By UWS Staff

Toraya leads Blue Heat defense; Barbuto impresses as Offensive POTW

METUCHEN, NJ - Action around the country picked up steam during Week II play in United Women's Soccer (UWS) as the West Conference kicked off their season. The Colorado Pride returned to UWS with two home games while the Santa Clarita Blue Heat and Real Salt Lake Women renewed their rivalry amidst the state-of-the-art indoor confines of the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman, UT.

For her efforts containing the likes of forward Colette Smith in the 0-0 draw against the RSL Women, Blue Heat veteran defender Yadira Toraya has been named the UWS Defensive Player of the Week. On the other side of the country, Brooke Barbuto made a huge impression in her first two games with the Rochester Lady Lancers (including the team's first-ever franchise win) and has been named the UWS Offensive Player of the Week.


F CARISSIMA CUTRONA (WNY Flash) - two goals v. defending East champion LI
F ELIN EKLUND (Rochester Lady Lancers) - game-tying goal in NE draw; hat trick v. Worcester
F HAILEY NORTH (Real Salt Lake Women) - two goals in two wins for RSL Women
M RACHEL MORRIER (Connecticut Fusion) - establishing herself as one of league's top midfielders *
M BROOKE BARBUTO (Rochester Lady Lancers) - best player on pitch vs. NE; hat trick vs. Worcester
M AUBREY SCHIERBEEK (Lansing United) - controlled midfield & assisted on GWG v. Genesee FC *
D YADIRA TORAYA (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) - neutralized one of league's best forwards in clean sheet v. RSLW
D MELISSA ROY (GRFC Women) - helped GRFC to clean sheet v. undefeated Detroit
D MEGAN FARRELL (So Cal Crush FC) - central defender helped Crush earn point on the road vs. CO
GK ANNABELLE HEGEMAN (Genesee FC) - earned kudos from both opposing coaches for outstanding play


GK KAYLYN SMITH (Colorado Pride) - several big stops for Colorado netminder
F JENNIFER BORAWSKI (Michigan Legends FC) - scored goal & consistently active in Genesee FC win
F TAYRN LABREE (Colorado Pride) - one goal & several dangerous opportunities
M CHANEL JOHNSON (Connecticut Fusion) - goal; active play in midfield
D GRACE JOHNSON (Real Salt Lake Women) - solid in central defense in two wins for RSLW
D JACKIE MAZZARA (Detroit Sun FC) - strong center back play in tough luck loss

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Brooke Barbuto (Rochester Lady Lancers)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Yadira Toraya (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)

* indicates second appearance on UWS Team of the Week

About United Women's Soccer (UWS): UWS is a national women's soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer. UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars. You can follow UWS on social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Media can contact UWS Director of Communications Jorma Kansanen by e-mail at You can visit the league's official website at Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. by e-mail at