The Colorado Rapids Women defeated the Colorado Rush 3-2 on Saturday afternoon at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in their first match of the 2013 W-League season. Erin Gunther (pictured above), Sophie Howard and Lexi Tagen each scored in the victory over local rivals.
"We are happy with the result and the performance to go with it," head coach Daniel Clitnovici said afterwards. "I think our girls fully deserved the win as they never quit. Going down one nil early on woke us up and we were able to raise the level of our play and led to the win".
The Rapids opened the game strong with a lot of quality possession and chances in the first 15 minutes of the game. Right around that mark, though, Rush turned the tide and drew a penalty, which Danica Evans finished to take a 1-0 lead. Rush seemed to be on a roll with several chances after that, but the Rapids finally took back control of the match with two goals just before halftime. Gunther, the 2012 goalscoring leader with six goals, and Howard each scored from distance to give the Rapids a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission.
During the second half, the Rapids continued to improve and scored a third, effectively the game winner, in the 78th minute with a finish from Tagen. Both teams continued to battle until the final whistle, as Rush answered back once more to bring the score to 3-2 with a second goal on the night for Evans. The Rapids held on to the lead to earn a victory in their first match of the season.
The Rapids Women are back in action next week as they take to the road for three matches in California. They'll face Pali Blues on June 6, LA Strikers on June 7, and Santa Clarita Blue Heat on June 9. Colorado's next home match is on June 14 against the Seattle Sounders, and tickets to the match are available here.
Rush: Evans 15'
Rapids: Gunther 40'
Rapids: Howard 42
Rapids: Tagen 78'
Rush: Evans 90'