Published Jul 23, 2022
Written By:  Andrew Mosier
             WPSL Contributor

Photos By:  Adam Luther (@alutherphoto)

STILLWATER, OKLA. — The Colorado Rapids Women advanced to the WPSL Championship Final, topping SJEB FC 2-0 in a weather-delayed semifinal match that stretched into early Saturday morning.


Mari Annest and Shiloh Miller scored for the Rapids at Neal Patterson Stadium on the campus of Oklahoma State University in the club’s first WPSL Championship Semifinal appearance.


The Rapids now face Sacramento-based California Storm in Sunday’s championship final at 7:30 PM CDT – California beat Nashville Rhythm F.C. 1-0 in Friday’s curtain raiser.


Lightning in the area that stopped the night’s first semifinal match for more than two hours pushed the Rapids, SJEB FC’s kickoff to just before 11 PM CDT. According to league officials, it was the latest kickoff and match in league history, ending just after 1 AM CDT.


The late start cut warmups short for both teams, making for a frantic start as both sides struggled to find their legs after the lengthy and uncertain delays.



After considerable and unproductive back-and-forth in the first 20 minutes of the match, the New Jersey-based SJEB FC took the upper hand at the end of the first half. Amanda Attanasi created the first real opportunity of the match for either side after beating her marker to the ball outside of the Rapids penalty area, missing just wide after creating space for herself.


“I was happy with the way things went for us in the first half,” Bill Schute, SJEB FC head coach, said. “With the weather and everything going on, we had a hard time keeping up that intensity in the second half.”


At the other end, the Rapids failed to put a single shot on goal in the first 45 minutes. 


“That wasn’t us at all in the first half,” Sebastian Giraldo, Rapids head coach, said. “This is a big game. There were some nerves. Combine that with the delay and it was difficult for us to get started.”


At the start of the second half—and a new day—the Rapids regained the form that enabled them to dictate the tempo of the match throughout the season, maintaining possession for long periods and probing for seams in the defensive third.  



The Rapids’ first true chance came in the 52’ minute when Alesia Garcia’s tireless holdup work at the top of the Rapids’ attack paid off as she found Glover cutting in from the right flank. Glover’s shot went wide, and the tide turned with it.


“Alesia [Garcia] was incredible for us tonight,” Giraldo said. “Her ability to press and hold the ball was amazing.”


From there, the Rapids ceased control of the match, but it wasn’t until the 66’ minute that they finally got on the scoreboard.


The goal came from the determination of Adi Walick in the central midfield. Walick found Annest unmarked in the middle of the field, 30 yards from goal. The low, driven shot emerged late from the crowd blocking SJEB FC goalkeeper Molly Piso’s view of the ball. Unable to get her entire body behind the ball, it crossed behind her over the goal line to put the Rapids in the lead.


“Adi did a good job getting me the ball in the middle,” Annest said. “I had half-a-space and just wanted to get the shot off. I didn’t even see it go in.”


When Kelly Francis barely missed getting on the end of a cross from Garcia, it looked like it was only a matter of time before the Rapids would get a second goal which finally came in the 78’ minute. Miller cleaned her own rebound inside the penalty area to coolly slip the ball to the far post with her right foot from 12 yards out.


With 11 minutes to play, it looked like Walick’s hard work was paid off with a goal of her own, but it was called back when the offside flag was raised to keep the score 2-0.



Now the Rapids look to the Final versus the Storm in a matchup Giraldo expects to be a great one.   “It’s going to be an incredible game.”


Kickoff for Sunday’s WPSL Championship Final is scheduled for 7:30 PM CDT at Neal Patterson Stadium and will be streamed live at


Box Score

Colorado Rapids Women

Sommers, Reuland, Baker, Gilchrist, Gallegos, Meyer, Walick, Piper, Annest, Glover, Garcia.

Head Coach: Sebastian Giraldo


Piso, Stuart, Farnham, Hollywood, Pepe, Gargiulo, Drumm, Attanasi, Reimet, Kenton, Lappin.

Coach: Bill Schute


66’ Mari Annest—Colo.

78’ Shiloh Miller—Colo.




Shots: 9/2
Shots on target: 5/2
Saves: 2/3
Corner Kicks: 5/4
Fouls: 5/5
Offside: 2/2