Whitecaps FC women finish their 2012 W-League season this weekend with a trip to the Rocky Mountain state. On Friday, July 13, the ‘Caps take on Colorado Rush at 6:30 p.m. PT. Two days later, the 'Caps conclude their campaign against Colorado Rapids Women on Sunday, July 15, at 12 p.m. PT.
The Blue and White finished their home schedule last weekend with a 1-1 draw against intra-provincial rivals Victoria Highlanders FC. It was a frustrating day for the ‘Caps out in Richmond as they outshot Victoria 30-5. However, they could only get one past the Highlanders, with striker Brandi Vega scoring her first goal as a member of Whitecaps FC.
The last time the ‘Caps locked horns with Colorado Rush they were beaten 1-0 off of a goal by Rush striker Danica Evans to spoil the home opener in Langley. Now, head coach Jesse Symons and his team will look to return the favour.
The second match against the Rapids is sure to be entertaining. The ‘Caps 1-1 with the women's team of their MLS brethren on a rainy night in Chilliwack back at the start of June. Striker Mele French converted a penalty to give the ‘Caps their only goal of the evening.
Vancouver currently sits in fifth place in the W-League Western Conference, and unfortunately will miss out on the playoffs for the first time since 2009. A pair of wins, however, would vault them ahead of both of their Colorado rivals and into a respectable third place finish in the Western Conference.
“In Colorado we will have to deal with the heat and altitude, which will make it difficult,” said Symons. “Both Colorado teams are hard working and talented, so we will have to do our best to outwork them.”
The Rush have had a strong season so far and currently sit in third place in the W-League Western Conference with 19 points. A win or draw against the 'Caps will keep them in third to end the season.
In their last match, they played their in-state rival Rapids Women to an entertaining 3-3 draw. Evans, who terrorized the ‘Caps in their home opener, tallied a goal and an assist against the Rapids.
The Rush will miss out on the W-League playoffs this season but have shown great promise, and with young talent on their roster, they could be a contender in the W-League Western Conference for years to come.
COLORADO RAPIDS WOMEN
Currently sitting in in fourth place in the Western Conference with 16 points, the Rapids will also hope to end the season by jumping up to third place. Head coach Daniel Clitnovici has had a successful season in leading the Rapids, and after coming off a 3-3 draw with the rival Rush, the ‘Caps can expect a fiery Rapids squad to come out looking to end their season by sending the fans home happy.
Whitecaps FC will need to keep a close eye on midfielder Erin Gunther, who scored against the ‘Caps in June and also scored in the last match against the Rush.