The quality and unpredictability of the W-League stood out last weekend as the Rapids Women faced tough and determined opposition on their first road trip of the season, facing three games in a span of five days in California.
On Thursday, June 6 the Rapids Women lost their first road game 4-0 to one of the League’s top teams, The Pali Blues. The next night, after taking a 2-0 lead on the LA Strikers, the home side scored three in the second half to win 3-2. Colorado ended their road trip with a hard fought 2-2 tie with Santa Clarita on Sunday.
Pali were on top of their game and scored early after just seven minutes and adding two more goals to take a 3-0 lead into halftime. The Rapids improved to start the second half but in the 52 minute the Pali Blues found the net again. The Rapids' struggles weren't just on the defensive end as the Pali goalkeeper denied the Women's only four chances on goal.
The next day started much better gainst the LA Strikers, though it turned out to be a tale of two halves. The Rapids came out strong and midfielder Rebekah Patrick finally broke through with a goal in the 29th minute. Just two minutes later the Rapids found the goal again with midfielder Jessie Ayers poking the ball in after a cross from Pascale Pinard for a 2-0 lead at the break.
The second half, however, was one to forget. The Strikers to pull a goal back midway through the second half after a mix-up in the Rapids end created the opportunity. Holding a 2-1 lead, Colorado surrendered an unfortunate own goal with 10 minutes left in the match. Feeling the momentum, the Strikers struck again four minutes later to claim the 3-2 win.
The final game of the road trip saw the Rapids Women take on the Santa Clarita Blue Heat on Sunday afternoon. Rapids forward Chloe Roberts gave the Rapids the lead after just one minute when she was played through by Rebekah Patrick and finished well. The Rapids doubled their lead seven minutes after halftime when Kristen Hamilton’s cross was headed in by defender Kelsey Neal. Santa Clarita started to push for a goal and found it in the 71st minute as the ball was headed in from a corner. The Blue Heat headed in again three minutes later, this time from a free kick. Both teams pushed for a winner but neither could get the vital goal, and the game ended all square at 2-2.
The Rapids will play at Colorado Rush on June 11 before returning home to host the Seattle Sounders Women on Friday, June 14 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park (6 p.m. MT, BUY TICKETS).