MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – Inferno Rush booked its first trip to the UWS Championships after earning a 2-0 victory against the Connecticut Fusion in the UWS Eastern Conference Championship Tuesday night.
In its 10 year history, Inferno Rush -- previously the Lancaster Inferno -- had never qualified for the UWS Championships. A first-half goal from Teresa Rook and a second-half goal from Ryelle Shuey, coupled with a clean sheet from Kelly O’Brien, guaranteed qualification for Rush Soccer’s Women’s First Team.
Inferno Rush and the Connecticut Fusion played evenly throughout much of the first half. In the 35th minute, pressure from the Rush attack provided an opening for Rook to rip a shot outside the box. The midfielder’s screamer ricocheted off the keeper’s hands and into the net to break the stalemate and give the Rush a lead going into halftime.
Rush continued its attacking pressure in the second half and finally doubled its lead in the 68th minute.
Kendra Jones received the ball at the top of the box with her back to the goal. She quickly turned past her defender and ripped a shot that was deflected by the diving keeper off the post for a corner kick. On the ensuing corner, Shuey beat her defender to the outswinging ball and delivered it into the goal for the 2-0 lead.
Connecticut nearly reduced Rush’s lead two minutes later. A clever through ball played from midfield earned a free run at goal from an attacking Connecticut player. However, O’Brien charged out of goal to cut off the shooting angle, and the Connecticut player pushed the ball wide of the right goal post.
Inferno Rush now head to Grandville, Mich. to face the Grand Rapids FC Women on Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m in the UWS Championships Semifinals. GRFC -- the reigning UWS Champions -- punched its ticket to the semifinal after a 4-2 win over Lansing United in the UWS Midwest Conference Champions.
The winner of the match will play the winner of the Calgary Foothills Women’s FC and the Houston Aces in the UWS Championship on Sunday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m.