The Win Came Over a Road-Weary Utah Red Devils, Moving Them to 1-2-1 in Mountain Conference Play
Published Jun 13, 2021
Photo Credits:  Andrew Mosier; June 12 Colorado Rush host Utah Red Devils


The Utah Red Devils kicked off their 2021 WPSL campaign with a brutal three-game road swing that led with an 8-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids Women’s just the night before facing off against Rush.

Red Devils' head coach, Dennis Burrows, estimates he was missing, for one reason or another, nine potential starters for this back-to-back-to-back road stand.


"We played better. We had more opportunities. You could tell we were fatigued a bit. It's difficult playing three games in three days," Burrows said. "But we expected it. We know that Rush is a great team. We know the Rapids are a great team. We'll regroup and come out tomorrow after forty or so ice baths and see if we can get out of here with something to show for the work we've done here."


Peyton Nourse, Brianna Martinez, and McKenna Baillie all tallied goals for Rush. Nourse, a Rush Academy and U.S. Under-17 National Team product, netted three goals on the night. Martinez, who has represented the U.S. at multiple youth levels, added two goals – one of which came from the penalty spot.


"I'm very happy with the result”, Tim Shulz, Rush head coach, said. "We've played decently enough so far, but it was good to finally get a win. This league is getting so tight - For those teams who play back-to-back games and play the way they did, my hat goes off to them."


Early in the match, the young Rush backline, appeared to struggle with the speed and physicality of the Red Devil forwards - particularly Jessica Owen who had scored the Utah side’s only goal the previous match against the Rapids.  However, with the opening 15 minutes under their belt, the Rush side found their footing and began wear the already weary Red Devils down.

The first goal of the match came in the 23rd minute from Nourse after beating two defenders inside the penalty area off the dribble to create enough space for her to get a shot back across her body that nestled just inside the far post.


"That's what I try to do," Nourse said. "I just try to beat my defender and get into some open space so I can get a shot off. It worked today."


A minute later Martinez doubled the lead after teammate, Sydney Cheesman, fought through a hard tackle to serve up it up for Martinez who smashed the ball to the far post.

Utah was not without its chances, though. Near the end of the first half, Anna Fukushima was robbed of a goal by the goalpost off a 25-yard bomb from the middle of the field. The half ended with a 2-0 score in favor of Rush.

Seconds after the referee blew the start of the second half, Martinez found herself inside the Red Devils' penalty area with the ball at her feet as a clumsy challenge sent her to the ground, leaving the referee pointing to the penalty spot. She coolly slotted home the spot kick for her second goal on the night.


"I don't take the penalty kicks for my college team," said Martinez, who is entering her senior year at the University of Notre Dame. "I was excited to take it. I'm just glad I didn't miss it."


In the 57th minute, Nourse tallied a brace of her own after again beating her defender off the dribble and putting the ball to the far post. Nourse would end her night with a hat-trick as her third goal came in the 72nd minute, winning a loose ball inside of twelve yards from the goal and slamming it through traffic.           

Baillie closed out the scoring in the fading moments of the match, running onto a through ball played down the left side of the field and finishing with a single deft touch to the near post.

The Utah Red Devils conclude its Colorado road swing today as they face Indios Denver FC at 2:00 p.m at Shea Stadium. Indios Denver are 2-0-1 on the season, including a 4-3 win over Rush.

Rush is also in action today, hosting 1-1-1 Utah Surf at 2:00 p.m. at the Mullen High School Soccer Facility. The Utah Surf lost to the Colorado Pride 2-0 Saturday.


    Author:   Andrew Mosier,  @AndrewMosier6 (twitter)
                  WPSL Contributor - West Region