Rapids Women surge to 4-4 tie
Rarely have two teams demonstrated what a tale of two halves can look like until the Colorado Rapids Women and the Santa Clarita Blue Heat squared off over the weekend.
Playing at home, the Blue Heat dominated the first half and took a commanding 4-0 lead in to the locker room.
For Santa Clarita, Laura Luis scored early off an Edite Fernandes assist in the fourth minute of play. Fernandes then took an unassisted shot from 18 yards out, hitting the upper right corner of the net in the 19th minute. Three minutes later, Luis slotted in another score from a Sydney Vermillion pass and Ana Borges notched what was to become the final Blue Heat goal in the 39th minute off a Katie Russ assist.
The Rapids Women, however, surged back in the second half to nab four goals of their own and earn a share of the points.
Jaucelyn Richten started the comeback in the 56th minute off a pass from Ode Fulitudulu. The seemingly insurmountable lead was cut in half when Scotti Culton scored and unassisted goal following a corner kick in the 71st minute.
Erin Gunther added a penalty kick in the 79th minute before Fulitudulu delivered the tying goal in the 84th minute.
“For as solid as our team played in the first half and especially with a 4-0 lead, the Rapids dug in, won nearly every ball and never gave up,” said Blue Heat head coach Charles Martinez. “This tie is especially painful after what seemed to be a certain win; however, the Rapids deserve tremendous credit for coming back with aggression to completely shift the momentum and earn the tie.”
Next Up: The Rapids Women play at Los Angeles on Monda before returning to the Front Range to face the Colorado Rush at 7:30 p.m. at Valor Christian Stadium on Wednesday. The Rapids Women (4-4-3, 15 points) close the season July 15 against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.