OCEANSIDE, Calif. (June 24, 2018) - After a scoreless first half, Real Colorado found two goals after the break from Taeya Schuepper and Avery Vander Ven for a victory over New York City FC in its U-16/17 Girls' Development Academy Playoffs opener. The teams' starting goalkeepers traded stellar saves in the first half, but Colorado's steady build-up of chances came to a head on Shuepper's goal off of a breakaway in the 50th minute. Vander Ven netted off of a corner in the 80th minute to secure the win for the Frontier Division squad.

NYC took initiative on the attack in the opening minutes, putting the Real Colorado defense to work. After a dangerous entry into the Real box, the Blues earned a corner kick that provided its first real opportunity. The Northeast Division team rose up to win the initial header, another City player took a touch to tee it up near the six-yard-box and a NYC attacker cut it across to the far post. Colorado's Jacqueline Lasseter was well-positioned on the goal line to the left of the 'keeper to make a clearance and avoid the danger.

Real Colorado was dangerous on the counter from the start. When a player went down in the box on one attacking run, the referee awarded Colorado a penalty kick. Forward Maragret Boade stepped up and shot, but NYC goalkeeper Julia Dohle, fresh off of helping the U-17 Women's National Team to the Concacaf U-17 Women's Championship, dove to her left to deny the attempt.

Angela Aguero provided a creative spark in the midfield for NYC as the half wore on, but Colorado center backs Ashley Buck and Alexa Porter and goalkeeper Hallie Mackiewicz held strong against the attack. Mackiewicz has also earned National Team invites and she made some stellar saves down the stretch while playing an instrumental role in Real's distribution.

As the game progressed, the Frontier Division team gained more and more comfort playing out of the back. The possession-based play saw Colorado earn the better of chances heading into the break. Real found success on deep runs down the wings and booming crosses into the box. In the 42nd, one such cross led to a dangerous chip from the six-yard-line, but Dohle made a leaping save to keep things scoreless heading into the break.

Colorado carried its momentum into the second half. Dohle made a few more impressive flying saves as the Rocky Mountain State club continued to pile up opportunities, but Real finally broke through in the 67th. Boade intercepted an errant NYC pass to launch a quick counterattack up the field. After a nice give-and-go, she made a run up the right wing and launched a ball toward the corner of the box. Schuepper took a touch to wheel around Dohle and tapped it in to the far post to open the scoring.

Real continued to press for an insurance goal and found the back of the net again just 13 minutes later. After a dangerous run, Colorado earned a corner kick in the 80th and Shiloh Miller delivered a booming ball into the box. Real won the initial header and the ball bounced off of some NYC players toward the net. A City defender got a slight touch on the ball but couldn't stop Vander Ven from slotting to the far post to ice the three points.

Real will face Reign Academy on Wednesday, while NYC will take on local rival, Sky Blue - PDA.