Cougars notch draws in Force rivalry series

Posted 6/17/09

The Real Colorado Cougars battled for two 90-minute matches versus cross state rival, the Colorado Force, and secured two draws by the identical …

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Cougars notch draws in Force rivalry series


The Real Colorado Cougars battled for two 90-minute matches versus cross state rival, the Colorado Force, and secured two draws by the identical scores of 2-2.

Real’s first match was on a breezy evening June 4 at Loveland Park, just outside of Fort Collins, on the Force’s home turf. The first half was even with both teams having their chances.

The Cougars, a USL W-League semiprofessional soccer team that makes a home of Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch, and the Force did play a man down for part of the first half, as well as the entire second half when Cougars forward Becca Mays, along with Estelle Johnson of the Force, were ejected from the game with matching red cards.

In minute 54, Real struck first, when outside midfielder Kellyn Farrell cut back across the box and drilled a left-footed shot into the goal. The Force evened the score a few minutes later when Force midfielder Molly Thomas had a breakaway and slotted a ball just inside the near post to beat Cougars goalkeeper Kristin Arnold.

In the 76th minute, the Force had another breakaway goal when Force midfielder Emmalie Phantuch brought a ball down off her chest and drilled a hard shot just outside the reach of Arnold to put the Force up 2-1.

Real evened the match in minute 87, when Cougars defender and U.S. U23 National team player Brianne Young hammered a free kick from 35 yards out to knot the score at 2-2. Young, the Cougars free kick specialist, continues to be a threat from long distance with her left-footed strikes. This was the final goal of the match and the Force and the Cougars ended the game in a 2-2 draw.

Real returned home three days later to take on the Force June 7 at Shea Stadium on a cool and drizzly afternoon.

The Cougars opened the scoring when Real midfielder Vanessa Mais chipped a shot over the Force wall, on a free kick, which hit the crossbar and bounced out. Cougars forward Jenna Owens then buried the rebound into the net to put the Cougars up 1-0.

In minute 43, the Force tied the game, when Force newcomer Jessica Boots tied the game when she punched a shot in, in the midst of a scrum in front of Cougars goalkeeper Taylor Vancil’s net.

The first half saw the Cougars and Force tied at 1-1. The match statistically was even. The Cougars had eight shots on goal to the Force’s seven, and Force keeper Kara Linder had fives saves to three for Vancil.

In the second stanza, Real struck first when Cougars forward Taryn Hemmings took on two defenders inside the 18 and played a terrific slotted ball to Farrell, who scored on a hard shot just inside Linder’s near post.

The Force came back in minute 66, when Phantuch scored her second goal in two games, versus Real, when she buried a rebound off a corner kick in the back of the net. In minute 67, Young was issued her second yellow card and was ejected from the match.

Real Colorado head coach Brian Haynes said, “We fought hard playing a man down for most of the second half, but we certainly did not get the result we wanted. Our squad will have to regroup for our match, versus Pail [June 12].”

The second match was even on stats again, as Real ended up with a slight edge in shots on goal with 10 versus nine for the Force. The visitors had a slight edge in corner kicks with 3-1 for the home side and the Linder ended the match with 6-3 for Vancil.

The Cougars faced defending 2008 W League champion, the Pali Blues June 12 at Shea Stadium. Results of the game were unavailable by press time. The Cougars play host to the Los Angeles Legend 6:30 p.m. June 23 at Shea. For more information on the Real Colorado Cougars and their season visit



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