With the home portion of the schedule now complete, the Columbus Eagles hit the road and set their sights on St. Louis, Missouri for the first road match of the 2017 campaign.
Columbus sought revenge against Fire and Ice SC, a team that handed the Eagles a resounding 5-0 defeat in the last meeting on June 4th at Otterbein’s Memorial Stadium.
In an effort to counter the potent St.Louis attack, Columbus rolled out a three-back backline to limit the space available to the opposition.
The formation remained effective, however Columbus did fall victim to a miscue in the 19th minute, when the Eagles defense failed to clear a dangerous attacking ball from a corner. This allowed the ball to fall to the feet Kelsey Dinges, who was able to tuck her shot him and give Fire and Ice a 1-0 advantage going into the half.
St. Louis came out on fire in the second half, attacking the Columbus net with everything the team had. Fire and Ice would find the back of the net again in the 49th minute when Kailey Utley hit a perfect shot pasted Eagles goalkeeper Madi Moore to finish the game with a 2-0 advantage.
This is not a match for Columbus players to hang their heads. Despite having a depleted roster, the Eagles were able to be more creative then in past matches limiting St.Louis to two goals on the road. Columbus also created multiple chances not seen in the first encounter.
Several players stepped up in this match, including defender Monique Hanayik. She was able to creep up into an advanced position in this match and let go shots from distance.
Alexa Cheripko and Kate Prewitt impressed as the two attackers looked to combine on a few combination plays and move the ball up the pitch. Defender Corie Moore and the aforementioned Hanayik remained steadfast and were able to snuff out the St. Louis attack for most of the night.
In her first start in goal, Madi Moore was excellent, stopping four shots and finding her footing as the match progressed on.
Another player that has impressed recently is newcomer Hadley Jones. She has received more opportunities in matches due to her performance in training. Jones has does everything the coaching staff has asked and has been rewarded for her efforts.
The Eagles will take what they learned in St.Louis and look to turn things around quickly. The team is back on the road next week with stops in Cincinnati and Cleveland as the group looks for its best finish in WPSL play.