6/25 Weekend Preview

Photo courtesy of Bryan Byerly.

Photo courtesy of Bryan Byerly.

Real Salt Lake Women make their final road trip of the season this coming Saturday, June 25th, with a visit to Santa Clarita for the return match against the Blue Heat.

Only three games remain in the inaugural UWS season for RSL, and the team is in a great position with 10 points from a 3-1-1 record that has them in first place in the West Conference. They are closely followed in the standings by Houston Aces, whose 3-3-0 record has them at 9 points with only two matches remaining in their season.

RSL has a few things in their favor to give them the chance to finish strong and claim a spot in the first ever UWS Championship match. Despite playing to a draw at home against Santa Clarita in their first meeting, thanks to late heroics from Bizzy Phillips’ converted penalty shot, RSL played a strong match and were close on several good chances that could have secured a victory.

Their recent run of form should give them a lot of confidence in executing their style of play. RSL has been especially solid on the road, having wins in all three matches played away from Utah so far, and are facing a Santa Clarita team that lost their previous home match by a 4-3 score against Houston. They have a great opportunity to come out aggressive and finish with a perfect road record against the Blue Heat, who have just one win in 4 matches played, that being the unusual 10-1 season-opening victory in Houston.

The team will still be missing co-captain Annie Hawkins, who still has not been cleared to play following the concussion she sustained against Santa Clarita on June 11. RSL has seen a lot of strong performances in her absence, especially the way that Kira Sharp has taken over Hawkins’ position in the midfield, with impressive play on both sides of the ball in Colorado last week.

The team will continue to rely on the full 18 players in the matchday roster to use their speed and high energy to put pressure on the hosts and finish the season with a perfect road record. The players’ dedication and persistence has grown with each game. The team is getting important contributions from everyone in the lineup, and are being rewarded with positive results for their complete team efforts.

Kickoff between RSL and Santa Clarita is scheduled for 9:00 EDT/6:00 PDT.