayton

Lainey Huber led a counter attack for Dayton and took the goal herself, after only six minutes. Dara Russo made it 2-0 with a strike from the edge of the area in the fifteenth minute, FCD having intercepted the ball from Abby Townsend in midfield. Townsend cut in from the right wing and answered back immediately. Abby Townsend came steaming down the right wing in the twenty-fifth minute and crossed the ball teasingly onto the foot of Amy King. Kylee Simmons went right back up the other end and made it 3-2 with a blazing shot from the left hand edge of the penalty area. Gaby Hollar hit the post for the Eagles.

Hollar equalized from a sizzling cross into the six yard box by Townsend early in the second half. Nicki Cox almost immediately put Columbus on top. Townsend made it 5-3, pounding the ball in at the near post from a Cox pass through the defense.  Huber got the fourth for FCD but they could not escape their first loss of the season.

Milwaukee Torrent 6-0 Iowa Raptors

Alexa Maletis finished a Maddy Celarek cross into the six yard box to make it 1-0 to the Torrent in the seventh minute.  Elsi Twombly scored the second goal in the nineteenth minute, off a Lainey Higgins pass down the middle.  Twombly scored again, two minutes later with a towering header from a right wing corner. Raptors had a shout for a PK but the referee instead gave a free kick right on the right edge of the area and it went over the goal. Sofia Miranda made it 4-0 in the thirty-fifth minute, blasting home from close range.

Lauren Hernandez scored the fifth goal, in the fifty-fifth minute, via a substantial deflection from a defender. Alexa Maletis scored off a rebound with virtually the last kick of the match.

Tuesday

Joy Athletic Club 1-6 Mankato United

Only fifty-five seconds into the match, Ella Huettl made it 1-0 to the visitors as she connected on a pass from the left wing. Dare Kroeten had a chance for Joy in the thirteenth minute, but the cross-shot failed to be either.   Another left wing cross in the twenty-first minute was deflected via an attempted interception in the six yard box for Huettl to pick up her second goal of the match. It was 3-0 in the thirty-second minute as center-back Libby Spangler connected with a ball played back to her, more than forty yards from goal, chipping the goalkeeper and settling in the top left corner of the net. In first half stoppage time, it was Madeline Hobbs's turn to join the scoring, volleying the ball home after a quick throw-in sprung an attack down the right wing and the pass was drawn into the middle of the box.

An Ella Bryant shot was parried up and away by Mackenzie Rath in the United goal in the fifty-third minute, but the corner came to nothing. Ten minutes later, a counter attack set up Annelise Winch for the fifth goal. Jessica Bartz was called for a PK in the seventy-third minute on a mis-timed slide tackle, and Aubrey Bahl converted it to make the score 6-0. Joy would have their own shout for a PK but a handball was unsuccessfully argued for. Mankato had a final flourish denied them in second half stoppage time as a header was flagged offside. Going the other way, Samantha Mcgurgan blasted the ball off the underside of the crossbar and Kroeten was able to tap the ball in.

Coming Up

Tonight

Minnesota Thunder v MapleBrook Fury - 7pm CT

Rochester United v St Croix Legacy - 7pm CT

Manitou FC v Salvo - 7pm CT

St Louis Scott Gallagher v Sunflower State FC - 7pm CT

Thursday

Kansas City Scott Gallagher v AFC Columbia - 7:30pm CT

Friday

St Croix Legacy v Dakota Fusion - 4pm CT

Sioux Falls City v Manitou FC - 6pm CT

Midwest Muskrats v Milwaukee Torrent - 7pm CT

Iowa Raptors v Chicago KICS - 7pm CT

Salvo v Rochester United - 7pm CT

Saturday

Columbus Eagles v FC Spirit - 12pm ET

Sunflower State FC v Lou Fusz - 2pm CT

KC Courage v Kansas City Scott Gallagher - 2pm CT

Dayton Dutch Lions v FC Dayton - 3pm ET

Sunday

Milwaukee Torrent v Chicago KICS - 3pm CT

Quad Cities Rush v Iowa Raptors - 7pm CT

 

And now for something completely different...

https://twitter.com/Lights_Football/status/1669745556481093638?t=-ctu5FEbkKCX4Mo6Cl4aVw&s=19

 


Four soccer players are depicted. Left hand side, player in a white jersey sliding in, player in center in a black jersey and orange shorts with his arm aloft, partially obscured player in white jersey and a goalkeeper on the right side, diving towards the ball

NPSL Round Up: Week 6

This Week

Friday

Cleveland SC 3-0 FC Columbus

Thomas Beck opened the scoring in the Grampa's Cheese Barn Derby in the seventh minute, dribbling in from the left before slotting home. Chris Cvecko made it two in the thirteenth, powering home from close range after a pass along the ground from the left. Emilio Spetic scored the third, driving a shot in from the top of the penalty area.

Des Moines United 1-0 Iowa Raptors

United took the lead in the forty-fifth minute, Jayce Berger converting from close range after a 1-2 with Eloge Iradukunda. The ball was scuffed and dribbled slowly across the line. Rayane El Mehdi made a key save in the last ten minutes to preserve the lead. The victory secured United a playoff spot from the Gateway Conference.

Saturday

Ehtar Belleville 3-2 Sunflower State FC

Sunflower opened the scoring from the spot, Cooper Forcellini with a PK. Ehtar equalized in the twentieth minute, Brandon Nyagurungo blasting home from the touchline. Nyagurungo then took Ehtar into the lead, intercepting a pass back to the goalkeeper before rounding the keeper from the left and slotting into an open net. Nyagurungo hit the crossbar in the thirtieth minute, but no goal. Tim Smith equalized for Sunflower from a second PK of the game in the thirty-eighth minute.

Arthur Ferreira secured the winning goal for Ehtar with the last kick of the match, steaming in when a Tristan Austin penalty kick was saved.

Akron City 0-1 Michigan Rangers

A thirteenth minute goal by Tomas Echevarria was enough to separate these two sides in a match  with seventeen shots but only that one on target. Echevarria drove inside off the right and placed the ball past the despairing dive of the ACFC keeper from the middle of the penalty area.

Carpathia FC 1-3 Steel City

The visitors broke open the game in the fifth minute as Nathan Prex struck from outside the box but Carpathia had the majority of possession between then and half time.

In the fifty-first minute, Steel City made it 2-0 as a ball was laid across for Michael Sullivan to smash it in first time from twenty-five yards out. Another long distance pile-driver, this time from Tate Mohney , gave Steel City a three goal cushion in the sixtieth minute.  The sole tally for the home side came in the ninetieth minute when a long ball between the gridiron hashes was met by the foot of Reece Still, who chipped the keeper.

Duluth FC 6-1 Minnesota TwinStars

The home side started early, fluid play from left to right and then a cross from the right was finished by Felipe Santos in the seventh minute. Tom Pritchard made it 2-0 in the tenth minute, on the run on the edge of the area. Tom Akinola scored the third goal from a corner in the sixteenth minute. Conor Behan increased the BlueGreen lead in the seventeenth minute, a neat finish on the half volley coming into the area. Famade Bamba was upended in the box in first half stoppage time and the PK was dispatched by Sadra Golzarian.

Rory Doyle headed home from close range off a Stefan Roeb cross from the right to make it 5-1 in the fifty-fifth minute. Tyler Limmer then followed up only a minute later, stepping on to a Santos pass.  Unaccountably, there were no goals in the last thirty minutes.

Milwaukee Torrent 7-0 Club Atletico St Louis

Following a lop-sided opening twenty-five minutes, albeit with no goals, a clumsy challenge on Will Davis resulted in a PK for Torrent, slotted away by Jules Peycelon. Tyler Howard headed home from a left wing corner to make it 2-0 in the thirty-third minute. Davis himself got a goal, finishing off an overhit cross from the left at the far post, in the thirty-eighth minute. Just before half time, Lucas Nesthus lashed a ball home from the left edge of the area.

Nesthus's second of the game made it 5-0 in the fifty-eighth minute, off a lightning counter, finished when he lifted the ball over the advancing keeper.  Sam Abreu chested down the ball and volleyed it home from the top of the box in the eighty-ninth minute. Paco Piscaglia made it 7-0 with the last kick of the game.

Aris 1-0 Joy

An Abdul Samet Ankaoglu goal in the nineteenth minute was the difference as Aris claimed all three points for only the second time this season.

Med City FC 1-0 Dakota Fusion

The home side were much the more patient and possession-oriented team during a scoreless first half but Fusion arguably had the best chance to score when Med City keeper Iker Gonzalez ran out of his goal and lost possession. The onrushing Fusion attackers could not score into an open net from distance.

Henry Tolbert broke the deadlock in the sixty-third minute after the Mayhem had spun the Fusion defense into knots. Both goalkeepers made big stops to keep the score tight.

Sunday

FC Columbus 0-4 Cleveland SC

The second Cheese Barn Derby in a week went the way of Cleveland courtesy of a nineteen minute scoring outburst at the start of the match. Thomas Beck opened the scoring in the opening ten minutes, off a rebound from a shot. Beck then doubled the lead with a PK. A deflected shot in the eighteenth minute made it 3-0. Carter Hancock blasted home number four only three minutes later.

Wednesday

Aris 1-7 Med City FC

Matt Roberts opened the scoring for the visitors in the nineteenth minute, on the volley after a series of bounces and attempts from close range. In the thirty-third minute, their second goal left no such doubts, Toby Millward curling a free kick around the wall and into the top right hand corner from twenty yards out. A PK in the fortieth minute for a hard foul was dispatched by Tristan Jumeau. Roberts got his second as a high press caused a turnover twenty five yards from goal and the Mayhem outsprinted the defense. The home side spoiled the clean sheet with a neatly played ball right down between the gridiron hashes, finished by Jacob Battista.  Aris finished the half with only ten men, after Luis Vergara received a red card awarded for violent conduct.

Martin Rasmussen made it 5-1 at the hour mark, controlling a bouncing ball before volleying it in from the edge of the penalty area. Another rifled shot from the top of the box, this time by Lucas Hart, made it 6-1 only seven minutes later. The seventh goal came via a flicked header by Gio Soares off a cross from the right in the eighty-first minute.

Minnesota TwinStars 1-2 Dakota Fusion

The visitors took the lead from a forty-second minute goal by Yu Tsukanome, but TwinStars equalized in the eighty-seventh minute through Anthony Mator's calmly slotted shot past the keeper and in off the post. Fusion stole the lead back in second half stoppage time, on the counter attack as Shoki Yoshida finished off a teasing cross from the right into the six yard box.

Sioux Falls Thunder 0-1 Duluth FC

The runaway leaders of the North took the lead in the twenty-seventh minute as Dylan Viebrantz-Zavatini headed home a corner and the BlueGreens cruised to a victory against the winless Thunder.

Thursday

Iowa Raptors 3-1 Milwaukee Torrent

A stroll for Raptors. Saiheed Jah opened the scoring in the thirty-first minute and Jonah Dancer doubled the lead just before half-time.

Kolby Godbolt made it 3-0 for Raptors in the sixty-second minute before Khedive Miguel Konde Gwo spoiled the clean sheet in the eighty eighth minute.

Michigan Rangers 4-2 Carpathia FC

It took Carpathia precisely 55 seconds from kickoff to score, Mohamed Hammoud with the finishing touch after a one two in the box released him into the right back berth. Rangers nearly equalized through Chris Mendez in the eleventh minute, but his header was deflected out and the corner came to nothing. The Carpathia keeper, Marko Matovski also made a point blank save off Tomas Echevarria in the twentieth minute. Elliott Bentley chipped the ball in from an acute angle on the left two minutes after that but that goal was disallowed. Francesco Mazzei headed the visitors into a two-goal lead in the thirty-second minute from a left wing corner against the run of play and making Carpathia 2-for-2 in converting shots on target into goals. Unfortunately for the team from Detroit, that would be the best it got.  TJ Ifaturoti halved the deficit in the thirty-eighth minute, with Rangers' fourth shot on goal - from a Echevarria pass down the gut of the Carpathia defense.  Another defense splitting pass, this time by Mendez, finished off by Echevarria for the equalizer in the forty-third minute.

Matovski pulled off a full length dive to the top corner of his net to deny Rangers a go-ahead goal in the fifty-third minute. Ifaturoti put the home side ahead just before the hour mark, reeling in a bouncing ball while dribbling across the penalty box in the fifty-ninth minute, slotting the ball home from the left back position. Only a minute later, it was 4-2 when a pass back towards the goalkeeper (shout out When Playing It Out Of The Back Goes Wrong) was intercepted by Dara O'Riordan.

 

Coming Up

Tonight

Sunflower State FC v Ehtar Belleville - 6pm CT

Cleveland SC v Akron City FC - 7pm ET

Saturday

Carpathia FC v Erie Commodores - 7pm ET

Dakota Fusion v Sioux Falls Thunder - 7pm CT

Milwaukee Torrent v Iowa Raptors - 7pm CT

Joy Athletic Club v Duluth FC - 7pm CT

Med City FC v Minnesota TwinStars - 7pm CT

Sunday

Ehtar Belleville v Club Atletico St Louis - 4pm CT

FC Columbus v Akron City FC - 5pm CT

Steel City FC v Cleveland SC - 5pm ET

Wednesday

Dakota Fusion v Aris - 7pm CT

Med City FC v Duluth FC - 7pm CT

Sioux Falls Thunder v Joy Athletic Club - 7pm CT


A group of women in soccer kits fight for a ball, which is in the middle of the frame. A goalkeeper is pictured in the right side, diving

WPSL Wrap Up: Week 5

This Week

Wednesday

Joy 1-8 Minnesota Thunder

On a day when most others canceled due to Canadian wildfire smoke, the visitors got off the bus from Plymouth wearing their hitting shoes and Paige Peltier made it 1-0 within the opening two minutes. Peltier then doubled the lead in the tenth minute, curling the ball beyond the Joy keeper from close range off a Kaitlyn MacBean pass. MacBean added a goal herself in the 21st, tapping home on the rebound after a save.  It was 4-0 in the thirty-seventh minute as a firmly hit shot cannoned off the left hand post but the rebound fell to Taylor Heimerl. It was 5-0 as Kendall Stadden sniped one home in the forty-third minute. A left wing corner was headed home by Sofia Cabellero in first half stoppage time to make it 6.

Joy made it 6-1 in the fiftieth minute, Dara Kroeten with a blast from twenty yards out. Just before the hour mark, Peltier took another close range shot from a recycled corner and netted her hat trick. A header by Stadden from a corner made it 8-1 in the eighty-third minute.

KC Scott Gallagher 4-1 Sunflower State

Sunflower State took a third minute lead on the road after a left wing cross was met by Renee Brock, but unfortunately for them, that would be the high point of the match. KCSG equalized in the eleventh minute through Jordyn Wilson, taking on the entire Sunflower defense before slotting home from midway through the penalty area. A bullet header from the top of the box by Calynn Harbert from a right wing corner put KCSG ahead in the twenty-second minute.  Kate Gibson got onto the end of a very long free kick punted from midfield to make it 3-1 just before the half.

The only goal of the second half came in the fifty-fourth minute, when KCSG broke from a defensive corner and out sprinted the Sunflower defense for Wilson to pick up her second of the match.

St Louis Scott Gallagher 4-1 Lou Fusz

The St. Louis derby went the way of Scott Gallagher again.  SLSG's first goal of the day was scored after eleven minutes through Jessica Larsen. The lead was doubled when Brionna Halverson lofted the ball into the top left hand corner of the net on the dribble. Katie Hauck made it 3-0. Lou Fusz got on the scoreboard in the fortieth minute after an attacker took advantage of an interception in midfield to turn and face her defender before placing the ball with precision and power into the side netting on the far post.  The last goal came in the fifty-fifth minute as Ashley Martinez blasted home from the top of the box after a scramble where the visitors just could not clear the ball.

Thursday

Mankato United 1-3 St Croix Legacy

On the pristine pitch at Bethany Lutheran, Kato and St Croix went in search of their second win. Legacy opened the scoring on the counter attack, Anna Wagner smashing a ball into the top left hand corner of the goal while running full speed to her right along the top of the United box. Both sides had possession but it was St Croix who were the most threatening. The lead was doubled on another clinical attack in the forty-first minute, Laney Murdzek passed down the gut of the Mankato defense and Lauren Heinsch finished from close in.

Late in the second half, Mankato broke through with Ava Stanchina curling a ball from the right back berth across the goalkeeper into the far post. Laney Murdzek made it 3-1 in the ninetieth minute, as a free kick from 20 yards out went through the hands of the Mankato keeper.

Friday

Minnesota Thunder 3-1 Sioux Falls City

A much closer match than the eventual scoreline suggests, Minnesota Thunder nonetheless continue their red-hot start to the season. After a back and forth opening twenty minutes, it was the home side who made the breakthrough. Kaitlyn MacBean rose to head home from 6 yards out after a scramble in the box. City got their sole tally of the match on a blistering free kick from Lety Bonifacio from right on the edge of the penalty arc in the thirty-third minute. City also hit the crossbar before the two sides retired for half time.

The second half began with City still threatening, with a ball fizzing across the goal in the fiftieth minute. After another period of even possession, Thunder put their foot on the accelerator and accumulated a bunch of corners. In the fifty-eighth minute, the home side went back ahead - Megan Nemec scoring from a long, acute angle. Thunder continued to colonize the corner flag and Maddie Poor made it 3-1 with a volley from the edge of the area after a corner was headed out. See more of this match with our photo gallery

Midwest Muskrats 4-0 Quad Cities Rush

Muskrats eventually won, but it took a deflection and a save before Kailyn Smith knocked the ball home from close range to put the hosts ahead. Smith bundled home a second as a corner went all the way to the back post in the fiftieth minute. Kelly Schaffer made it 3-0, five minutes later, intercepting an attempted pass along the backline. In the seventy-ninth minute, Olivia Hernandez picked up the fourth goal - sliding the ball past the keeper and a covering defender.

Iowa Raptors 2-6 Milwaukee Torrent

Torrent fell behind 2-0 to the hosts before scoring six unanswered, with braces for Lainey Higgins, Elsie Twombly and Sydnee Sagal.

Dayton Dutch Lions 3-3 FC Spirit

A snap shot from just outside the area in the eighth minute by Addie Erslan put DDL ahead. Patient build up led to the equalizer, Katelyn Cavanaugh slid home under the advancing keeper. The Lions re-established their lead in the twentieth minute as Carley Groh slotted home in the break.

Spirit once more tied the game on a free kick absolutely obliterated from just ten yards out by Ella Hamner. With two minutes of stoppage time elapsed, a speculative effort by FC Spirit's Claudia Melgar somehow fooled the DDL keeper and saw the goalie flap at the ball as it went past. The Lions had one final effort to equalize and did so on the break, Erslan claiming her second of the day.

Saturday

Chicago KICS 8-0 Quad Cities Rush

After a relatively open first quarter of an hour, it increasingly became a battle of KICS offense versus the sweeper keeping of Allison Mirimanian. Josie Bieda broke through in the eighteenth minute, on the counter after an interception in midfield. They doubled their lead only four minutes later, Bieda connecting on a lightning counter after a defensive goal kick. A long diagonal ball to the right hand top of the box was received by Caroline Lyman , who beat the onrushing goalie to the ball and lifted it over for 3-0 in the 31st minute. Rush conceded five corners to none and had zero shots on target in the first half.

KICS took their lead even further in the forty-eighth minute, Karli Ferguson tapping home from close in. Ferguson scored her second in the fifty-fifth minute, winding her way through three defenders before beating Mirimanian to the far post. A deflected shot by Ella Skelton made it 6-0 in the fifty-eighth. Alexis Parker adder her name to the scoresheet with a close range finish from a right wing run, only two minutes later. Parker got her second in the sixty-fourth minute, to make it 8-0.

Dakota Fusion 1-14 Salvo

The visitors got off to a flier in Moorhead, Khyah Harper eviscerating a ball into the top right hand corner of Quinn Carter's net in the second minute, after a run down the right. K. Harper doubled the lead in the ninth minute in very similar fashion. Katelyn Beulke made it 3-0 just two minutes later, with a bullet header off a right wing cross. A long shot cannoned off the crossbar and off Carter before it was dispatched by Beulke. Meredith Haakenson then followed up a minute later with Salvo's fifth goal, on a close range finish. Mason Kimbal smuggled the goal in for Fusion from a corner in the twenty-eighth minute. Madison Ishaug made it 6-1 with a close range finish from a left wing pass in the thirty-fifth minute. Loretta Wacek scored number 7 in a similar fashion in the thirty-seventh minute. Harper grabbed her hat trick in the thirty-eighth minute, also from in close. Sophia Boman finished for the ninth goal IN THE FIRST HALF.

Another close range finish in the fifty-fifth minute was Wacek's second of the game. Two minutes later, Boman unleashed a shot from twenty yards out for her second of the game. Ella Conger scored number twelve, off the underside of the crossbar in the sixty-third minute.  Conger then scored with yet another close finish, in the eighty-fifth minute and she completed her hat trick in similar fashion just a minute later.

FC Pride 4-1 Columbus Eagles

Pride opened the scoring in the sixteenth minute, with Paige Miller finishing from close in after a run and a defensive miscue.  A long shot in the twenty-first minute by Dana Fish wrong-footed the Eagles keeper for 2-0.  Caroline Kelley cleaned up after a free kick from eighteen yards out was saved in first half stoppage time. Fish chipped the keeper for 4-0. A close range finish in the ninetieth minute by Celeste Sloma spoiled the Pride clean sheet.

AFC Columbia 0-3 Sunflower State

Sunflower took all three against the struggling CoMO. The goals came from Sofia Hughes, Jessica Baker and Jaylie Hicklin.

FC Dayton 7-0 FC Spirit

No contest in the Gem City, as Madelyn Mozeleski, Lainey Huber, and Jenna Hallbeck claimed goals and Megan Smith and Dara Russo claimed braces. Hallbeck and Huber also claimed assists, along with Maddie Thiss, Heidi Orloff and two from Ava Hall.

Lou Fusz Athletic 1-3 KC Scott Gallagher

Lou Fusz went ahead on the break after only five minutes as Maggie Illig scored but KCSG equalized in the twenty-eighth, through Keegan Good , connecting with a long ball upfield.  The visitors then went ahead in first half stoppage time, Good pinging the ball off the inside of the post from the edge of the area.

KCSG extended their lead just before the hour mark when Good lofted a ball past the diving keeper into the roof of the net from the top of the box for her hat trick.

Sunday

St Louis Scott Gallagher 4-2 AFC Columbia

Early start, early finish as this 11am kick off was called at the 70 minute mark due to lightning.

Hannah Larson opened the scoring for Scott Gallagher in the tenth minute. Jessica Larson then made it 2-0 from inside the area. AFC Columbia halved the deficit before SLSG scored a third to go into the half. Both sides scored in the first portion of the second half but the players left the field and did not return.

St Croix Legacy 1-0 Manitou FC

St Croix took all three points with a seventy-fifth minute winner, Marisa Bonilla with the sliding finish from her seat after a long ball in from the right wing to the six yard box by Avery Murdzek.

Lou Fusz Athletic 1-5 KC Courage

Courage opened the scoring in the thirteenth min, Addison Steiner blasting a ball home from twenty yards out. The visitors doubled their lead with a 25 yard screamer in the thirty-second from Aya Saiki. Lou Fusz halved the deficit in the forty-fourth minute, Emily Gaebe slotting home on the run from the right wing.

Courage scored again in the 53rd through Rahael Akaety and again in the 57th, lifting the ball into the side netting on the far post while running away from goal on the right. It was 5-1 in the 75th minute, Abigail Small with another bomb from deep in midfield.

Columbus Eagles 8-0 Dayton Dutch Lions

Twenty minutes of goalless football and pressure by the Eagles were ended by Nikki Cox, who chipped the ball in from an acute angle. It was a 1-0 hammering but Gabrielle Hollar hammered a shot from just outside the box off the post, and the rebound fell to Abby Townsend to make it a two goal lead. A soft clearance in second half stoppage time by the Dayton goalkeeper fell to Avery Schone, who blasted the ball back the way it came.

Victoria Kevdzija delivered a right wing corner all the way onto the head of Alivia Milesky on the goal-line to make it 4-0. Another in-swinging corner from Kevdzija was headed home five minutes later, this time by Townsend for her second. Goal number six in the sixty-seventh minute was an Olimpico by Kevdzija from the right wing. Sydney Worthy scored the seventh goal from a defense splitting pass from Tori Haggit. Townsend secured her hat trick in the ninetieth minute, belting the ball past the keeper at her near post from the top of the area.

Sioux Falls City 3-0 Rochester United

City went for a stroll in the Sioux Falls sunshine. After ten minutes of incessant pressure, it was an interception in midfield which sprung Juni Ejere to make it 1-0, Mckenna Lehman with the through-ball. Barbie Castellanos made it two in the twentieth minute, from a Rylee Haldeman cross tipped by the Rochester keeper. City's third goal came in the thirty-third minute as Kaylie Rock slotted in at the near post from a Kendra Park pass.

Chicago KICS 2-1 Milwaukee Torrent

After an end-to-end match, KICS took control of this Lake Michigan derby in the fifty-eighth minute, McKenna Shaw connecting with a right wing cross from Josie Bieda, chesting it down and slotting it home. The margin was doubled eight minutes later when Megan Hutchison volleyed home a left wing corner from Ebba Costow. Torrent scored in second half stoppage time, Elsi Twombly blasting a goal from the top of the box. The result marks the first lost points of a previously 3-0-0 Torrent squad and the first goals that the Wisconsinites had conceded. It also puts KICS on top of the division, albeit having played a game more.

Mankato United 0-1 MapleBrook Fury

Paige Goaley scored the only goal off a Morgan Barnette assist, with the ball squirming free from the grasp of the Mankato goalkeeper into the net.

Tuesday

Joy 1-0 Dakota Fusion

Although it was an end to end opening twenty-five minutes prior to the game's first hydration break, Fusion tested the gloves of the Joy keeper more. After the break, the Goats had more substantial pressure on the visitors' goal but the first half finished scoreless.

The deadlock was broken in the fifty-fifth minute as a shot was palmed directly into the path of Sophie Pawlyshyn, who supplied the easy finish. Both sides had chances before the game's second hydration break in the seventieth minute, but it remained 1-0. Despite a furious few minutes of last ditch attacking from Fusion, the visitors lacked a cutting edge and failed to score.

Coming Up

Tonight

Rochester United v Minnesota Thunder - 7pm CT

Thursday

Kansas City Scott Gallagher v KC Courage - 7pm CT

Friday

Mankato United v Rochester United - 7pm CT

MapleBrook Fury v Joy Athletic Club - 7pm CT

Sioux Falls City v Dakota Fusion - 7pm CT

Saturday

Sunflower State FC v St Louis Scott Gallagher - 4:30pm CT

Midwest Muskrats v Iowa Raptors - 5pm CT

Quad Cities Rush v Chicago KICS - 5pm CT

Sunday

Milwaukee Torrent v Iowa Raptors - 3pm CT

Dakota Fusion v Minnesota Thunder - 3pm CT

Mankato United v Salvo - 5pm CT

MapleBrook Fury v Sioux Falls City - 6pm CT

Columbus Eagles v FC Dayton - 8pm ET

Tuesday

Joy Athletic Club v Mankato United - 7pm CT

 


Five soccer players are pictured (left to right): A player in black jersey and shorts, one orange jerseyed player and one yellow-jerseyed player on the floor, another player in black jersey and shorts.

NPSL Round Up: Week 5

This Week

Friday

Des Moines United 2-1 Ehtar Belleville

Ehtar took the lead with a deflected chip over the Des Moines United goalkeeper in the thirty-sixth minute from 20 yards out for the only goal of the first half.

Lesego Maloma levelled the game in the fifty-fifth minute, picking up the loose ball on the edge of the area and shooting - with the ball deflected away from the Ehtar keeper. The home side went ahead in the ninetieth minute, a long free kick pumped into the box, flicked past the keeper by Kais Sabic.

Steel City 2-1 Erie Commodores

The home side took the lead early in a back and forth first half, after a period of head tennis at half way led to a ball down the left. The shot was parried, but the rebound snaffled by Nicholas Graeca. Erie equalized just before half time when the high press caused a turnover in the right back position and the player who stole the ball was unceremoniously taken down by the defender he'd dispossessed. The PK was dispatched by Thomas Binkowski

Steel City stole a winner on the break in the eighty-ninth minute. A ball down the left was passed along the penalty area to the right wing for Anthony DiFalco to beat the Erie keeper back into the left hand corner.

Akron City 0-0 Cleveland SC

Cleveland travelled 40 miles south on I-77 for a goal-less draw. Cleveland hit the side-netting in the ninth minute and Akron hit the crossbar in the ninth minute. The home side out shot their visitors 13-8 but there were no shots registered on target and only a few saves by either keeper. Cleveland had more corners. Both sides did attack in search of a winner, rather than settling for a draw.

Iowa Raptors 2-3 Club Atletico St Louis

Kyeron Daws opened the scoring for Club Atletico in the sixth minute. Jonah Dancer equalized in the twenty-ninth for the Raptors. Zach Renz re-established the Bluebirds' lead just after half time and they added to their lead through Nick Faddis in the seventy-seventh minute. Keaton Woods grabbed a late consolation for the Raptors.

 

Michigan Rangers 10-0 FC Columbus

The most astounding thing about this game is that it was scoreless for the first twenty minutes. Chris Mendez opened the scoring in the twenty sixth minute, latching on to a long ball down between the gridiron hashes. Mendez doubled the lead only a minute later, somersaulting in to connect with a long diagonal from the left wing. It was 3-0 in the thirty-third minute as TJ Ifaturoti blasted home from the edge of the area. Mendez sealed his hat trick in the thirty-fifth minute, flicking home a cross from the right at the near post. Two minutes later it was 5-0, Giuseppe Barone applying the finishing touch to a move which included a right wing cross prefaced by a beautiful turn around the Columbus left back.

The second half goalscoring started in the fifty-third minute when a Barone flick fractionally beat a defender and the goalkeeper to make it 6-0.  In the sixty-sixth, George Pitsillides dribbled in from the right and Alexis Mendez finished the seventh goal. Daire O'Riordan made it eight from the spot in the seventy-seventh minute, sending the keeper the wrong way. Liam Smith made it 9-0 five minutes later with the second PK of the match. O'Riordan completed the rout in the eighty-sixth minute.  

Saturday

Des Moines United 1-0 Club Atletico St Louis

The first half was goal-less. The decider came from Jayce Berger, driving the ball across the keeper from the right wing to the left side netting in the seventy-seventh minute.

Iowa Raptors 6-3 Ehtar Belleville

Raptors got out to a fast start with goals from Keaton Woods in the fifteenth and Ombeni Mubake in the twenty fifth minutes. They also got off to a similar start to the second half, with goals from Woods and Kolby Godbolt in the forty-ninth and fiftieth minutes. Then Ehtar rallied, Arthur Ferreira scoring in the seventy-fourth minute.  Unfortunately for the visitors, Raptors' Jonah Dancer immediately made it 5-1. Brandon Nyagurungo then made it 5-2 in the seventy-seventh minute. Ferreira narrowed the gap further to 5-3 in the eighty-first minute but the final nail was delivered by Lucas Duball a minute later.

Duluth FC 5-0 Aris La Crosse

Duluth took a fourth minute lead, breaking with pace directly from a defensive corner, Tyler Limmer provided the finish. The home side finally made the game safe after endless BlueGreen pressure, when Conor Behan finished off a ball flicked carefully in from the left in the sixty-fifth minute. In the seventy-first minute, it was 3-0 after Felipe Santos tapped home from a right-sided pass, only two minutes after entering for Behan. In the seventy-eighth minute, Felipe Arteaga was clothes-lined by an Aris player in the box and Andreas Solares finished off a PK. In the eighty-sixth minute, Santos claimed his second of the game with a tap in after high press by Rory Doyle.    In the eighty-eighth minute, Aris went down to nine men after two players received a second yellow card in one sequence.

Med City  4-0 Joy Athletic

A cross from the right wing to the left in the 11th minute was played back to the top of the area by Lucas Hart and dispatched with fury by Scott Neil. They doubled their lead in the sixty-first minute, Henry Tolbert driving inside from the right and blasting a shot from the top of the area.  Five minutes later it was 3-0, Toby Milward with a neat finish coming in from the left. Noah Jervik made a long, curving pass into the path of Tolbert who beat the keeper to make it 4-0 in the seventieth minute.

Minnesota TwinStars 3-3 Sioux Falls Thunder

The TwinStars took the lead in the nineteenth minute from the penalty spot after an agricultural challenge in the right back position. Anthony Mator converted the PK. They doubled the lead as Diego Yang belted a magical ball up and then under the crossbar from the edge of the area. Sioux Falls scored in the thirty-fourth minute, Marcus Horwood finished from close range - utterly unmarked from a right wing pass. A swift turnover in the midfield became the third TwinStars goal, Sadra Golzarian with the finish in the fifty-fourth minute.  Thunder narrowed the gap with a counter attack from deep in their half to a tap in from Ryushiro Morita in the six yard box. Then, in the seventh minute of stoppage time at the end of the second half, Horwood unleashed a furious shot from twenty-five yards out into the goal to level the game.

Sunday

Erie Commodores 1-0 Cleveland SC

In a hard fought match, the decisive blow was struck by Jacob Hancock, tapping in at the far post after a driven cross from the right in only the third minute of play.

FC Columbus 1-4 Steel City

After dominating the opening ten minutes in Columbus, Steel City took the lead with Brice Ghandi hammering a shot from the penalty spot on the drive into the roof of the net. Gandhi again scored in the thirty-fifth minute to make it 2-0, finishing off a driven cross from the left.  Eben McIntyre scored the third goal, on the rebound after a shot was initially blocked by the keeper. 

Soon after the restart, Nathan Prex made it 4-0, sweeping the ball home from the middle of the penalty area. In the 70th minute, the ball passed through three sets of Columbus feet from the left wing to the right hand edge of the penalty area and Amadou Dia finished off the move with the first time shot home. 

Wednesday

Akron City 5-0 Erie Commodores

Ryan Kingsford headed home for Akron from a right wing corner by Josef Paulus with only two minutes on the clock. Paulus then received a straight red card in the twenty-fourth minute for violent conduct(?). Colin Biros served a left wing free kick in for the second goal by William Jackson in the fifty-fifth minute against the run of play to make it 2-0. The ten men made the game safe in the sixty-third minute when a PK was dispatched by Kingsford. Dyson Clapier made it 4-0 in the seventy-fifth, on the rebound after a save from a Gyuwon Chong shot.  Adam Lubell made it 5-0 in second half stoppage time, blast home from the left back berth.

Joy Athletic 2-5 Dakota Fusion

Joy went ahead in the seventeenth minute as a ball in midfield was intercepted and Zinedine Kroeten slotted it calmly past the onrushing Fusion keeper, Jamie Colvill. Bennett Kouame doubled the lead in the twenty-first minute, capitalizing on another interception in midfield. The visitors pulled one back in the thirty-fifth minute after Noah Eklund was nutmegged and the ball was squared across the penalty area for Mate Lengyel to score. Yu Tsukanome equalized for Fusion in the forty-third minute, turning the left back inside out before sliding it home to tie the game.

Shoki Yoshida took the visitors into the lead with a free kick from twenty five yards out, on the left with an hour on the clock. Yoshida then finished a minute later from open play, sliding home from close range after a one-two into the area. Yoshida made it 5-2 in the seventy-fifth minute, short-circuiting an offside trap before slotting home.

LC Aris 3-4 Minnesota TwinStars

TwinStars made the trip to Wisconsin and (just) got the win. The visitors took the lead in the fourteenth minute through Sadra Golzarian but their lead only lasted two minutes, Abdul Samet Ankaoglu with the equalizer. Golzarian then made it 2-1 in the twenty-second minute. Isaac Petersen made it 2-2 in the thirty-eighth but it was a short-lived tie as Golzarian completed his hat trick just three minutes later.

Ankaoglu made it 3-3 in the fifty-fifth minute but TwinStars would have the last say, Sidike Jabateh making it 4-3 after yet another short space of time.

Sioux Falls Thunder 1-1 Med City

The Thunder took the lead in the nineteenth minute, as Jack Crombie went on a mazy run and blasted the ball past the Med City keeper from the edge of the area. Unfortunately, the lack of confidence showed in a Sioux Falls side who have no wins in the season so far and the visitors equalized in the seventy-seventh minute when a long run down the endline was crossed back to the top of the box with Scott Neil powering home.

Thursday

Carpathia FC 0-1 Michigan Rangers

After holding out for twenty minutes against an aggressively offensive-minded Rangers team, Carpathia finally gave up the go ahead goal when Chris Mendez converted the rebound from his own PK. The home side gradually climbed back into the game but were unable to break through before halftime.

A Carpathian free kick from twenty-five yards out was the best chance of the second half but it whistled safely into the arms of the Rangers keeper. They also hit the crossbar, with the rebound seeing an attacker offside. At the end of a fiercely contested second half, Rangers kept their clean sheet intact.

Coming Up

Tonight

Cleveland SC v FC Columbus - 7pm ET

Des Moines United v Iowa Raptors - 7pm CT

Saturday

Ehtar Belleville v Sunflower State FC - 4pm CT

Akron City v Michigan Rangers - 7pm ET

Carpathia FC v Steel City - 7pm ET

Duluth FC v Minnesota TwinStars - 7pm CT

Milwaukee Torrent v Club Atletico St Louis - 7pm CT

Aris v Joy - 7pm CT

Med City FC v Dakota Fusion - 7pm CT

Sunday

FC Columbus v Cleveland SC - 5pm ET

Wednesday

Aris v Med City FC - 7pm CT

Minnesota TwinStars v Dakota Fusion - 7pm CT

Sioux Falls Thunder v Duluth FC - 7pm CT

Thursday

Iowa Raptors v Milwaukee Torrent - 7pm CT

Michigan Rangers v Carpathia FC - 7pm ET