|07-27-2005, 08:27 AM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2003
OT- Great Testament to Sportsmanship in today's crazy World
As many of you may remember, I coached several of these Girls who were involved in that horrific crash last year. Molly Krueger and Crystal Wright were students under me from 12-15 yrs Old. I want to share this story again out of respect for the Parents and Players of the Nike Rush U-19 Girls team who made us feel welcome as we cared for the injured Girls.
Back on their feet
An accident altered the lives of the players of two top soccer teams in 2004. The squads will face off Thursday in Florida.
By Brian Forbes
The Denver Post
It took one feisty game last summer for players on a local women's soccer team to make enemies of a team from suburban Indianapolis. A near-fatal auto accident days later brought the teams together like family.
Those squads, ranked first and second nationally, will meet Thursday for the first time since the wreck with a national championship at stake.
There was much more on the line when the 15-passenger van carrying the Carmel United Commotion rolled after a two- car collision on West Sixth Avenue in Lakewood. Five players from the Indiana club were sent to a hospital with serious injuries.
A rematch between Carmel United and the Rush Nike under-19 team had been scheduled for the day after the accident. Instead, the Commotion's summer season was scrapped.
When word of the accident got out, the Rush squad and their parents moved into humanitarian overdrive, offering a constant stream of visitors, care packages, home-cooked meals, free housing and hotel rooms for the visiting parents now on bedside duty.
Denny Wright, whose daughter, Crystal, suffered three broken bones and was in a coma for three days after the accident, said the 21 days of unwavering hospitality was overwhelming.
"It's a great, great feeling," Wright said. "They're our sister team, obviously."
Now it's time for a little sibling rivalry for the teams that make up two of the four under-19 squads participating in the annual U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
In their last year of club eligibility, the Jefferson County- based Rush squad will be looking for its second national title since 2001. The Commotion will be after its first, a fitting cap to a remarkable season dominated by physical rehabilitation and mental rehashing of the events of June 12, 2004.
"No words can explain how amazing they were for our team," said Carmel United attacking midfielder Molly Kruger, who suffered a broken arm and fractured her skull, two vertebrae and wrist in the crash. "It's going to be weird on the field."
Last edited by Mediator12; 07-27-2005 at 08:30 AM..
|07-27-2005, 08:30 AM||#2|
Join Date: Sep 2003
The Rush squad advanced to the national tournament by winning Region IV last month with a 1-0 victory over Utah's Inter FC at the Aurora Sports Complex.
The Commotion was a runaway winner over Region II foe Sockers FC Chicago in Sioux Falls, S.D. Kristen Harnest scored in the 38th minute for the Commotion, then forward Susan Pinnick added another in the 78th, touching off a flurry of four goals in eight minutes and a 5-0 rout.
Pinnick, now at Notre Dame, has been playing only six months since breaking her neck and right hand and suffering temporary paralysis in her left arm. Pinnick said she doesn't remember the accident, only the stark contrast before and after.
After losing 1-0 to the Rush in a tournament, Pinnick said she and her highly touted teammates were convinced they didn't care much for their burgeoning rival. The Rush players had similar feelings.
"I just remember they were really physical," Rush forward Rachel Whiteaker said of the Commotion. "I remember our parents kind of got into it. The players just got more physical and were more or less going for each other rather than the ball at one point."
Although the teams' planned rematch in the tournament final was off, the Rush squad presented the Commotion with the championship trophy.
Wright, the Commotion team manager, said the team will put that trophy on the line Thursday against the Rush, saying the girls want to earn it on the field.
On the field is where everything will change Thursday, albeit temporarily.
"Everybody just wants to go out and play soccer," mother Jane Pinnick said. "But sitting on the sidelines you'll actually be talking to the neighboring team next to you."
"Off the field, I think we'd do anything for them, as we showed," said Whiteaker, who played high school soccer for Green Mountain High School in Lakewood. "When we step on the field and when we're ready to play, they're just any other team."
The Commotion has the No. 1 seed at nationals and Rush is No. 2.
"They stand in the way of what we want," Rush coach Erik Bushey said of the Commotion. "We want to be best friends with them before the game and after the game and make the most of the bond that was made last summer. On the field we want to win, and that's the bottom line."
Good Luck to both teams, And may the best team win Tomorrow!