Women's Soccer News: WPSL Elite New England Mutiny Hosts Rival Philadelpia Fever
The New England Mutiny look to return to the win column when they host Philadelphia Fever in Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Elite League action on Saturday, June 2. The match, Mutiny’s third home game of the season, kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET at East Longmeadows High School. New England will be looking to improve on the 2-2 draw when the two teams first met on May 20, while Philadelphia will try for their first win of the season.
In the previous match Mutiny picked up two goals from Boston University star Tiya Gallegos, while Fever benefitted from the work of Dylan Jordan and Myriam Bouchard. New England had just come off a hard-earned 4-2 win over ASA Chesapeake Charge the day before, while Fever were playing their first match of the season. Mutiny have had over a week to rest up and prepare for the rematch.
New England will be without the services of veteran Kacey Richards, local star Kate McCarthy, U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team and former Florida State defender Ella Stephan and veteran Carrie Patterson. Richards will miss Saturday’s match for personal reasons, but should return for the team’s road trip to meet Western New York Flash on June 9. McCarthy and Stephan are both nursing knee injuries, but the team hopes to have McCarthy back for the Flash match. Stephan’s injury is somewhat more severe and she is not expected to return until July. The biggest blow is Patterson, who is out for the season with a back injury.
Mutiny will also be working under a new head coach, Chris LeGates, who takes over as interim head coach after Tony Horta announced a leave of absence for personal reasons. LeGates was named assistant coach earlier this season, and had been one of the original members of the Mutiny coaching staff, going back to the team’s inaugural WPSL season in 2003. LeGates is well-qualified to take over the duties, having been head coach for Saint Joseph College for 15 years and earning four Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Coach of the Year honors.
A bright spot for New England on and off the pitch is Morgan Andrews, who was recently named the 2011-2012 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year, in collaboration with ESPNHS. The Milford High School senior was surprised in class by U.S. Women’s National Team defender Ali Krieger, who presented her with the trophy. Andrews has racked up an impressive resume, being one of the finalists for the U.S. Soccer Youth Athlete of the Year award (won by USWNT forward Sydney Leroux). She has been a part of the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team and captained the squad to a 1-0 win over Canada in the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships. She will make her Mutiny debut against Philadelphia this Saturday.
The Fever come into the week off a tough 3-2 loss to Chesapeake Charge and will be looking to crack the ‘W’ column. Philadelphia picked up both goals in that match from Kelsey Haycook off a penalty kick and a free kick. The team had several chances to tie the match at the end, but the Charge defense was able to turn them away. In addition to Haycook, Fever will bring All-Atlantic 10 selection Megan Minnix, Providence College leading scorer Laura Di Clemente, and former University of Wisconsin standout and 2009 WPSL Pacific Conference Goalkeeper of the Year Michele Dalton. Head coach Stuart Gore, a former professional player in the UK, Spain and Asia, will direct the young and talented squad.
Prior to their visit to New England, Philadelphia will travel to Hofstra University to take on the powerful New York Fury for the first meeting of the two teams. The Fury, coached by two-time WPS Coach of the Year Paul Riley, are currently tied with the Chicago Red Stars for second place in WPSL Elite. New York will be coming off a tough 2-1 loss to league leaders Boston Breakers on May 23 in their home opener and will be looking for for the win against Fever.
The Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) is the largest national Women’s Soccer League in the world. With more than 70-plus women’s soccer teams, the WPSL is the leading amateur soccer league in America. The league is sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). The WPSL's mission is to provide opportunities to further the women’s soccer game for the aspiring professional, international-level players and passionate amateurs. The WPSL season brings affordable and quality family entertainment to the community, displays positive role models for our youth and offers the essential connection between youth and pro women’s soccer in America.
With the addition of three former Women's Professional Soccer teams, the WPSL Elite League is now the highest level women's soccer league in America. The leage features eight teams: Former WPS franchises Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, and 2011 WPS Champion Western New York Flash; WPSL teams ASA Chesapeake Charge, FC Indiana, New England Mutiny and New York Fury; and the independant Philadelphia Fever.