The New York Rush Patriots (97's) have been crowned Champions at the 2013 Disney Showcase! The win is the first Championship at Disney for NY Rush, the 96's from NY Rush made the final but fell 2-0 in the final. Check out the daily highlights of the Rush Patriots run to the Championship below.
|NY Rush Patriots - Champions U17 Girls||
New York Rush - Runners Up U18 Girls
Day One: The 97s opened their Disney Showcase against Ohio Elite ECNL at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. With over 70 colleges present on the sidelines, and more than 80 coaches, the 97s started the game brightly with five shots on goal in the first five minutes along with two corners. The pace and rhythm of the game was constantly being dictated by the 97s, and possession was never in question as almost the entire first half was played in Ohio Elite’s half of the field. The shot count paid off when Melissa Ardizzone put one in the upper left corner from a 25 yard central drive with 15 minutes played. The game continued to see the 97s create chances and thanks to some good goalkeeping from the Ohio keeper, and some not-so-good finishing on the part of the forwards the game finished 1-0, but the way in which the team played was more important than the win with so many coaches watching.
Day Two: Saw the 97s play at 12.30pm. They played at the Austin Tindall Regional Park on a field that had been pretty beaten up during the boys showcase that took place immediately prior to the girls. The condition of the field and the high pressure game their opponent - Sunrise Sting (FL) played, meant that the 97s had to adjust their game in order to maintain better possession and handle the direct style Sunrise utilized to showcase their speed up top. Sunrise used a high pressure, physical game combined with a high line that allowed the 97s to play out of pressure with quick combinations and get behind the back line without resulting to a long ball game. After several unsuccessful corner kicks, the 97s Alyssa Valente pounced on a loose ball in the box and volleyed into the top left corner to give the 97s a 1-0 lead 20 minutes into the game. The remainder of the first half became a little scrappy thanks to the field conditions and the constant pressing from Sunrise, but Charley Warble in goal only had to handle a couple of long range efforts that were on target but never really threatening. The second half saw the 97s establish more control of the game, their possession became more composed and the speed of play was dictated by a solid passing game that allowed Sofia Griff to round the keeper only to see her shot to the open goal saved by a sliding Sunrise defender. A very dubious offside call to deny Sydney Arnoff a goal, and a breakaway by Alyssa that she failed to convert thanks to a fine save by the keeper were some of the exciting highlights of the second half. With regulation time expired, the referee awarded Sunrise a direct free kick that led to a nail biting moment when their forward got between two defenders to latch onto a bouncing ball, and a simple lob would have likely seen the ball go over Charley’s head, but she opted to smash it as hard as she could, only to see it sail wide of the post by 10 yards. Game over, and another 1-0 win for the 97s, but more importantly – another very good performance that ensured the 97s would be playing in either the Championship or the Consolation game.
Day Three: Goal difference meant that the 97s knew only a win would be enough to see them through to the Championship game, and TEYSA FC Europa Storm had the luxury of knowing a win or a tie would have them playing for the title. Playing under the lights at Wide World of Sports would add to the excitement of playing to make the final. With an attacking formation and the mentality to attack, the 97s set out from the beginning to set the rhythm and dictate the tempo of the game. Much of the first 15 minutes saw the 97s pepper the TEYSA goal with shots, but with nothing to show for the possession and the shot count. It was a corner kick that was needed to break the deadlock. Fallon Sheridan can be seen below heading home the game winning goal against TEYSA off a corner. The changes were instrumental in the tactical approach to handling such a direct style of play, and worked well even when the level of excitement rose with each passing minute. Game over, and another 1-0 win in group play that saw to it the 97s would be playing for the Championship the next day.
Day Four: The Championship – Lou Fusz Meyer (MO) was the opponent, and the girls were excited and looking forward to playing their third game at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The first half belonged to the 97s as they imposed themselves on Lou Fusz in every area of the game. Possession, tempo, shape, discipline, corners, and shots all belonged to the 97s. With 10 seconds left of added on time, a loss of possession in a dangerous area just outside their own box led to a through ball, a shot, a save, and a rebounded effort that saw Lou Fusz score on their first shot of the half. Just as the ball hit the back of the net, the referee blew his whistle for halftime. The halftime discussion about creating and finishing chances was followed by a change in formation to better afford the team more opportunities to exploit the areas of Lou Fusz’s game that were made evident during the first half. It wasn’t long before the changes bore fruition, as just 2 minutes into the second half the game was tied 1-1 off a left footed shot to the bottom left corner from the opposite top corner of the box from Sofia Griff. Celebrations followed, and the team didn’t waste much time before they were celebrating again after taking the lead when Sofia headed home a Fallon Sheridan cross at the back post after some terrific play from a short corner by Vic Lange and Fallon just 7 minutes in. That single goal lead would only last another 5 minutes before Sofia scored her third goal to complete a natural hat-trick. This time a right footed chip over the keeper from just inside the right top corner of the box, much the same position as her first, would give the 97s a 3-1 lead and the comfort of knowing they had taken significant strides to winning their first ever Disney Championship. Before the half way point of the second half, the 97s made it 4-1 thanks to a great left footed 25 yard strike that the keeper couldn’t hold onto from Morgan Foster. In a matter of 20 minutes the 97s had turned this game on its head and the general feeling was that Lou Fusz would need to produce something special to come back. Thankfully for the 97s players, coach, and parents, that was not going to be the case as the team continued to control the flow and saw the game out to win the New York Rush’s first ever Disney Championship.