The Colorado Rapids Women defeated the visiting Los Angeles Strikers 2-0 on Sunday, June 24 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Field 20 on a scorching 100 degree day, led by Amanda McMullan and Kelsey Neal who scored a goal each.
In what has proven to be a common trait in the Rapids style of play the game started in a very physical way with many strong tackles and physical challenges halting the run of play and keeping the match officials very busy. The heat took its toll on players and in the first half the Rapids enjoyed much of the possession but could not find the back of the net. Twenty five minutes into the game a late tackle by the LA Strikers took the Rapids play-maker Katrine Korsgaard out of the game and forced head coach Clitnovici to alter his style of play with an early substitution. The first half ended goalless with both sides having several goal attempts but none that were clear cut chances.
With the start of the second half the Rapids Women came out for the win; they continued to dominate possession and created several close chances in the final third. Rapids midfielder Lexi Tagen and Erin Gunther continued to dictate the midfield tempo and in the 67th minute, Ode Fulutudilu who was brought on in a more attacking Rapids formation took the ball down the right side of the field with amazing speed, and delivered an inch perfect cross to the advancing Rapids striker Amanda McMullan who volleyed a shot on target from 8 yards out deflecting off a defender, putting the Rapids 1-0 up with a little more than 20 minutes remaining.
The Rapids Women continued to press the LA Strikers for a second goal and came close on several occasion especially with Karisa Price hitting the cross bar from 25 yards out with a wonderful strike. Colorado Rapids captain Brooke Spence continued to lead the defense and they never looked like conceding with all the LA attacks quickly being defused. In the 80th minute Ode Fulutudilu once again took the ball down the line and laid off a perfect pass to the advancing Rapids center back Kelsey Neal, who finished the attack with a placed shot for her first goal of the season.
The game ended with a 2-0 Rapids Women victory, leaving the LA Strikers empty handed on their road trip to Colorado and clinching the Rapids women a well deserved 3 points. The Rapids Women will be playing the Seattle Sounders this Saturday 30th at 4:30 MDT.