In the final match of the 2013 season, the Rapids' Special Olympics Unified team tied the Seattle Sounders' Special Olympics team 0-0 on Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Saturday’s action opened with the Commerce City Police Department Honor Guard presenting the colors and a national anthem sang by Andie Zitek. Athletes participated in a pre-match gift exchange and then took to the field for a spectacular defensive battle. Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens joined the Special Olympics athletes on the side line for the entire game.
It seemed as if it all Seattle in the first half, with Maddy Kroll, Alexandra Sumner and Hanna Gustaffson controlling possession but the Rapids Unified team held on with goalkeeper Luke Davidson making a few fantastic stops.
At halftime, the crowd was treated to a recap of the Rapids’ trip to Portland and a special performance from the Denver Parks and Recreation Adaptive Actors Workshop.
The second half was marked by excellent defensive work from Colorado’s Vincent Egan, which sparked a couple excellent runs. Unified Partner, Ryan Yim, pointed to communication as the reason the team was able to keep Seattle scoreless, saying “I think our team did pretty well, considering that Seattle beat us last year. Communication was a lot better this time.”
Ultimately, the Rapids Unified team was unable to tend with excellent goalkeeping work from Seattle and the game ended in a scoreless tie.
Oscar Pareja and Paul Bravo greeted each athlete with a handshake and a medal following the match.
Colorado Rapids Special Olympics team: #00 – Mackenzie Beauvais-Nikl, #1 – Benjamin Hollis, #2 – Patrick Carry, #4- Sam Henderson, #7 – Vincent Egan, #8 – Ibsen Ojeda, #10 – Dominic Sisneros, #11 – Dylan Spencer, #15 – Azur Ewari, #16 – Tonya Swikert, #18 – Calmer Hyberg, #19 – Morgan Butler, #23 – Ryan Yim, #24 – Luke Davidson, #45 – Sam Villela (captain)
Coaches: Phil Knight, Aspen DeField, and Llima Kane
FC Dallas Special Olympics team: #3 – Jowell Figueras, #4 – Mira Skladany, #5 – Bruce Hamm, #6 – Kelsea Anne Evans, #9 – Sean Michael O’Neill, #10 – Ben Clayton, #11 – William Galloway, #12 – Cashel Vincent, #13 – Hanna Jacobus, #15 – Maddy Kroll, #16 – Alexandra Elis Sumner, #17 – Timothy Davenport, #18 – Clifford I. Green, #20 – Jeanette Su Tao Regan Schwenson, Madison Williams
Coaches: Alex LaRosa, Eva Levingrum, Norm Smith, Chara McElfish, and Joe Hampson