MCFC In The News

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Freshman Kenna White scored in the 110th minute lifting the Bowling Green Falcons to a 3-2 come from behind win over Central Michigan on Thursday, October 10, 2019.

Mariana Speckmaier scored Clemson’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Duke on Sunday, October 13, 2019.

Deyna Castellanos scored her 8th goal of the season in the 44th minute as Florida State bested Virginia Tech 3-2 in double overtime on Thursday, October 10, 2019. Castellanos had 10 shots in the game, 6 on goal.

Junior Nikki Hernandez scored the first goal off a corner kick (and her third of the season) in a 2-0 Wolverine overtime win over Northwestern on Sunday, October 11, 2019 on the road.

Sarah Stratigakis had an assist on Michigan’s first goal to tie her season-best 17 points as the Wolverines beat Illinois 4-1 on Friday, October 13, 2019. Stratigakis also had a shot on goal during the game.

Madison Alexander scored the first goal of the game as the Florida Gators dropped their first league game of the season 3-2 to Mississippi on Thursday, October 10, 2019.

Celia Gaynor assisted on the lone goal of the game as the Butler Bulldogs beat St. John’s 1-0 on Sunday, October 13, 2019. Gaynor also contributed three shots during the game.

Courtney Petersen assisted on the lone goal as the Virginia Cavaliers beat Florida State 1-0 in a hard-fought match on Sunday, October 13, 2019.

Bethany Kopel had three saves including a clutch save in the closing minutes to keep the game close as the Indiana Hoosiers lost to Penn State 1-0 on Thursday, October 10, 2019.

Kopel had five saves and secured her seventh shutout of the season in a 1-0 decision over Ohio State on Sunday, October 13, 2019.

Tamae Douglas had three shots and drew a foul in the 11th minute that was converted to a penalty kick as the UIC Flames beat Detroit Mercy 1-0 on Saturday, October 12, 2019.

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Redshirt Freshman Maddie Myers scored the first goal of her Nittany Lion’s career in the 38th minute as Penn State beat Ohio State 3-2 on the road on Sunday, October 6, 2019.

The Nittany Lions put four shots on goal with three rebounds. Myers put the final rebound into the net for the score.

Nikki Hernandez scored her second goal of the season as the Michigan Wolverines beat Nebraska 4-1 on Sunday, October 6, 2019 on the road.

Sarah Stratigakis collected 2 assists for the Wolverines bringing her season total to 16, which leads the team and puts her one assist shy of her career-high 17 in 2018.

Kenna White knocked home a loose ball on a corner kick scoring one of three goals for the Bowling Green Falcons as they downed Kent State 3-1 at home on Friday, October 4, 2019.

Deyna Castellanos scored the only goal of the game with an assist from Yujie Zhao as Florida State beat Syracuse 1-0 on September 29, 2019. The Seminoles rained 23 shots, 9 on goal in the game led by Castellanos with 7. Jaelin Howell had 4 shots, 2 on goal - Malia Berkely added another 3 shots, 2 on goal, and Zhao had 2 shots, both on goal.

The Seminoles earned another 1-0 win over Pittsburg on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Malia Berkely contributed 4 shots in the game. Yujie Zhao had a pair of shots and Jaelin Howell had 1.

Bethany Kopel made a key save in the final minute of the first half to keep Illinois scoreless as Indiana won 1-0 on Thursday, September 3, 2019.

Kopel notched her 6th shutout of the season as the Hoosiers beat Minnesota 1-0 on Sunday, October 6, 2019.

Autumn Smithers played 80 minutes on defense as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish denied Syracuse any shots in a 3-0 win on Friday, October 4, 2019.

Tamae Douglas impacted both ends of the field making a strong defensive play and nearly scoring on a header as the UIC Flames fought to a disappointing 2-1 loss to IUPUI on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

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Sarah Stratigakis scored her second game-winning goal of the season as the Wolverines topped Purdue 2-1 on Friday, September 27 at home.

Nikki Hernandez had 4 shots and Stratigakis contributed 2 shots as the Michigan Wolverines played Indiana to a scoreless draw on Sunday, September 29 in Ann Arbor. Stratigakis had one of the best chances as Hoosier goalkeeper, Bethany Kopel corralled a loose ball before Stratigakis could send it toward the net.

Kopel tallied six saves for the Hoosiers bringing her career total to 215.

Deyna Castellanos and Yujie Zhao both registered a goal and an assist as Florida State beat Clemson 2-1 on Thursday, September 26, 2019. Zhao scored in the 11’ assisted by Castellanos and Malia Berkely. Castellanos scored her sixth goal of the season in the 17’ assisted by Zhao and Abbey Newton.

Deyna Castellanos recorded her team-leading seventh goal of the season on an assist from Yujie Zhao as Florida State shut out Syracuse 1-0 on Sunday, September 29, 1029. Jaelin Howell contributed four shots, two on goal and Malia Berkely had three shots, two on goal.

Kenna White contributed a shot as Bowling Green beat Buffalo 2-1 on Sunday, September 29, at home. White also contributed a shot as the Falcons shut out Akron on Friday, September 27, 2019.

Celia Gaynor contributed a shot as Butler opened conference play with a 3-0 shutout of Seton Hall on Sunday, September 29, 2019.

Mariana Speckmaier booked 5 shots, one on goal, as the Clemson Tigers beat Virginia Tech 3-1 on Sunday, September 29, 2019 at home.

Grace Doran had a shot on goal as East Carolina shutout UConn 1-0 on Thursday, September 26, 2019.

Tamae Douglas made the defensive move of the game thwarting a shot from close range a the UIC Flames beat Northern Kentucky 1-0 on Saturday, September 28, 2019 – the first time the Flames have beaten Kentucky in school history.

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Sarah Stratigakis assisted on the lone goal as the Michigan Wolverines beat Penn State 1-0 on Thursday, September 19 on the road.

Stratigakis and Nikki Hernandez each had a goal as the Wolverines defeated Ohio State 2-1 On Sunday, September 22, to wrap up their road swing.

Mariana Speckmaier added three shots to her season total as the Clemson Tigers started ACC season play with a 1-0 victory over Notre Dame.

Deyna Castellanos had 3 assists (tying a school record) and 8 shots in a 5-4 victory over Boston College on Thursday, September 19. Yujie Zhao contributed 4 shots (3 on goal), Jaelin Howell added 3 shots and Malia Berkely had 2 shots in the game.

Indiana Senior goalkeeper Bethany Kopel recorded 5 saves in a 2-0 loss to Iowa on Friday, September 20.

Courtney Petersen assisted on Virginia’s lone goal in the 90th minute to pull the Cavaliers even with Wake Forest in a 1-1 draw on Friday, September 20. Alexa Spaanstra had 4 shots in the game, 3 on goal.

Michigan State Senior Michaela Kovacs had 2 shots, including a header that went just wide of the crossbar, in a 1-0 lost to Ohio State on Thursday, September 19.

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Sarah Stratigakis had a goal on 2 shots and an assist as the Wolverines beat Washington State 2-1 on Thursday, September 19 on the road. Nikki Hernandez contributed 4 shots and had an assist in the game.

Deyna Costellanos scored on a penalty kick as Florida got by Colorado 3-2 on Thursday, September 12. Yujie Zhao contributed 9 shots, 4 on goal and Jaelin Howell contributed 1 shot to the winning effort.

Yujie Zhao scored a pair of goals (22’ and 62’), Deyna Costellanos scored her fifth goal on the season (53’) and Malia Berkley added a goal in the 74th minute as the Noles trounced Villanova 5-0 on Sunday, September 15.

Bethany Kopel registered 3 saves as Indian beat UT Martin 2-1 on Thursday, September 12 at home. Kopel banked her third shutout of the season in a 1-0 win over Kentucky on Sunday, September 15.

Michaela Kovaks’ header set up the first goal as the Michigan State Spartans outlasted Bowling Green 3-2 in OT in East Lansing MI on Thursday, September 12.

Kenna White contributed one shot on goal for Bowling Green in a 3-2 OT loss to Michigan State on Thursday, September 12. White contributed 2 shots, 1 on goal, in a 1-1 draw with the DePaul Demons.

Marianna Speckmaier contributed 2 shots as the Clemson Tigers upset South Carolina 1-0 on Sunday, September 15, 2019. The Tigers held #7 South Carolina to only 4 shots in the game.

Grace Doran assisted on the Pirates only goal as East Carolina lost to Old Dominion 2-1 on Thursday, September 12, 2019. Doran’s free kick was blocked and the rebound was set up for the goal.

Alexa Spaanstra contributed 4 shots as Virginia got by Penn State 2-1 on Sunday, September 15 on the road.

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Grace Doran netted a pair of goals, one in each half, to lead East Carolina past VMI 3-0 on Sunday, September 8. Doran contributed 5 shots to the victory.

Bowling Green freshman Kenna White scored for the third consecutive game as the Falcons pulled off a double-overtime 2-1 win over Dayton on Thursday, September 5.

Mariana Speckmaier scored her fourth goal of the season on a deflection, the only goal for the Tigers, as Clemson played to a 1-1 draw against the Oregon Ducks on Friday, September 6.

Speckmaier scored her fifth goal of the season as the Tigers beat the Georgia Bulldogs 2-1 on Sunday, September 8, to remain undefeated at 5-0-1 on the season. Speckmaier found the back of the net for her third straight game.

Yujie Zhao scored in the 71st minute on an assist from Jaelin Howell as the Seminoles scored a come-from-behind win over the Florida Gators on Saturday, September 7.

Jaelin Howell scored a pair of goals (28th and 51st minute) as the Seminoles blew by Samford 6-0 on September 8 at home. Deyna Castellanos contributed an unassisted goal and 4 assists.

Bethany Kopel made a leaping save in the 51st minute deflecting a corner kick over the crossbar as the Indian Hoosiers/Louisville game remained scoreless through 78 minutes. A 78th minute penalty shot gave Louisville the advantage, beating Hoosiers 1-0 on Thursday, September 5.

Kopel recorded her second shutout of the season as the Hoosiers beat Moorehead State 5-0 on Sunday, September 8.

Sara Stratigakis led the Wolverines with 3 shots on net as Michigan suffered its first home loss 1-0 to Notre Dame on Friday, September 6.

Stratigakis contributed another shot on net in a 2-0 decision over Bowling Green on Sunday, September 8.

Maddie Myers contributed 3 shots, one on goal, for the Nittany Lions as Penn State defeated James Madison 2-1 on Sunday, September 8.

Alexa Spaanstra contributed 3 shots, one on goal, as the Virginia Cavaliers shutout Georgetown 2-0 on Thursday, September 5.

Spaanstra contributed another 3 shots in a 2-0 Cavalier victory over Minnesota on Sunday, September 8.

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Kenna White scored her second goal of the season as the Bowling Green Falcons shut out the Valpariaso Crusders 2-0 to win their home opener.

Virginia’s Alexa Spaanstra contributed an unassisted goal in the 33rd minute as the Cavaliers beat West Virginia 4-1 on Sunday, September 1.

Spaanstra had 3 shots as The Cavaliers shut out East Carolina 4-0 on Friday, August 30.

Jaelin Howell scored the only goal for the Seminoles as Florida State lost to UCLA 2-1 on Thursday, August 29.

Florida State dropped their second straight game of the 2019 losing to USC 3-2 on Sunday, September 1 in Los Angeles.

Deyna Cosellanos scored an unassisted goal in the 59th minute and assisted on the Seminole’s other goal in the 10th minute.

The Clemson Tigers got a pair of road wins, defeating Nebraska 2-1 on Friday, August 30 and shutting out the Creighton Bluejays 1-0 on Sunday, September 1.

Mariana Speckmaier found the back of the net in the 51st minute in the Creighton game. The dual wins move Clemson to 4-0 on the season.

Zoe Gaffney scored in the 70th minute to contribute to Liberty University’s 4-2 season-opening defeat of William & Mary on Thursday, August 29.

Celia Gaynor contributed a shot as Butler defeated Northern Kentucky 2-1 on Thursday, August 29 on the road.

The Bulldogs dropped their first game of the season with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday, September 1.

Sarah Stratigakis had 2 shots on goal as the Michigan Wolverines shut out Florida Gulf Coast 2-0 on Sunday, September 1 in Ann Arbor.

Stratigakis had another 2 shots on goal and Nikki Hernadez contributed 6 shots as Michigan lost a 1-0 heartbreaker in double overtime to Marquette on Friday, August 30.

Michigan State’s backline with Michaela Kovacs helped keep Eastern Michigan off the scoreboard as the Spartans earned a 2-0 decision on a lightning-shortened game in East Lansing on Thursday, August 29.

State improved to 4-0 on the season with a 2-1 double-overtime win over Boston University on Sunday, September 1.

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The 2019 women’s collegiate soccer season is underway and it’s time, once again, to follow Motor City FC 2019 alumni as they take to the pitch for their respective college squads.

 Stay tuned each week during the season as we bring you highlights from the games.

University of Michigan opened the 2019 season on Thursday, August 22 with a 5-0 win over Marshall. Sarah Stratigakis had a goal and an assist for the Wolverines and Nicki Hernandez added an assist on the first goal of the match.

The Wolverines topped Utah Valley on Sunday, August 25 by a score of 2-1 with Sarah Stratigakis scoring the winning goal in the third minute of overtime.

Bowling Green opened their season on Thursday, August 22 with a 3-3 draw versus Kentucky. Freshman Kenna White, who scored a goal in the Falcon’s preseason win over Oakland, made her collegiate debut coming off the bench to play the final 54 minutes.

Kenna White scored her first career goal as the Falcons dropped a 2-1 decision to Xavier on Sunday afternoon, August 25. White’s goal in the 28’ evened the score at 1 before Xavier added the winning goal 7 minutes into the second half.

Butler opened their 2019 campaign with a 4-1 win over local rival IUPUI on Sunday, August 25. Celia Gaynor assisted on the Bulldog’s third goal heading a corner kick to teammate Annika Schmidt who headed it into the net.

Cortney Jones played 76 minutes and Mariana Speckmaier logged 39 minutes with one shot on goal as the Clemson Tigers won their season opener defeating the Utah Utes 2-0.

The Tigers roared on Sunday with a 6-0 rout over Coastal Carolina. Mariana Speckmaier scored a pair of goals in the second half that were less than a minute apart (52’ and 53’).

Florida State opened their 2019 season with a 2-0 victory Thursday, August 22, over TCU. Deyna Costellano scored her 37th career goal in the 58th minute and assisted on the opening goal.

The Seminoles advanced to 2-0 on the season with a 1-0 overtime win against the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday, August 25. Malia Berkely scored the golden goal just 1 minute into overtime to give the Seminoles the victory.

Michigan State improved to 2-0 on the season with a 5-0 rout over Marshall. Senior Midfielder Michaela (Mouse) Kovacs added the 5th goal in the 84th minute as she headed a free kick past the Marshall keeper.

Bethany Kopel banked her first shutout of the season as the Indian Hoosiers go 1-1 on the season beating the UIC Flames 1-0 on Sunday, August 25.

Alexa Spaanstra registered a goal and an assist as the Virginia Cavaliers opened their 2019 campaign with a 7-0 rout over UC Irvine on Friday, August 23. Defender Courtney Petersen had an assist on the fifth goal of the match.

Spaanstra turned in 4 assists as the Cavaliers blew by Liberty 6-0 on Sunday, August 25 to take the team to 2-0 on the season.

Motor City FC Makes 2019 a Season to Remeber

MCFC goalkeeper Bethany Kopel makes a spectacular save against Utah in the 2019 WPSL Championship Semifinal game in Stillwater, Utah. - Photo by Adam Luther - WPSL

MCFC goalkeeper Bethany Kopel makes a spectacular save against Utah in the 2019 WPSL Championship Semifinal game in Stillwater, Utah. - Photo by Adam Luther - WPSL

Motor City FC (MCFC) looks back on a spectacular 2019 season that saw them advancing to the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) National Championships.

MCFC cruised through the regular season, topping the Ohio Valley Conference with an impressive 9-0-1 record and 28 out of 30 points. The team scored 50 goals to their opponents three and Goalkeeper Bethany Kopel recorded seven shutouts.

The team advanced to the WPSL National Finals by winning the East Regional Tournament, hosted by MCFC in Pontiac, MI, with a 6-0 semifinal victory over Torch FC a stunning 4-2 overtime upset of reigning East Region champs the Chicago Red Stars Reserves.

The season ended earlier than hoped as MCFC failed to advance to the WPSL finals, losing the semifinal game to the Utah Royals FC Reserves on penalty kicks after a hard-fought draw through regulation and overtime periods.

“I am extremely proud of the dedication and determination of this talented team of players,” said Dr. Ned Fawaz, CEO and Owner of Motor City FC. “Our goal this season was to get to the WPSL Nationals and while we didn’t win the ultimate prize, we earned the respect of the league.”

Along the way MCFC won the inaugural Women’s Michigan Milk Cup sponsored by the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, defeating Grand Rapids FC (3-1) in the quarterfinals, Michigan Legends (4-0) in the semis and the Detroit Sun (6-0) in the finals.

While everyone on the team played an integral part in Motor City’s success there were a few standout players whose accomplishments ranked near the top of the league’s final stats for the 2019 season.

Malia Berkely and Alexa Spaanstra were tenth and eleventh in goals scored for the season with 13 and nine respectively. Yujie Zhao made the top 20 with 7 and Mariana Speckmaier was right behind Zhao in twenty-first with 7 goals scored in only 8 games.

Yujie was sixth in the league in assists with 7 and Courtney Jones joined a long list of players with 4 assists on the season.

Zhao and Spaanstra tied with three other players for eighth in total points with 21. Berkely was right behind them with 19.

Goalkeeper Bethany Kopel gave up only 3 goals during the regular season while recording 8 shutouts highlighted by a PK save against Torch FC during the East Regional Semifinals that kept the opponents off the scoreboard. Kopel also saved a PK in the game against Utah.

Berkely, Motor City FC rolling into championship weekend

Malia Berkley, who plays more of a defensive role with defending NCAA champion Florida State, has thrived moving forward this season at Motor City FC with nine goals scored. [JDN2 Photography]

Malia Berkley, who plays more of a defensive role with defending NCAA champion Florida State, has thrived moving forward this season at Motor City FC with nine goals scored. [JDN2 Photography]

By Thomas Clark, 07/18/19, 7:00AM CDT

(Editor's Note: MyCujoo, the official streaming partner of the WPSL, featured Malia Berkley as part of its #ShareYourGame campaign.

As Motor City FC prepares for its WPSL semifinal game against the Utah Royals FC Reserves on Friday, the team is looking to prove that it belongs among the WPSL elite.

Despite consistently stringing together strong regular season campaigns, the team will be playing in its first WPSL semifinal this weekend. Motor City clawed its way into championship weekend after a gritty come-from-behind win over the always formidable Chicago Red Stars Reserves. After Chicago went up 1-0 in the 44th minute, Motor City rallied to tie the game, 2-2, and ultimately pulled away with a 4-2 extra time victory.

The match marked the team’s most difficult test of the season. Motor City rolled through its regular season in the Ohio Valley Conference, finishing the season unbeaten and looked to ride its regular season momentum into postseason play.

Throughout the season, Motor City established itself as one of the most dangerous offensive teams in the WPSL, scoring 50 goals in 10 games. With a number of offensive threats such as Alexa Spaanstra (nine goals) and Yujie Zhao (seven goals, seven assists) wreaking havoc on opposing defenses, the team presents a number of dangerous offensive threats.

But none more formidable than forward Malia Berkely, who Aaron Byrd lauded for her growth as both a leader and competitor.

“Her mindset is in a totally different place than where she was two years ago,” Byrd said. “She is 100 percent committed to herself, her game, developing not only as a player but a leader.”

Berkely, a member of the United States Women’s U-23 squad, won the 2018 NCAA National Championship as a center back for the Florida State Seminoles.

Although Motor City has moved Berkley into more of an offensive role this season, she is bringing the same leadership qualities to the team. In 10 regular season matches, Berkely tallied nine goals for Motor City. Her individual performance speaks for itself, but Berkely views the team’s collective success as a direct result of the culture they have worked diligently to build.

“This season our team really came together as a whole,” Berkely said. “In the past we have had offensive players that have been dominant, but when we play now it’s as a team. The offense is good, the defense is solid and it’s just really come together this summer.”

Coming from various corners of the globe, Motor City’s roster has come together to build one of the most dynamic squads in the entire WPSL. If the team’s offensive prowess was not impressive enough, Motor City also boasts one of the most dominant defensive lines in the country.

In 10 games, Motor City has only conceded a remarkable three goals. Because of strong leadership and communication, the team has proven to be nearly impossible to score on.

Much of that communication comes directly from goalkeeper Bethany Kopel, who has been masterful all season, accumulating one of the top goals against averages of any keeper in the league.

As the team looks ahead to their matchup against Utah Royals FC Reserves, Byrd has lauded his team’s depth and talent. With a combination of star players and complimentary pieces, perhaps no one should be surprised the team has reached such a high level of success.

“If you look at our roster, the talent we have is up with anybody in the league,” Byrd said. “On paper it looks great, but at the end of the day you have to put it on the field. All season long they have done a fantastic job of executing what we are trying to do.”

Execution will be critical in the team’s next two games, but at this point the mission is simple: two more wins and Motor City will be crowned WPSL Champion.

Article reposted from www.wpslsoccer.com