The Connecticut Fusion have reached the United Womenâ€™s Soccer national final with a little help from some current and former Central Connecticut State womenâ€™s soccer standouts.
Tess Atkinson (Berlin High School graduate), Roma McLaughlin, Amanda McQuillan, Taylor Smith and Tori Sousa helped the Fusion earn its first United Womenâ€™s Soccer National Championship tournament bid, earning a game against the SC Blue Heat this Sunday at noon. More information on the tournament can be found at www.uwssoccer.com/2021-uws-final-four/ . The game will be played at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex in Texas, hosted by FC Austin Elite.
McQuillan, McLaughlin and Smith were juniors for CCSU during the 2020 season. Atkinson was a senior. Sousa graduated in 2015 after transferring from UMass.
Connecticut handed Midwest United FC its first loss of the year in Friday's first semifinal by a 2-1 score with both McLaughlin and Atkinson in the starting lineup. Sousa entered in the 62nd minute, scoring and tallying an assist to launch the Fusion ahead for the win.
The Fusionâ€™s route to the postseason included a win of the Eastern Conference Playoff Tournament, which saw the Fusion bounce top-seeded Syracuse DA and the FC Buffalo Women.
HOW THEYâ€™VE DONE
Entering the weekend Atkinson has seen action in six games, starting in three. She has played 278 minutes and scored once in the season finale against the Worcester Smiles.
McLaughlin also has seen action in six matches, starting in all six. She missed some time to represent the Republic of Ireland on international duty and enters Sunday with four goals and three assists.
MacQuillan has seen action in four games, registering six saves in 246 minutes played.
Smith appeared in three matches, all off the bench, playing 75 total minutes.
Sousa, a two-time all-Northeast Conference honoree and 2014 NEC Player of the Year, is the organization's all-time leader in goals, assists and matches played. She returned for her third season with the Fusion and has continued to dominate with six goals and four assists in 10 appearences this season. In her career she has 22 goals with 11 assists in 32 career appearances.
The CT Fusion are coached by Steve Stokoe and Carson D'Ambrosio, a pair of former Blue Devils.