CHILLIWACK, BC – It was a damp and chilly Friday night at Exhibition Stadium in Chilliwack, BC for what proved to be a highly competitive contest, as the Colorado Rapids Women earned their first away point of the season with a 1-1 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps. A crowd of 1,005 came out to watch a high-paced game of W-League action.
The Whitecaps started out attacking early against the Rapids Women. The Whitecaps were rewarded as forward Marissa Mykines pushed the ball through the Rapids box, and was taken down just as she was winding up to shoot. Colorado defender Kelsey Neal was shown a yellow card and the Whitecaps were awarded a penalty. Whitecaps forward Mele French stepped to the spot and buried the shot low to the far post past Rapids goalkeeper Lauren Robertson at 24 minutes to give them a 1-0 lead.
The teams continued to trade chances back and forth. As the first half came to a close the Whitecaps clung to their 1-0 lead.
BOXSCORE AND LINEUPS
As the second half started, the skies opened up and drenched the pitch at Exhibition Stadium. The Rapids came out strong in the second half and pushed the pace offensively. Rapids forward Samhia Simao got a ball past the Whitecaps defense, and got taken down on the edge of the box. This resulted in a yellow card for the Whitecaps. Rapids midfielder Erin Gunther took the free kick and wired it past the Whitecaps keeper to even the score at 1-1 on 53 minutes for her second goal in as many games.
“We tried to play hard and take the game to them. They have a few good players in midfield and we had to stop the ball coming to them, which I think we did very well,” said Daniel Clitnovici, Colorado Rapids Women head coach. “We made it hard for them to get into their rhythm.”
The Rapids had a couple of glorious chances to take the lead as Laura Thacker and Erin Gunther were put in positions to put the game away for the Rapids.
“We asked the players to push the pace offensively, and I think they responded very well. It was a very well and hard earned point. I even felt we could have taken all three at the end, but in all we leave Vancouver with a good feeling,” noted Clinovici.
The draw gives the Rapids 4 points out of 6. They travel to Victoria, BC to play the Highanders on Sunday at Royal Athletic Park at 2 PM.