Americans women head to NISL playoffs

Photo: Molly Martin (pictured) leads the Memphis Americans women with 13 goals and five assists this season with two games to play. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)

It’s on to the postseason for the Memphis Americans women’s National Indoor Soccer League team and their defense of the league’s first women’s championship. A pair of wins last weekend over Central Florida assured Memphis of being in the NISL postseason.

In this year’s playoff format, the top three teams from the regular season in both men’s and women’s divisions will advance to the playoffs with the top seed given a bye into the championship game.  The number two and three seeds will first play for the right to head the final match against the top seed.  

Memphis defeated Central Florida last weekend 2-1 and 9-1 to clinch the regular season championship.  Lauren Odino-Draughon led the offense for the Americans in both victories.  

However, it’s Molly Martin who has been the offensive leader this season with 13 goals and five assists. Three of Martin’s goals have been gamewinners.  

At the back line has been the continued strong play of goalkeeper Angel Hailey who has helped Memphis achieve the largest goal differential play at plus-20 and the fewest number of goals allowed at 33.  Hailey also has the lowest goals-against-average among NISL women at 2.91.  

Memphis Americans currently sit atop the women’s division standings with a 8-3 record and .727 win percentage. A win in one of their final two games this season will clinch the one seed in the playoffs, where the women will look to defend their inaugural season championship and keep the cup in Memphis.

On the men’s side, the Americans sit second behind regular-season champ Central Florida and are closer to clinching that spot in the postseason. Tampa Bay is currently third in the men’s standings. 

The Americans have two home games remaining on this season’s schedule: Sunday, April 30 and Monday, May 1, both against the Fayetteville Fury. 

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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