FC Tucson Women lead the WPSL Desert Conference with 2-0 win over FC Arizona

The Women in Black will play in Las Vegas on Sunday. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)


The FC Tucson Women beat FC Arizona 2-0 Wednesday night at Kino Stadium to move to 2-0 in the Desert Conference of the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL). The WPSL consists of 141 teams playing in 16 conferences and the League will crown the winner of each conference this summer with the postseason canceled due to continued travel and hotel restrictions from the pandemic.

FC Arizona (Phoenix) dropped to 1-2 on the year with a 4-0 victory over El Paso Surf coming before a 2-1 loss to Atomic City FC (Las Vegas) on Saturday. The Women in Black are slated to visit Las Vegas (1-0) this Sunday at 10 a.m. with a shot to solidify the lead over the conference. An expansion team, Las Vegas will host El Paso Saturday night before the match with Tucson.

Erin Craig with a shot past Ashley Kobylinski. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

Erin Craig found the net on an offering from Jaden Bailey in the 16th minute and that lead was preserved when Hope Hisey stopped a point-blank shot several minutes before the half. Hisey is an All-Pac-12 goalie from the University of Arizona and Bailey was a two-time Arizona High School Gatorade Player of the Year before playing for Arizona. Craig was an All-Big Sky standout with Montana before playing professionally in Sweden.

Tucson controlled most of the play but FC Arizona broke free on several drives to give FC Tucson Women a slim 9-7 shot advantage in the match but a collapsing defense prevented any accurate attempts with Hisey only needing the one save.

At the other end, former Gilbert High School and current Western Kentucky keeper Ashley Kobylinski kept her team in the match with several on-target saves but Luz Duarte scored on a pass from Kourtney Kutscher in the 55th minute to extend the lead to 2-0. Kutscher was an All-Big West standout with Cal State Northridge before playing in the WPSL in Chicago and competing professionally in Sweden. Duarte was a standout with Catalina and Pueblo before joining the Mexican National Team.

Luz Duarte celebrates her third goal of the season. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

Former UTEP standout Brianna Barreiro is the anchor on the pitch for Tucson and she suffered an injury in the second half that seemingly sparked the offense from Phoenix.

“Losing Brianna was a big loss for us,” head coach Kelly Pierce said. “She’s a captain and she’s our talker. I think we struggled a bit and we stayed back too much and maybe our girls panicked a little when she went down but Kate (Connelly) did a great job for us when she replaced Brianna.”

Kate Connelly was a standout at Salpointe before heading out to play for Seattle University.

FC Tucson Women will visit FC Arizona on June 19 before hosting Las Vegas on June 25.


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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