Published Jun 11, 2024

Written By: Ryan Wood
Photography: Hailey Leonard





Nationally ranked Clarkstown Soccer Club (No. 7 in the nation entering Week 5) faced some tough tests early, a match with conference foe and nationally ranked Rhode Island Rogues and two games in a 24-hour span this past weekend. But, when the dust settled, Clarkstown remained atop the Northeastern Conference with a 4-0-0 mark heading into this week.

“I am blessed to be coaching an amazingly talented group, but they don't just have talent. They know how to win, and they are playing so well with each other,” Daniel Samimi, Clarkstown Soccer Club head coach, said. “Goals are coming because of how talented we are up top.”

Goals certainly came in bunches over the weekend as Clarkstown dismantled WPSL newcomers Merrimack Valley Hawks FC, 7-0, Saturday before beating New York Shockers, 4-1 Sunday night.

“I am impressed mostly with how together this group is in such a short period of time and how much they care for each other and for our team to be successful,” Samimi said.

Kelly Brady (Mississippi) tallied two goals against both New York Shockers and Merrimack Valley Hawks FC. Ava Giudice (Fordham) scored twice Saturday and once Sunday. Niamh Healy (Scranton) scored once on Sunday, while Gabby Chan (Columbia), Ashley Moon (Pittsburgh), Lena Johnsen (Fordham), and Joyce Ryder (Connecticut) each added an assist in the win over New York. Ella McDonald (Buffalo), meanwhile, scored the lone goal for the Shockers. In Saturday’s win, Clarkstown also got a goal and an assist from Alexandra Barry and solo goals from Moon and Johnsen.

In goal, Cassie Coster (Monmouth) and Kayla Bower (St. John’s) have seen the bulk of the work and have combined to allow just three goals while posting two clean sheets.

“We have four amazing goalkeepers but we have only been taking two to games. Cassie Coster and Kayla Bower have been amazing so far. (They are) so gifted at the position and are playing so well,” Samimi said. “But also a big shout out to our defensive unit. They have been dominant so far this season. What shows you how good these girls are is that last season's WPSL East Region Defensive Player of the Year (Izzy Boodell) has not even played for us yet due to recovering from an injury at college.”

Clarkstown visits Merrimack Valley Hawks FC Saturday afternoon. The Hawks, meanwhile, have raised some eyebrows around the conference as the debutantes started their first WPSL campaign with a 1-0-3 start and have remained in every game, save for a 7-0 loss to nationally ranked Clarkstown Soccer Club.

“Reflecting on the initial series of games this season, it is evident that our team has demonstrated remarkable resilience and dedication on the field,” Joel Deleon, Merrimack Valley Hawks FC managing partner, said. “The start of the season has been marked by intense competition and strategic gameplay, showcasing the team's commitment to success.” 

Merrimack Valley gets back to action Saturday, hosting Clarkstown.


The Rhode Island Rogues improved to 3-0-1 with a commanding, 4-0 win on the road against Force FC New York this past weekend, one game after dropping its first game of the season to Clarkstown.

“It’s always tough to face a loss, especially the first one - it stings. But we spoke as a team about the importance of how we respond,” Brandon Iannelli, Rhode Island Rogues head coach, said. “The loss doesn’t define us, but what comes next certainly does. So finding three points the following week on the road is something we are very proud of as a team.”

The Rogues got two goals apiece from Hannah McNulty (Providence) and Camryn Thompson (Stonehill) in the win over Force FC New York. Alyson Spencer (Yale), Victoria Sousa (Central Connecticut State University), and Brooke Jenkins (Vermont) each tallied one assist apiece.

“Overall we’re happy about our performances thus far, we’ve found good results, and even when we faced the loss to Clarkstown, there were positive moments we appreciated,” Iannelli said. “For us, it’s not as much the results themselves, but how we earn them. We’re getting better at playing the kind of football/soccer we want to display, and that, to us, is very meaningful. We have more work to do, but our progress has been exciting.”