SPRINGFIELD – With the harsh Northeast winter finally behind them, the New England Mutiny look to heat things up in the Women’s Premier Soccer League this season on May 16, 7 p.m., against New York AC in the season opener at East Longmeadow High School (ELHS).
Several new faces have joined the Mutiny this year as the roster undergoes an overhaul after a disappointing 2014 campaign in which the Mutiny missed out on a playoff spot after going undefeated in 2013.
New England looks to international waters for members of its crew with Allyson Swaby, Claire Walsh, Charlie Branch and Stephanie Santos joining returnees Kacey Richards, Andrea Plucenik, Meghan Cunningham, Rachel Ugolik, Kristyn Shea, Sarah Brochu and Kate Howarth as the Mutiny take the field for a 17th season.
Allyson Swaby, who recently completed training camp with the Jamaican National Team, is coming off her first season for coach Alison Foley at Boston College where she was voted to the All-Rookie Team in the ACC.
The West Hartford, CT, native started all 19 games last season. Swaby is also a member of the U20 United States National Team.
Claire Walsh of Kilbride, Ireland, patrols the stern at center back for Central Connecticut State University. Walsh played for Peamount United FC and helped them win the FAI cup in 2011.
She was named Sportswoman of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
A teammate of Walsh, midfielder Charlie Branch of Norwich, England, started 19 games for coach Mick Darcy at Central Connecticut.
Branch is a transfer from Monroe College where she was a first team All-American.
Stephanie Santos is a member of the Portuguese National Team and recently received a call-up to play in the Algarve Cup. Santos plays collegiately for coach John Natale at the University of Hartford and she was voted Midfielder of the Year in the America East Conference.
The East Longmeadow Soccer Association is partnering up with the New England Mutiny at the May 16 opener for a fundraising event at which seven East Longmeadow Pioneer Valley Soccer games scheduled to play at the ELHS turf field throughout the day.
The first game kicks off at 8 a.m.
There are 18 themed gift baskets that will be raffled off at the last game. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the event.
Any East Longmeadow soccer player wearing their jersey will get free admission to the Mutiny game.