SANTA CLARITA, CA (Saturday, July 7, 2012) – The Santa Clarita Blue Heat were on the verge of shutting out the Colorado Rapids Women at the conclusion of the first 45 minutes of play on Saturday evening. In a tale of two halves, the Rapids Women stormed back in the second half for a 4-4 tie.
The Blue Heat dominated the first half of play with quick scores, solid possession and crisp passing. Laura Luis scored early off an Edite Fernandes assist in the fourth minute of play. Fernandes then took an unassisted shot from 18 yards out, hitting the upper right corner of the net in the 19th minute. Three minutes later, Luis slotted in another score from a Sydney Vermillion pass and Ana Borges notched what was to become the final Blue Heat goal in the 39th minute off a Katie Russ assist.
Colorado came out of the locker room with a vengeance. The Rapids Women made several key substitutions in the 51st minute that paid dividends. Jaucelyn Richten scored their first goal four minutes later off of an Ode Fulutudilu assist. The second Rapids goal came in the 71st minute from a corner kick with Scotti Culton earning the unassisted score.
The Blue Heat committed a defensive foul in the box and Erin Gunther finished from the penalty spot for the third Colorado goal in the 79th. Ode Fulutudilu scored the final unassisted goal off of another Rapids corner kick five minutes later.
“For as solid as our team played in the first half and especially with a 4-0 lead, the Rapids dug in, won nearly every ball and never gave up,” said Blue Heat head coach Charles Martinez. “This tie is especially painful after what seemed to be a certain win; however, the Rapids deserve tremendous credit for coming back with aggression to completely shift the momentum and earn the tie.”
The Rapids Women will not return home to Dick's Sporting Goods Park until July 15 when they take on the Whitecaps FC Women.