The Iowa Rush GU13 Nike team captured their first Iowa State Cup title this past weekend and will join the Iowa Rush GU16 and GU18 teams at the US Youth Region II Midwest Championship, June 22-26 in their home state of Iowa.
In pool play, the GU13 team faced VSA and came away with a 3-1 victory. The Rush then played a strong game against Ames finishing with a score of 6-1. In the Sunday match, the Rush came up with two goals while allowing none against JUSC sending them to the semi-finals against FC United.
In the semi-final game, the team had a calm style of play, possessing the ball against FC United and finished with a 5-0 score advancing to the State Cup championship against West Des Moines.
Coach Nuno Ferreira said, "This State Cup was the culmination of a two year cycle with the girls. Throughout this time, I have been truly impressed with the commitment level, work ethic and character of this group. The girls picked "EARNED NOT GIVEN" as their motto and for the last months they have been walking (or sprinting) the talk at every practice session. From the start the group set the goal of being the best team in the state of Iowa in their age group, and their first State Cup tournament was the right place to prove it. They did it in a very convincing way during group play and the semi-finals. In the final, we faced a strong West Des Moines team. During the first half we had most of the possession and created some good chances but couldn't finish and we were down 1-0 at the half. Our half-time talk was kind of intense, as I tried to convey to the girls that we needed to be much sharper in executing our game plan for this specific match. The girls response was absolutely tremendous, they turned the game around and we ended up comfortably winning 3-1. The girls now move to Regionals and have the opportunity to test themselves against the best in the Region. The fact that Iowa will be hosting Regionals this time only makes it more special, and the girls are definitely looking forward to representing Iowa and the Rush family!"
Members of the team are: Kelsey Lyons, Julia Johnson, Taylor Peterson, Laina Routson, Elli Teeple, Megan Gray, Riley Whitaker, Alexis Legg, Anna Forsyth, Sydney Uhl, Marisa Smith, Lizzie Doering, Chloee Kooker, Rylee Tilton, Hailey Osburn and Eva Steckelberg.
The GU13 team was coached by Nuno Ferreira.