by Kevin Darcy


Ricks Scores Twice to Gain 2-2 Draw on the Road

May 29, 2021; Leesburg, VA –VIRGINIA FA came from 2 goals down on the road to secure a 2-2 draw and an important road point to open the UWS season in the Mid Atlantic South Division. ODU product, Kyra Ricks, scored twice to equalize and some strong goalkeeping from the home NOVA side prevented the game winner as the visitors found their rhythm, built numbers into the attack consistently and pushed for the win.

After a slow start and a couple of turnovers in their own half leading directly to goals, the visitors found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-0 score and in search of something positive to change the momentum. Fortunately that change came in the form of a corner by midfielder Ava Veith, serving a ball to the far post, that knocked down off a NOVA defender to the feet of Ricks who calmly put the ball past a diving keeper pulling within a goal before the half. "That goal changed everything as we came in with 12 available players, handed NOVA a two goal lead and could have gave in early against a quality team away from home." says coach Darcy. "I was confident after what I saw in the first half, individually and collectively from our group, that with a couple of adjustments we could take hold of the game and come away with at least a draw and a road point. Fortunately the group believed it too, keeping the ball, building numbers into the attack for the majority of the second half, scoring the equalizer and pushing for more."

With a solid performance from goalkeeper Jasmine Crawley, Page Frantz and Mikayla Martin locking down the back, the rejuvenated visitors made a conscious effort to play through Veith and Cami Pereira, getting the ball to the wide players in an effort to exploit the NOVA defenders. Midfielder Nelia Perez took the game over down the left flank, getting into the final third, drawing several free kicks and keeping the defense on their heels. "It's not always that adjustments work out, but to the credit of our group, they embraced our half time tactics, took on the competitive challenge and dominated the second half of play." In addition to Ricks, attackers Indiah Hunter, Nyle Nwainokpor and Ciani Ricks pressed the NOVA backs the entire second half disrupting their rhythm and ability to possess the ball.

VIRGINIA FA returns home to the friendly confines of Cooley Field (Williamsburg) for its inaugural season opener Sunday June 6th at 5:00PM.

Tickets to the home matches will be $6, free for children 6 & under and will be made available through the team website at www.virginiauws.com. Interested sponsors can also contact the team through the site to gain exposure on the website, social media and at our home stadium Cooley Field.

UWS is a national pro-am league comprised of professionally-operated clubs within the United States & Canada. UWS provides high level competition for college players, aspiring & former professionals, and international stars. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship. Since the league’s inception in 2016, UWS has filled the gap between the college & professional ranks and has over 17 NWSL draftees & 100 professional contracts to it’s name.

United Women's Soccer (UWS) launched League Two in 2020 as a developmental pathway for U20/23 players. UWS League Two serves as the official league for UWS Reserve Teams. For new clubs, it provides an opportunity to introduce themselves to the standards-driven national pro-am league and can serve as a launch point for a UWS First Team. The season runs during the summer and teams play matches in a regional-friendly format.

Home to the Peninsula and the Hampton Roads region, VIRGINIA “FUTBOL ALLIANCE” UWS provides competitive summer matches in a national league platform for current and former college players as well as top club talent from the region. With the goal of moving into UWS in 2022, VIRGINIA FA will compete in the Mid South Atlantic Division of League Two for its inaugural 2021 season with NOVA FC, Coppermine United, LESC Internazionale, Maryland Elite SC and Annapolis United FC. Through a strategic partnership with VAFC and GBSA youth clubs, VIRGINIA FA serves as the top of their clubs pyramid and boasts a platform that includes grass roots to professional level teams as well as affiliations with strategic partners CCL “Club Champions League”, EDP “Elite Development Program”, VSL “Virginia Soccer League, Southampton FC International Academy, Richmond United’s ECNL National Academy program and PUMA.