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Sep 05, 2012

ECNL: Colorado Rush opens with a dominant weekend as Las Vegas Premier struggles

By Jimmy LaRoue

I’m not sure what was up with the scorelines in ECNL games involving Las Vegas Premier over the Labor Day weekend, but I don’t recall seeing such consistently wide disparities in elite-level games.

Colorado Rush and Colorado Storm Under-14s beat LVP by 12-1 and 14-0 margins, respectively, while Real Colorado defeated LVP 9-0. LVP’s U-15s lost to Real Colorado by another 9-0 margin and Las Vegas Premier’s U-18s lost by an 18-1 margin to Colorado Rush.

Las Vegas Premier did manage a win over the weekend, as their U-15s defeated Colorado Storm 2-1, and had two respectable 2-1 losses.

Discounting that, it was quite the impressive weekend for Colorado Rush, whose U-14 through U-18 ECNL teams earned 28 out of a possible 30 points at its Camp George fields in Golden, Colo. and went 9-0-1 over the holiday weekend. The Rush teams outscored Heat FC 17-6 and Las Vegas Premier by a 40-4 margin.

The newest Rush U-14s won their first-ever ECNL match, defeating Heat 4-1, with Civanna Kuhlman scoring twice, with Amanda Porter and Tess Boade each adding a goal and an assist.

Kuhlman scored four more goals in the win over Las Vegas Premier, while Erin Hargrave and Rebekah Burton each notched hat-tricks. Burton also had two assists, and Porter had four assists in the win.

Colorado Rush’s U-15s opened the season with two wins, as goalkeepers Shannon Mooney and Natalie Ezra combined for the shutout, with Ariel Modisette and Burton (U-14) scoring goals. Against Las Vegas Premier, Rush won 5-1, as Modisette and Bree Bezdek scored twice each and Emma Munson scored another.

The Rush U-16s, coming off an ECNL national championship in June, got off to a slow start against Heat FC, falling behind 1-0 at half before rallying for a 3-1 win. Newcomer Lexi Hill, who comes to Rush from Real Colorado, got the tying goal midway in the second half, while Betsy Brandon scored on a penalty kick a few minutes after and assisted on Hill’s second goal of the match. In Monday’s match against Las Vegas Premier, Rush won 2-1 on goals from Jastin Redman (assisted by U-14 Cam Dyke) and Jordan DiBiasi, who headed home Kayla Hill’s cross in the 72nd minute.

Rush’s U-17s scored first when Lauren Conley headed in Ryan William’s cross, but fell behind 3-1 and had to rally, as Taylor Terrell scored late in the second half and Brittany Stark, who has verbally committed to Colorado University, tied the match. More important, it was Stark’s first goal since suffering a season-ending ACL injury in late October against Real So Cal. Rush defeated Las Vegas Premier 2-0 on Monday, with Conley scoring again, and Allie Miller tacking on a late goal to secure the win.

The U-18 Rush side, aiming for a national championship, defeated Heat 5-1 to go along with the dominant win over Las Vegas Premier. Danica Evans, heading to the University of Portland in fall 2013, scored eight goals over the holiday weekend, including six against Las Vegas. Kelli Drobney scored four goals over the weekend, while Morgan Stanton, Gabbi Miranda and Havana McElvaine added three goals each. Deobney is heading to Boise State, Stanton to Santa Clara, Miranda to UCLA and McElvaine to the University of Washington.

Colorado Storm also had a nice start to the ECNL season, going 6-3-1 in games against Las Vegas Premier and Heat FC. Against Las Vegas Premier Sunday, Storm’s U-14s had the big win already noted above, while the U-15s and U-18s also picked up wins. The U-16s and U-17s lost 2-1 and 4-1, respectively. In Monday’s matches against Heat FC, Storm’s U-14s, U-16s and U-18s won, while the U-15s tied and the U-17s lost.