Araujo shines in 5-1 win as women approach playoff berth

(Photo credit: Ben Tsujimoto / The Buffalo News)

Kelsey Araujo scored twice and assisted other goals on Saturday night as FC Buffalo beat New England Mutiny 5-1 at Robert Rich Sr. All-High Stadium, keeping hold of first place in United Women’s Soccer’s East Conference with a 6-1-1 record.

The women scored after just 27 seconds of play when Araujo found Kat Camper alone on the goal line, and Araujo had it 2-0 with a clever finish of a Marcy Barberic assist.

[ NEXT GAME TICKET INFO: Tuesday, July 6 versus Syracuse ]

Barberic had two goals and an assist on the night with Brigid Molloy coming off the bench to assist Araujo’s second goal.

Emily Kelly made a number of fine saves in the win, returning to the lineup after Jessica Jones played well in two matches last weekend in Massachusetts.

FCB leads the table with 19 points through eight matches and controls its own playoff and conference regular season title destiny with two home matches left, but the Wolves could clinch one of four East Conference berths by the time they next kick a ball.

The women could also sit second for first time this season, as second-place Scorpions SC plays its ninth match of the season when it hosts Syracuse on Friday. Scorpions are two points back of FCB.

Only five teams can still collect more than FCB’s current total of 19 points: Scorpions SC, Connecticut Rush. Syracuse, New Jersey Copa, and Long Island Rough Riders. Albany Rush can reach 19 points but FCB won both regular season meetings with Albany and that is the first tiebreaker.

Scorpions and Syracuse play Thursday in Massachusetts, while NJ Copa still play Connecticut Rush and Long Island Rough Riders in a trio of matches which will affect maximum point totals, while FC Buffalo will meet Syracuse on Tuesday July 7 (Ticket info).

The UWS East Conference playoffs will be contested the weekend of July 16-18. We expect further details soon. The winner of the East Conference final will advance to the UWS National Championship weekend July 23-25.

For remaining opponents, max points, and more, here’s the current East Conference table.