On a steamy Sunday afternoon at Otterbein University, the Columbus Eagles welcomed Fire and Ice SC from St. Louis. The Eagles put their undefeated WPSL record on the line as well as their stellar defensive record. Coming into this game, the Eagles had conceded two goals in the last 450 minutes, and zero goals in the last 176 minutes.
Unfortunately for Columbus, this streak could not be maintained and the offense could not get going.
Fire and Ice opened the scoring in the 32nd minutes when Kelsey Dinges found the back of the net. St. Louis quickly found the scoresheet again in the 33rd minute when Kailey Utley capitalized on a corner kick. Fire and Ice then finished the half on a high note, hitting the Eagles on the counter attack to give them a 3-0 lead going into the break.
The away side would add two more goals in the second half to beat Columbus by the final 5-0 score. Despite the performance, everyone in the Eagles organization remains positive about the start in preparation to hit the road for the first time this season.
Forward and captain Mary Seiffert is using the experience as a positive to motivate the team going forward.
“We use that as fuel for practice,” she said. “That should be a lot of motivation for people to show up. This [experience] helps us know how this feels and know we don’t ever want to feel this again. I’d rather have that happen now and get to learn from it than it happen further down the road.
“I think we let a lot of things get to our heads. We’ve been fortunate to have some success this season, and now it’s one of those things where we’ve got some adversity and learning how to turn things around.”
When asked what the team needed to do to turn the result around for next week Seiffert added, “I think a lot of it is just taking care of our bodies, we have to take our training sessions and make the most of it.”
Fire and Ice were the most physical team that the Eagles have dealt with thus far on the young season, but it really didn’t come as a surprise to the coaching staff.
“We have a scout that saw them play yesterday, and addressed it this morning in our tactical review,” assistant coach Dan Seiffert said of St. Louis. “It’s one thing to talk about it and it’s another thing to actually see it. Our girls got a very quick awakening when they saw the type of physicality they would be bringing.
“It woke us up, but until you get punched in the mouth you don’t know what it’s like.”
Seiffert said they will put tremendous emphasis in preparing for a rematch with the Dayton Dutch Lions this week. Along with head coach Mark Wise, the team will look to develop a solid game plan for next weekend.
“We learn a lot (more) from our losses than we do our victories,” Seiffert said. “We will take time, dissect the film, and break it down to figure out where our miscues were happening. Come Tuesday, we will make sure we are prepped for Dayton. They are top of the table team from last year and this team is strong as well.”
Columbus will look to get back on the right track when they travel down to Dayton for their second match against the Dutch Lions. Kickoff is at 7pm on June 10th.
Don’t forget, the Eagles are coming to MAPFRE Stadium on June 24 at 2 p.m ET. You can support the lady Eagles and fill the stands ahead of Columbus Crew SC’s match with the Montreal Impact. If you are a Black & Gold season ticket member, you get into the game free of charge.