The Missouri Rush Menendez girls have claimed the National President’s Cup title with a 1-0 win here at the Overland Park Soccer Complex. Compiling a 3-1 record this weekend, they got their most important win in the final against the Crossfire Premier McLaughlin (WA) squad, a team that they lost to the previous day in the final group stage game. Despite that loss, the two teams advanced to the Final (only one representative from each Region advance to the National tourney) and in the replay, Menendez won 1-0 on a first half goal.
PHOTO GALLERY – Missouri Rush Menendez v Crossfire
They opened the tourney Thursday with a 1-0 win over Deep Run Strikers (PA) via Annie Dove’s second half goal.
On Friday, Missouri Rush SC Nero-Menendez (MO) took the top of the Under-16 Girls standings after defeating Louisiana Fire Navy (LA) 2-0. In the 46th minute, Missouri Rush’s Kirsten Lepping got an opportunity and took a power shot but it deflected off the top crossbar. Acting quickly, she followed her shot and slammed it in for the lead. Minutes after, an own goal occurred in favor of Missouri Rush which ultimately gave them a 2-0 victory.
Saturday Haimanot Hansen’s late game heroics helped Crossfire Select 98 McLaughlin (WA) advance to the Under-16 Girls final. Crossfire defeated Missouri Rush SC Nero-Menendez (MO) 2-1, despite a 1-0 deficit after a Missouri Rush goal in the 46th minute by Jordan Crandall. Crossfire shifted the match when Natalie Vetto found the equalizer in the 65th minute. With just a few minutes remaining until the final whistle, Crossfire used that momentum and got a second goal by Hansen who positioned herself strategically in the box for the game winner.
Despite the loss, Missouri Rush finished top two. They matched Crossfire in points but lost the head-to-head tie breaker. Both teams advanced to the championship match, won by Missouri Rush when it mattered.
In the 17th minute, Morgan Weller took a left footed shot that went over the keeper and just underneath the crossbar for a Missouri lead that would not be relinquished this day.
In addition to the title, Rush’s goalkeeper Olivia Jordan was recognized by a vote of the Coaches as the U16 Girls Goalkeeper of the tournament.
Check out my interview with Olivia following her efforts in PK shootout at the Regional Finals helped the team advance to Nationals on their third try.