The Rush Select Program finished the Desert Classic Tournament in dominant fashion, capturing six championships and four runners-up medals on the final day of play.
Read about each team’s weekend:
2000 Rush Select Girls
Head Coach Kristian Bates had this to say about the 2000 Girls:
The Select 00 Girls were a pleasure to work with!! As one of the girls said, it was like they have played and trained together for years. For me this was a clear indication that the Rush Way and core values on and off the field were embraced by all the players, and clubs they represented.
The 2000s were led in scoring by Brooklyn Morrison (WA Rush) and, after changing formation and tactics from the last group game, emerged victorious in the final, winning 2-0.
2001 Rush Select Girls
The 2001 Girls took DCT by storm, and A+ macarena dance moves, winning all three group games with style, power, and cohesion. The team worked into its chemistry during game one and finished the weekend with not only a championship but a variety of goals scored and stout defensive play leading to a shutout weekend. A highlight for the team was when goalkeeper Chelsea Mojica (VA Rush) scored the final goal in a 3-0 final win after trading in her gloves for a field player jersey. Shoutout to Ariana Jones (NJ Rush), who was hurt in the first game - heal up fast!
2002 Rush Select Girls
The 2002 Girls kicked the tournament off with a dominating 4-0 win over Barcelona. They did not let up from there, beating SC Del Sol 3-0 and AZSC Thunder 3-1. Aside from getting the job done on the offensive end, the defense and goalkeepers Justine Humphrey and Addison Miller did not concede a goal for 230 minutes into the tournament. The team faced the Heat FC ECNL in the championship game, which was a hard fought battle from beginning to end. Rush Select held on to a 1-0 lead for the entire second half but Heat scored a last second goal in extra time, sending the teams straight into penalties. The girls remained composed and confident throughout, putting their first four shots in the net while Rush goalkeeper Addison Miller came up with a huge save on the Heat's first penalty. The team claimed the championship winning 4-1 in penalties. Congratulations to the girls on an exciting finish to the tournament!
2003 Rush Select Girls
2003 Girls represented Rush in the manner it deserves. We showed passion and tenacity in not allowing the lack of team cohesion affect our ability to play the game. Our groups games were all good tests, as we grew in cohesion and unity and Sara Engels (TX Rush) provided important goals as we progressed. We were featured as Game of the Day on Saturday night, in what was our toughest game of the weekend with FC Coastal from Canada. A stunning performance in the final saw us run away 5-0, giving Captain Tiani Oliveira (HI Rush) the opportunity to lead her team to the championship.
2004 Rush Select Girls
The 2004 Girls team started off the tournament strong Friday night with a 7-0 win over FC Portland, including a hat trick from Brenlin Mullaney (TN Rush). Mullaney would later rise to be the leading scorer of all the Rush Select teams for the weekend with 7 goals. On Saturday the 2004 Girls beat FC Dallas 4-2; these would be the only 2 goals the team would give up all weekend. The coaching staff gave credit to the team's back line for playing as a unit and limiting the amount of chances their opponents had at goal. On Sunday morning the team switched out of their usual 4-3-3 line up and tried their luck with the 3-5-2. Although this was a newer system for the majority of the girls, they were able to find success and claim a 2-0 victory over Tanque Verde SC. This game included one of the more impressive goals from the team's weekend with Kiersten Smith (NM Rush) finishing a header off a well played free kick from Assa Kante (KS Rush). Later that afternoon the team competed in the finals against the Scottsdale Soccer Blackhawks. After a 1-0 lead at halftime the team came off the field and discussed wanting to play with more accountability, passion, and tenacity. After halftime the 2004 girls soon found their rhythm and finished the game with a 4-0 result making them the 2017 DCT U13 Champions. Overall, the team scored 17 goals and conceded just 2.
2000 Rush Select Boys
The weekend was great. Chad Deering and Justin Miller had the 2000 Boys and they were very eager to get after it. The first game was a tough one as the team lost late in the game. The team was just not connecting passes like it should have. There were a few players that were playing out of position but it took seeing the boys play to see that. The second day, the team played much better. There was good soccer being played all over the field. The result did not match the play as the game ended tied 2-2. The last day, it all came together and the team won 2-0 and were dominant. The trip was great. There are few programs that can bring players from across the country under one badge to play.
2001 Rush Select Boys
The 2001 Boys were in a round robin tournament format and opened the weekend on the front foot with a 3-1 over Blackhawks. Saturday’s match against the eventual runners-up Arizona Hammers was a back and forth affair but the team showed its class, winning 4-2. With first place all but ensured heading into its final game, Rush Select finished the tournament on a strong note, triumphing 5-2 over MSC United. The team’s attacking firepower was led by leading goalscorers Anthony Hernandez (4 goals scored) and Nick DiMauro (3 goals scored). The coaching staff is very proud of the team’s performance on the weekend and are happy the group was justly rewarded with a tournament championship!
2002 Rush Select Boys
The 2002 Boys got the weekend off to a great start with a 1-0 win in a tough fought game against SC Del Sol. In their second game the score was tied 0-0 at half but would lead to some excitement in the second half when Select took a 2-0 lead. Their opponents fought back and took the lead 3-2 only for Select to equalize the game in the last 5 minutes to earn a 3-3 tie. Going into the final game of the weekend, Select needed a victory to win the championship. In a very tough game, they were tied 0-0 in injury time and sent everyone forward for one last free kick. Unfortunately, the kick was cleared and their opponents scored with the last kick of the game. Despite their last second loss, the Select boys still came home with a second place medal.
2003 Rush Select Boys
Rush Select 2003 Boys came together, making it to the finals and earning the runner up position at DCT. The boys were impressive in every aspect of the game on and off the field. Our players learned a lot about themselves while overcoming obstacles with the support and leadership of their peers. A bond was formed over the course of four days by learning and understanding the importance of the Rush Core Values and how to apply them. The coaching staff allowed the team to play with creative freedom in order to learn and adapt from each other, which epitomises Rush Way: freedom without fear. They played with passion, enjoyment, and heart which allowed them to play with personality and flair from no look passes, feints, and various unique skills. All the games were hard fought and, most importantly, played with great unity.
2004 Rush Select Boys
The 2004 boys put a string of solid DCT performances together to earn a spot in the championship game. In group play, the boys posted 3 shutout victories with 1-0 win vs Blackhawks, a 1-0 victory vs Sereno Chelsea, and a 2-0 victory against Las Cruces. The boys created numerous chances in each game and defended stoutly to keep the opposition at bay. The team played a talented FBSL Tuzos in the final and after a tight first half with few chances both teams went into the break at 0-0. Tuzos went up 1-0 in the second half on an unfortunate deflected own goal. Despite Rush's best efforts and several chances the team was unable to tie up the game. It was disappointing to lose the final without a shot being registered on the team’s own goal, but the coaches could not be prouder of this group of boys. They all showed the Rush Core Values throughout the tournament and they impressed on and off the field. Good things to come from this 2004 group, their future looks bright.