A Look At The Western Division Ahead of 2022 Kick Off
Published May 17, 2022

Written By:      Thomas Costello | Central Region Contributor


After previewing the Ohio Valley Conference’s Eastern Division, it’s time to see who’s fighting for the other spot in the conference championship match. The Western Division features three teams with strong WPSL sides, an expansion team and a side that joined in 2021 who took immediate control.

The Eastern Division kicks off on May 17 at 7:00 PM ET
The Western Division begins on May 20 at 7:00 PM ET
Look for matches to be streamed at

Here's what to expect from Cincinnati Sirens FC, Dayton Dutch Lions FC, FC Dayton, FC Pride and Lady Victory FC.

Cincinnati Sirens FC

Entering its sixth season in the WPSL, Cincinnati Sirens look toward the 2022 season following a strong 2021 campaign where it finished second with a record of eight wins and two losses.

Throughout the WPSL, teams have different ways they build their roster foundations. Some clubs stem from youth organizations where top prospects play alongside collegiate players at the WPSL level. Other teams give former college players an outlet to compete.

The Sirens attract talent across the spectrum of youth and experience and consistently compete at the top of its conference with a mix of college players and veterans competing alongside one another – look no further than its 2021 season.

Cincinnati was well-represented in post-season honors as four Sirens received awards, split down the middle between veterans and college players. The WPSL named All-B1G forward Makala Woods from the University of Illinois and midfielder Becky Dean from Butler University to the Midwestern All-Conference team.

Cincinnati’s other two All-Conference honorees were midfielders Erin Yenney and Bryce Hueber; both former college student-athletes. Yenney is a 29-year-old who’s played professionally in Turkey with Fenerbaçhe SK after stints in the United States with the Chicago Red Stars and Reign FC (now OL Reign) of the NWSL. Hueber played collegiately in Southern Ohio at Wright State University and the University of Ohio.  Hueber also received the 2021 Central Region Defender of the Year award.

Dayton Dutch Lions FC

North of Cincinnati is the first of two teams from Western Ohio. The Dayton Dutch Lions are part of the Dutch Lions soccer organization that features five additional WPSL teams stretching from San Diego, Cali. down to Miami, Fla. and up to New York City.

The Dayton Dutch Lions started in 2009 and although it doesn’t come from a major metropolis like Miami or New York, the club brings a strong history of player development. Dayton’s most well-known product is World Cup winner and current OL Reign midfielder Rose Lavelle. Lavelle and the Dutch Lions won the conference championship in its first season in the WPSL – the 2016 Valley Conference.

Dayton’s 2022 team is taking shape but already features a group of players from different parts of the globe. Dayton has announced pieces of its 2022 lineup, which includes players from Germany, England and the Netherlands. Part of that group is defender Madison Hook who plays collegiately in the U.S. with Eastern Tennessee State but hails from London where Hook competed in the WSL Youth Academy for Premier League and Women’s Super League.

Last season, Dayton finished with a 4-5-3 record but now with the influx of international and local talent, the Lions look to be an interesting team to watch in 2022.

FC Dayton

Of the five teams in the Western Division, FC Dayton is the newest – in WPSL terms as it enters the league as a 2022 expansion team. Though, FC Dayton has deep roots in Western Ohio through Centerville United Soccer Association (CUSA).

For over 50 years, CUSA gave players from all levels of youth soccer an avenue to grow and develop. It’s also an organization that received accreditation as a Players First club – a designation given by US Soccer that focuses not just on player development but player health and safety. It also focuses on coach and parental development, making the FC Dayton approach stretch from the field to the training pitch and into the player’s homes.

Roster-wise for 2022, FC Dayton’s first season in the league features a team with strong ties to Ohio which currently includes 16 players from Ohio-based schools. Chemistry-wise, an expansion season always brings question marks surrounding how a team will play together but FC Dayton has a foundation of player development that rivals anyone in the Ohio Valley Conference.

FC Dayton and the Dayton Dutch Lions play on May 28 and June 26, creating a new WPSL rivalry to watch in 2022.

FC Pride

FC Pride is one of two teams from Central Indiana and brings a strong youth system and a team of diverse talent.

FC Pride enters the 2022 season with year-over-year improvement. In 2019, Pride celebrated its best season since joining the WPSL in 2014. Though, after a 4-4-2 record put FC Pride in second place in its conference, the cancellation of the 2020 season brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t slow the club down.

Last season, FC Pride improved on its most successful season from 2019 by going 6-5-1 to put them in third place in the Midwestern Conference. Realignment across the WPSL changed some of the opponents for FC Pride over the past two seasons including teams from the Chicagoland area in 2019 and St. Louis in 2021.

This season gives FC Pride the chance to play a closer-to-home schedule and compete against many of the same clubs it faced in 2021. That kind of continuity puts FC Pride in a place where it can compete at the top of its division and the conference.

On the field for FC Pride is a group of mostly collegiate players within many divisions of the NCAA and a former Division I athlete who even took her soccer talents professional for a period overseas. Stasia Mallin is a standout defender who played at the University of Memphis and earned awards throughout her collegiate career for on- and off-the-field work.

Mallin was even a 2019 semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy – awarded to the best player in college soccer. After college, Mallin signed a professional contract with BIIK Kazygurt in Kazakhstan where Mallin played in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Lady Victory FC

Lady Victory FC, named after the famous statue that shares the same name in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., is the final team in the Western Division. To reference the old saying, Lady Victory is last but nowhere close to least.

On May 16, 2021, Lady Victory FC began its WPSL campaign with a 6-0 victory over the Columbus Eagles and didn’t look back. In the 10 matches that followed, Lady Victory won nine on its way to the Midwestern Conference title.

It wasn’t the number of victories for Lady Victory, but the domination of those victories. In 11 matches, Lady Victory FC averaged 3.72 goals per match – only once failing to score a goal which came in its lone loss of the season. Defensively, the 2021 Midwestern Conference champions were just as potent, allowing .72 goals per match.

The source of Lady Victory’s team is Sogility, a Central Indiana soccer organization that focuses on not only traditional soccer training but the influence of technology in training which paid off for the team of local college players.

Lady Victory FC took home postseason conference awards for Offensive Player of the Year, Franchise of the Year, Coach of the Year and saw three players named to the Midwestern Conference’s All-Conference Team.

The only question surrounding Lady Victory going into 2022 is can it be repeated? Lady Victory FC won all five matches against teams that followed them into the Western Division for the new season. With playoff soccer returning to the WPSL, Lady Victory has more accolades to chase and has the foundation to do just that.