The AFC Ann Arbor women have their first ever back-to-back as they kick off twice this weekend over a nineteen-hour period. The Mighty Oak will be at home Friday the 24th at 6 PM to take on Lansing United before making the trip to Canton to take on Michigan Legends Saturday the 25th at 1 PM, as a showcase match for the Canton Cup youth tournament. Tickets for the home match at Concordia University are on sale online and will also be available at the gate Friday.
The Mighty Oak are coming off their first-ever home match, which resulted in the first win in the women’s inaugural season. Last Friday saw them top a very-talented Grand Rapids FC side by a score of 5-2. AFCAA jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the match, but allowed GRFC to equalize 2-2 by halftime. The women were ready for the second half, however, as Rachael Sweigard finished her hat trick and Suzuho Yamasaki put the exclamation point on the match with a stunner from 45 yards out to give AFC a 5-2 victory and all three points.
The offense is off to a hot start in the UWS for the women as they have scored seven goals in the first two matches. Aside from Sweigard’s hat trick, the other four goals have been spread out to four other scorers. The next step for The Mighty oak is to secure their first clean sheet, which they would certainly love to do as they enter a two-game stretch with a pair of very strong teams.
This will be the first back-to-back of Andy Pritchard’s career, and fans are almost assuredly going to see some changes between match one and two of the weekend. The question then becomes for AFC’s head man what he wants to show his first opposing side of the weekend. With both matches coming in short order over the weekend, keeping the players fit and focused has to be priority number one.
Lansing United are currently 2-0-0 to start the 2019 campaign, as we look forward to the women’s rivalry taking the place of what was a thrilling rivalry previously between the men’s sides. Lansing topped Grand Rapids FC 2-1 at home to kick off the year, then took three points on the road from Detroit Sun in a 3-2 thriller where despite falling behind twice, they would come back to find a winner in the 67th minute. They will look to take another three points to open the season and are sure to give The Mighty Oak a tough fight. Also, of note, is the fact that Lansing took the 2018 UWS Midwest title as they nudged GRFC out by a point.
Michigan Legends have played just two match this season, and found much difficulty against Indiana Union as they fell 5-0 on the road, before getting their first win of the season in the Michigan Milk Cup, this past Monday, against AAFC Lumberjills. Legends finished 5-2-3 last season, good for fourth in the division, and key members of that team included current AFC women Megan Trapp and Jenna Smith. The familiarity that some of the women may have with these Midwest foes is sure to make for an entertaining match full of players that know each other well.