On Saturday, two MLS franchised W-League teams, the Colorado Rapids Women and the Seattle Sounders Women, battled it out in front of a 1000 Colorado locals with the Rapids coming out on top 1-0. In 90 degree heat the two teams set out to fight for 3 valuable points. A win would either throw the Rapids Women back into play-off contention or keep the Sounders Women close to W-League Western Conference leaders Pali Blues.
The game started in the usual fashion with the Rapids Women dictating the tempo and controlling much of the possession in what has usually become a common sight in past home games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. In the first 15 minutes the Rapids Women came close on several occasions with striker Camilla Kur-Larsen constantly posing as a threat for the Sounders defense and creating several chances for teammates. In the 22nd minute, the Rapids breakthrough finally arrived with Rapids central midfielder Lexi Tagen latching onto a great pass from Katrine Korsgaard and then taking a blistering shot from outside the 18 to put the Rapids in the box seat with a well deserved 1-0 lead.
The first half wound down the same way the game started with the Rapids Women in control of possession and looking to go 2-0 up on other occasions. The Sounders were unable to break down the Rapids possession and tempo. Sounders midfielder and Colorado native Keelin Winters, however, came close on two occasions in which proved to be their only attempts on the Rapids goal in the first half.
The second half started with several Sounders substitutions and with a more offensive looking Sounders lineup. Much of the second half was played in the middle of the field with both teams working hard to find the next crucial goal. The Sounders Women applied constant pressure for the first part of the second half and forced the Rapids keeper Lauren Robertson into several saves. The Sounders continued to work hard and created several dangerous crosses from the flanks which were battled away by the Rapids Women.
In the final 15 minutes the Rapids changed into a more offensive formation even though they had a slim 1-0 advantage to defend, which forced the Sounders on the back foot for the final part of the game. This offensive change created three clear goal scoring opportunities for the Rapids Women but the scoreline stayed the same.
“This is a big win for our first year organization,” said Rapids Head Coach Daniel Clitnovici. “The girls played very hard and wanted the three points. Part of becoming a successful team is believing in yourself and that’s exactly what they did. The passion and heart they displayed tonight is unparalled. We can’t get carried away though because we have three massive games ahead of us. We’re five points from second in the league and everything is to play for”.
The game ended with a Rapids victory and the 3 points gained shoot them back into play-off contention 5 points adrift off second place with 5 games remaining. The Rapids now head to California for a 3 game road trip with a very important first game against league leaders the Pali Blues.
Please keep updated on the rapids website at http://www.coloradorapids.com/women and also on our facebook page at Colorado Rapids Women.