More Than a Club
Congratulations go out to the 16 Rush Girls for capturing the Dallas International Girls Cup. Teams from seven different countries competed in this event as well as some of the top ECNL clubs in the United States. The Colorado Rush U12 and U16 girls competed and represented Rush with passion and joy (and quality). The 12’s lost a difficult match to Dallas Sting in the quarter-finals after playing some beautiful soccer but they too share a piece of the prize as the support they showed for their club-mates played no small role in the club’s championship. And this is what it was: a victory for the 16’s and a championship for our club. Rush Soccer went to captains from each team for some Q & A. The answers point to Rush being more than a club…
Below is an interview with Cori Dyke from the U12’s and Jordan Dibiasi from the U16’s. Following the interview are thoughts shared by U12 coach Jordan Angeli, who is not only a coach but a Colorado Rush alumnus.
Rush Soccer: You guys spent a long soccer week (Tuesday through Sunday) in Dallas, TX at the Dallas International Girls Cup. What was your goal heading into the week?
JD: Our goals heading into the week included winning the tournament, playing quality soccer, and proudly representing our club.
CD: My goal was, as a team, to not only win the tournament, but play the best soccer. Also, I wanted to grow closer as a team off the field. I wanted us to look professional and uphold Rush expectations, such as living out the core values.
|U16's First 11 in Final||
12's and 16's Post Championship
Rush Soccer: How did you feel your team’s overall performance was?
JD: Overall, I thought we played well. With the little numbers we had at the tournament we were all able to contribute to our team's success. It was a great team effort.
CD: I thought my team's performance was overall pretty good. I thought for the most part we played pretty good soccer and kept the intensity level high. I thought one of the things we could have done better was attack and take more shots.
Rush Soccer: What was the best part about the soccer your team played? Best moment or moments on the field?
JD: During the week we were able to expand our knowledge of the game and try out different formations. We were introduced to a new type of defensive approach. Instead of pressing all over the field we let the other team play in their own half, pushing numbers back to our defensive end. We didn't pressure them until they came into our half. We were also able to keep possession of the ball and play, as Erik calls it, "walk soccer". Over the week we played in several different formations. One of the best moments on the field was Madi G's goal in the semi-final game. Madi G shot the ball around the eighteen with her left foot which soared past the goalie and landed in the upper 90 far post, giving us the winning goal and the opportunity to play in the championship.
CD: The best part about the soccer we played was that we always tried to play Rush soccer and keep the ball. Our best game was the quarterfinal against Sting. We were able to pass around them and keep possession for most of the game. We had some great moments of one touch, small passes. Also, in the game against the Dallas Texans, we had some great passing on the first goal. We passed the ball up the field and were able to get a cross off and then the ball was flicked on for an easy finish.
Rush Soccer: What were the best moments when you were not playing?
JD: Some of the best moments when we weren't playing happened while we were spending time with the 12s. Our team had a lot of fun cheering them on! We also enjoyed seeing them at the hotel and going to dinner with them. We all got little buddies and were able to spend some time with them at dinner and at the hotel.
CD: One of the best moments when we were not playing was going to the 16s final, painting our stomachs to spell out C-O-L-O-R-A-D-O R-U-S-H U-1-6, doing a bunch of Rush cheers, and celebrating their victory with them. Also, earlier in the week, our team had a scavenger hunt in the mall. We split up into four teams and were given a list of clues. We had to find a specific store and either buy something or take a picture.
|16's cheering on the 12's||12's (with paint) supporting the 16's|
Rush Soccer: Both teams (12s and 16s) spent time hanging out at the hotel, at restaurants and at the fields? What was that like?
JD: We really enjoyed getting to spend time with the 12s. The fact that we were able to do so much together showed how the club really is just one big family. We all got buddies and were able to cheer them on when we went to their games and to get to know them better at dinner and at the hotel. We really appreciated their spirit and enthusiasm on the sidelines at our games. We wouldn't have been able to win the tournament without them!
CD: Having the opportunity to spend time with the 16s was very cool. We were able to get to know them better and were each assigned a 'buddy'. They set a great example for us and we really look up to them. I liked how both teams watched each others games and cheered each other on.
Rush Soccer: What do you feel is different about playing at Rush compared to the other clubs you saw in Texas?
JD: I think the style of play that Rush demands of its players sets us apart from the other teams we played. The willingness and commitment to possess the ball and the confidence that the results will come from the soccer we play is extremely unique. The Rush is a family and the support we give one another is also very different compared to the other teams we faced.
CD: One of the things I felt was different was that Rush's style of play is focussed more on short passes and keeping possession. Whereas most of the other clubs in Texas tended to have a more direct style of play. Also, I noticed that we had a better community. There were no other teams cheering for their club teams like we did. Seeing this, I felt proud and happy to be a part of this club.
Rush Soccer: Best memory of the event?
JD: Obviously winning the tournament (with trophy at right) was a highlight of the trip as it was a goal of ours heading into the week. We also had a blast hanging out with the 12's. Cheering on the 12's while they played the Texans and celebrating with them after they won the game was a definite highpoint of the trip.
CD: I had a couple great memories from the event. One of them was playing against the Texans and then celebrating our win afterward. Another great memory was cheering on the 16s in their final. Overall, I enjoyed playing against great competition, hanging out with the 16s, and bonding with my team.
|Players Celebrate with Trophy||
Post Game Tunnel!
Thoughts from Jordan Angeli:
There are many things our u12 team will take out of this past week. On the field, we were challenged every game by teams who were more physical than us. As the week progressed, the girls had a better understanding of how to play against a different style of soccer then we see in Colorado and played their best game in the quarter final. The way we performed in the quarters made me so proud! The girls played the best soccer I have seen them play in a while, unfortunately we ended up on the wrong end of the score sheet. Score aside, we played to our strengths and learned a lot in the process.
Not only did the u12s learn a lot on the field, but off the field they got to spend quality time with the u16 team. As an alumni of the club, it made me so proud to see how these girls interacted with each other. The 16s are wonderful role models for the younger girls and took on that role this weekend with flying colors. They sat next to them at dinner and talked with them about their lives and also showed them what it takes to win an elite tournament.
I have always believed we are a part on a very special club and this week proved that to be true. Throughout the tournament, the 12s and 16s would go to each other’s games and to cheer each other on (the 12s also got the u14 Texas Rush team to join them for some cheers!). After the 16s won the final, the 12s rushed the field and together they celebrated the clubs victory at midfield with cheers and chants. I was speechless. The joy, unity, and passion the girls shared at that moment was truly something special. This will be a moment I will never forget as a Rush player/coach/alum!