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Smith, Phillips lead RSL Women to rout in WPSL Elite title match

Smith, Phillips lead RSL Women to rout in WPSL Elite title match

(Sean Walker/KSL.com)


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SANDY — For nearly seven years, Collette Smith has watched Real Salt Lake Women grow into the top level of women's soccer in Utah, hoping for a championship.

When she got the chance to play for it, she didn't waste any time.

Smith had two goals, and current BYU midfielder Bizzy Phillips added two goals and an assist to help RSL Women beat the San Francisco Nighthawks 7-0 in the WPSL Elite title game at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

"This has kind of been our baby for years," Smith said. "We've been trying to make Real's women's team a real thing, and now to have the full support of the men's side and the Monarchs is awesome.

"To come out here and win as a family, as a team — there's nothing better."

The former BYU standout opened the scoring in the 26th minute with the first effort to get past the San Francisco goalkeeper. Smith took a touch after a pass from Phillips in the middle of the box, then rounded her defender at the corner and blasted a shot inside the near post for the early 1-0 advantage.

"The play was back and forth between the teams, and then we had some fresh midfielders come in," Smith said while clutching the WPSL Elite championship trophy after the match. "I made a diagonal run, Bizzy saw me come through, and I saw the near post was open, so I just placed it in the near post."


This has kind of been our baby for years. We've been trying to make Real's women's team a real thing, and now to have the full support of the men's side and the Monarchs is awesome. To come out here and win as a family, as a team — there's nothing better.

–Collette Smith, RSL Women forward


The RSL Women didn't let up from there. In the pregame huddle, head coach Jeff Ginn told the close-knight semi-pro squad to show the crowd of 525 in attendance before the Real Monarchs' match against Orange County what women's soccer in Utah is all about.

"Our pregame talk was to go out for the 4-year-olds and the 90-year-old women in the stands," Ginn said. "The last thing we said before we took the field was 'Go show what Utah women's soccer can do,' so they have something to look up to and something that inspires them."

Weber State midfielder Chansi Crompton doubled RSL's lead in the 30th minute, jumping at a ball that deflected off the goalkeeper after Smith ripped one on frame to give the Salt Lake side a 2-0 lead.

Phillips gave RSL a 3-0 advantage at the top of the 45th minute. Phillips soared over the defense on Crompton's corner kick, made perfect contact with her forehead, and buried a goal for the 3-0 halftime advantage.

Phillips, a BYU sophomore and the younger sister of Utah kicker Andy Phillips, finished the match with two goals and an assist to lead RSL Women.

"She has vision on the field, and she can find players like Collette running through," Ginn said. "She can find Jeni Viernes and hold the ball up. Her soccer IQ is through the roof; when she has space and time, she is going to eat up other teams. And she's got talent around her."

Scoring Summary
RSL Women 7, San Francisco Nighthawks 0
26' — RSL: Collette Smith (Bizzie Phillips)
30' — RSL: Chansi Crompton
45' — RSL: Bizzy Phillips (Chansi Crompton)
53' — RSL: Collette Smith
71' — RSL: Annie Hawkins
80' — RSL: Emily Bruder (Carla Swensen)
88' — RSL: Bizzy Phillips

Smith got the ball going again in the second half, charging at the goalkeeper with a one-on-one opportunity just seven minutes after the break. The quick forward juked the keeper to the ground, rounded her, then slipped a shot toward an empty net that caromed off a sprinting defender for an own goal.

Annie Hawkins added another on a rip from just outside the 18-yard box, burying RSL's fifth goal into the top shelf to go up 5-0 with 20 minutes remaining.

North Carolina product Emily Bruder finished off a counterattack for RSL Women's sixth goal, burying the counterattack score off an assist from Carla Swensen to go up 6-0 in the 81st minute as the Salt Lake side looked to ice away the game.

Phillips finished off the scoring with a top-shelf rip from the edge of the 18, burying the Nighthawks for the 7-0 final.

Becca Ritchie made four saves to earn the shutout, giving way to backup goalkeeper Dayna Winter-Nolte for the final 20 minutes.

"I think it's important, not just for the organization, but for women's soccer," Ginn said. "We've had a good summer with the Women's World Cup, and now we have the opportunity locally to showcase some quality talent that's come through Utah youth soccer and the local colleges.

"I think that's the important part: younger kids are seeing what they can do, and that they can do it right here in their backyard."

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Sean Walker

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