Playing in their second to last match of the season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC women (3W-4L-6D) settled for a scoreless draw with third-place Colorado Rush (5W-4L-5D) at Valor Christian High School Stadium in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, but the result was not indicative of how things unfolded.
Despite having to adjust to playing at altitude, the visiting ‘Caps dictated the play from start to finish, launching a whopping 21 shots towards the Rush goal. Rush goalkeeper Megan McCain was forced to make 15 saves, while ‘Caps shot-stopper Gurveen Clair was tested just once - in the 80th minute.
“It was actually probably our best game of the season,” Whitecaps FC women head coach Jesse Symons told whitecapsfc.com. “Pretty much the entire game was played in their half, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to slide one by their goalkeeper.”
After opening their 2012 campaign with three consecutive losses, the fifth-place ‘Caps are now unbeaten in four, having only lost one match in their previous 10 United Soccer Leagues W-League fixtures.
“The way that the team has progressed from June 1st until now has been very impressive,” Symons said. “Full credit to the players to keep pushing even though we’ve been out of the playoff race for our last couple matches.”
It was clear from the opening whistle that the Blue and White came to play, with their first opportunity coming at the five-minute mark. After midfielder Jenny Jeffers played striker Mele French in behind, the Hawaiian forward went for goal, but McCain was up to the task, pushing the ball out with her right hand to keep matters scoreless.
The ‘Caps let loose a flurry of shots from distance in the opening 45 minutes, but it was not until the second half that they really began to put on the attack.
Jeffers, midfielder Molly Rouse, and striker Marissa Mykines each had quality opportunities from close range, but McCain proved unbeatable as this W-League Western Conference affair ended in a deadlock.
The ‘Caps now travel down the road to Commerce City, Colorado, where they will wrap up their season on Sunday against Colorado Rapids Women.
Shots: Vancouver 21 – Colorado 1
Saves: Vancouver 1 – Colorado 15
Fouls: Vancouver 8 – Colorado 6
Corners: Vancouver 2 – Colorado 1
Offsides: Vancouver 3 – Colorado 0
18.Megan McCain; 7.Kellyn Farrell (3.Morgan Kennedy 64'), 23.Madison Hall (15.Morgan Stanton 56'), 16.Samantha Harder, 25.Havan McElvaine; 13.Jacy Drobney, 8.Gabrille Miranda (14.Olivia Wagner 77'); 22.Danica Evans, 9.Melinda Ingalls
Substitutes not used: 6.Kelsey Loupee, 23.Megan Beasley Melucci, 28.Lauren Johnston
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
30.Gurveen Clair; 4.Danielle Johnson, 28.Brittany Galindo, 33.Shannon Woeller, 8.Demi Stokes; 2.Taylor Patterson (16.Mary Kate McLaughlin 83'), 23.Jennifer Jeffers (22.Brandi Vega 70'), 25.Jenna Carosio, 19.Molly Rouse; 29.Mele French, 21.Page Adams (24.Marissa Mykines 60')
Substitutes not used: 7.Brienna Shaw, 9.Natalie Boyd, 20.Alison Fenter, 31.Ally Williamson