The North and South Divisions Rally in Final Weekend of Regular-Season to Claim Position in the Division Title Race
Published Jul 9, 2021

As things start to come to a close in Metropolitan Conference regular-season play, the final picture of the division tables is starting to become clearer. While some conferences opted to determine their champion through regular-season points, the two divisions of the Metropolitan Conference elected to crown their winners through a mini playoff structure.


In the North Division, the top two teams will hold a division championship match. In the South Division, the top four teams will play a semi-final (no.1 vs no.4, no.2 vs no.3) before going on to the final match to determine the division champion. The conference will only crown division champions for this season versus an overall Metropolitan Champion.




SUSA FC, who have been in great form this season, is in slight control of the division while sitting on 15 points through five games – all of which they have won. SUSA not only has a lead atop the division, but they also have games in hand on the other contenders in the division race.


Led by an offensive punch from midfielders Julia Hannon and Jessica Garziano, and forwards Nicole Gordon and Samantha Adams, the Smithtown, N.Y. side boasts a goalscoring record of 29 goals scored while only conceding one and show no signs of breaking from this pace any time soon.


In closest contention behind SUSA FC for the Metro North’s coveted top two spots are VT Fusion and Rhode Island Rogues, who face off on Saturday in a match that will decide who will reach the division championship match.


VT Fusion is currently in the more enviable position of the two as they currently sit two points ahead of the Rogues with 14 points through seven matches. The WPSL newcomers have been led by the goalscoring exploits of Grace and Hannah Pinkus as the duo have each recorded four goals and an assist on the season.


VT Fusion came out swinging in their last match against Fox Soccer Academy, rolling out 7-0 victors behind a hat-trick from Grace Pinkus, clearly outlining their intentions and relevance as a threat to claim one of the division’s top two spots.

The Rogues are sitting behind Vermont with 12 points from their seven games and need a victory to get themselves into the division championship – anything less will leave them outside looking in. Rhode Island has shown that they have the ability, but have struggled to find consistency this season, both on the scoreboard and in the wins column. The club will be looking to grasp the opportunity ahead of them on Saturday while simultaneously exacting revenge on the Vermont side for the 5-2 loss Fusion inflicted on them earlier in the season.


With more of an outside shot at a division championship, Westchester United FC and New York Shockers are still in the mix as both sit on 10 points apiece, but need the result of Saturday’s VT Fusion-Rhode Island Rogues match to go their way to stand a chance. However, with one match left on their schedule, the Shockers will likely be on the outside of the top two even with a win.


If VT Fusion and Rhode Island Rogues draw on Saturday or if Rhode Island wins and Westchester wins their remaining two matches then Westchester would find themselves with 16 points to secure the second spot. Though Westchester has a tough road ahead of them, with a match against the powerhouse SUSA FC on Sunday.




Deciding their division champion slightly different than the north with the top four teams competing for the title, the spots are essentially set. NJ/NY Gotham Reserves have the top spot locked up with one game remaining and look like an absolute force to be reckoned with going into the postseason. Gotham, who wrap up regular season play on Sunday against New Jersey Alliance FC, have remained perfect through their six matches so far this season while scoring 26 goals along the way through the offensive force of Hope Breslin, Bella Sember, and Lumi Kostmayer – collectively the trio have recorded 14 goals while assisting on four more.


Match Fit Academy and Real Central NJ sit behind Gotham in the second and third positions as both clubs have gone about their inaugural seasons with effective efficiency. Through their seven matches, Match Fit Academy has relied on the offense of Lauren Belcuore to lift their otherwise largely “score by committee” approach this season.


The forward’s standout performance came in a two-goal, two-assist performance in Match Fit Academy’s dominant 6-0 victory against New Jersey Alliance FC. With the addition of Claire Manning’s upswing in offensive potency seeing her score three goals over Match Fit’s final two matches of the season, the club’s offense could be rounding into top form at the perfect time.

Real Central NJ has only lost one match this season after conceding in the final minutes of a tight 2-1 defeat to division leaders Gotham. The New Jersey expansion opened the season scoring seven goals through their first three matches. Real Central’s offense has since slowed a little down the stretch, with the side only registering five goals over their last four matches without picking up a victory.


With both sides now finished with their regular season, they’ve each secured their place in the division semi-final matchup as the two will face off in hopes of reaching the division championship match.   


Sitting in the final playoff spot as the fourth seed is PSA Monmouth who finished their regular-season schedule on June 29. While Monmouth currently holds this position with 10 points, STA can make things interesting from their standings position in 6th, as they have one match remaining and sit on 7 points.


If STA wins their final match against Inter AC on Sunday, it would put them level on points with Monmouth. However, since Monmouth won their earlier meeting versus STA this season 3-2, they would hold the tie-breaker advantage and would retain their spot in the division semi-final match where they would meet Gotham who handed them a 9-1 loss in their first meeting in regular-season play.




As the playoff pictures in both divisions of the Metropolitan conference start to take shape, the squads in contention will be chomping at the bit to get their chance to prove why they deserve to hold that top spot. The regular-season means nothing in single-knockout playoff matches, and there will be a few sides keenly looking to force an upset on their way to the title match.


After the slate of matches this weekend, highlighted by Gotham’s visit to New Jersey Alliance FC at 4:00 pm ET on Sunday, next weekend’s semi-final matches in the Metro South will be played July 17th, as the first ranked NJ/NY Gotham Reserves take on the fourth seed PSA Monmouth and second seed, Match Fit Academy will face third seed Real Central NJ. The winners of both matches will play in the division championship on July 18th.


The Metro North still has significant matches to play to sort out the final standings positions before their division championship next weekend.


On Saturday SUSA FC visit New York Athletic Club at 1:00 pm ET at Asphalt Green and

Westchester United FC then travels to Albany to face New York Shockers at 5:30 pm ET at Afrim Sportspark.  VT Fusion travels to Rhode Island Rogues in a crucial match that will kick off at 6:00 pm at Roger Williams University.


On Sunday SUSA FC will play their second match of the weekend as they travel to Tibbets Brook Park to take on Westchester United FC at 5:00 pm ET while the schedule rounds out with Inter AC hosting STA at Shellum Field at 6:00 pm ET.

As always, matches will be available to stream live on Eleven Sports, formerly known as MyCujoo, the official streaming partner of the WPSL.


  Author:  Ryan Lindsay;  @noryannorreason (twitter)
  WPSL Contributor - East Region