Colorado Rush Striker Andrew White remained red hot as he scored his 6th goal in two games on Sunday when Rush took down Colorado Springs FC 2-0. With that result, Rush now stands alone as the only unbeaten team in the Colorado United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) conference.
Both of these squads were coming off of great UPSL performances in the previous weeks and were looking to extend the scoring streaks and come away with a win. Rush came out confident and firing on all cylinders in the first half, taking advantage of wide open gaps in the midfield and were able to utilize the width of the field effectively. Waves of early pressure washed over on the back line of Springs FC. In the 7th minute Colin Clark dropped a dime of a cross to Jimmy Fitzpatrick on the far post who sent it back across the goal and nearly found the back of the net.
Springs FC didn’t have much possession in the first half and relied on the counter attack to develop chances. Rush goalkeeper Shailer Thomas was tested in the 12th min when Springs FC forward Tristen Heath sent a shot screaming for the top corner; Thomas pushed it up and over the crossbar.
Despite having a lack of the ball for the first half, Springs FC nearly found the net for a second time in the 28th min off of a corner kick. Assisted by the wind, the chance found its way off the crossbar for a second time before being swallowed up by Rush keeper Thomas.
Rush continued to be stingy with the ball late in the first and finally the goal drought was ended when Springs FC goalkeeper Erich Marscheider was pressured by Rush forward Andrew White who took the keepers clearance off the head and it found the back of the net to put Rush up 1-0 in the 35th minute.
After being very sound in the midfield for most of the first half, Rush had an untimely giveaway in the 39th minute that Springs FC forward Heath snatched up, beat a couple of defenders and fired a shot low off the far post that Rush was able to clear. This was the last meaningful chance of the half as Rush would remain up 1-0.
The start of the second half was a complete U-turn from the first as Springs FC came out with their ears pinned back and were running hard at the Rush defense. In the first five minutes of the half a poor giveaway led to Springs FC midfielder Pedro Hernandez having an open look on frame that he pushed just wide of the near post.
Springs FC had Rush caught off guard for the next 20 minutes as they continued throwing everyone towards goal in hopes of finding an equalizer. Despite the pressure, the Rush back line dug their heels in and had an answer for each attack. Rush captain and Nic Hartman played like a man possessed and didn’t let anything by.
Rush were finally able to regain their composure and in the 66th minute, architect Colin Clark was able to beat defender in the penalty box and slip a pass across the goal to none other than Andrew White for his 2nd goal of the evening and his 6th goal in the last two matches.
In the 67th minute forward Jimmy Fitzpatrick came off and Adam Hudson replaced him up front. Young Rush defender Ryan Wilson made it off the bench and onto the pitch in the 68th minute as defender Jacob Heaps’ hard fought day finished.
In the final 10 minutes of the match Springs FC would have one more chance on goal as they were able to sneak past the Rush defense and have a one on one with Thomas who managed an outstanding save that took whatever air was left completely out of the Springs FC sails. The match would end at 2-0 Rush with a commanding performance.
After the match, coach Webb commented, “We have finally found our stride”, as they were able to find the back of the net and then able to finally close out a game that was still in reach for Springs FC until the whistle blew. Rush is now sitting a point back from the first place and are well clear of the third place team with the ability to control their own destiny as they play first place team Club El Azul in the next match.
Rush is on a two game winning streak and now the only unbeaten team in the Colorado UPSL conference. They will look to extend the streak and finally take over the first place position Saturday April 15th at First Bank Field.