Women defeat Highlanders 3-0 in season opener
COMMERCE CITY, Col. - The Colorado Rapids Women began their inaugural season with a solid display against the Victoria Highlanders at Dicks Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, earning a 3-0 win. The conditions were not the best, as a strong wind gave one side a considerable advantage attacking the north end.
After a slow start the Rapids dominated the first-half possession and scored a neat goal after 30 minutes. Sahmia Simao put Ode Fulutudilu through and the South African international slotted home from inside the penalty area, after a strong run.
Victoria picked up its game and created a few chances, but never really threatened the Rapids goal. The Victoria goalkeeper kept the Highlanders in the game with some bigtime saves, keeping the Rapids to a 1-0 lead despite having a strong first-half wind advantage.
The second half started with the Highlanders applying pressure on the Rapids and although they used the wind to their advantage they were unable to test Rapids goalkeeper Lauren Robertson.
The Rapids then took control and through a string of quality passing Simao played Amanda McMullan through with a delicate chip, leaving McMullan one-on-one with the keeper who could not stop the Rapids from taking a 2-0 after 65 minutes.
The Rapids continued to keep possession even against a strong wind blowing straight at them. In the 80th minute the Rapids completed the 3-0 victory through a penalty scored by midfielder Erin Gunther, who converted from the spot after Cayla Davis's cross was handled in the box.
The 600-plus crowd thoroughly enjoyed the Rapids Women's first game and win of the campaign.
The Rapids Women next face Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Friday, June 1 in Vancouver.