Saturday evening, in front of a record indoor crowd, Columbus Eagles FC beat Cincinnati Sirens FC 6-5 and finished 2017 on the highest of notes. Eagles captain Mary Seiffert scored with six minutes left in the fourth quarter to break a deadlock and give CEFC the win.
Rachel MacLeod scored twice in the opening five minutes to get the Eagles on the board. Kelly DeNiro’s blast from beyond the two-point line gave Columbus a 4-2 lead, and Larissa Najjar added to the lead before halftime. The Sirens pulled a few back to tie it early in the fourth quarter before Seiffert pounced on a loose ball and scored the winner.
The night as a whole was a triumph for CEFC: The club hosted a youth skills clinic before the match where more than 30 future soccer stars did drills and scrimmaged each other. As the match with Cincinnati kicked off, it was apparent that the crowd in the stands would be a record for the club (and it was). When the match ended, fans chanted “Columbus! Columbus!” in the stands and the players applauded such a great supporting turnout.
In the lobby of Resolute Athletic Complex after the game, dozens of fans hung around to buy merchandise, get autographs, and take photos with the players. Eagles t-shirts were littered with player autographs and even some sunglasses were signed. The win was the first in the Eagles head coaching career of Daniel Seiffert, who was appointed as head coach earlier this month.
The goal-scoring Seiffert was named “Woman of the Match” by a fan vote. McLeod, a University of Toledo graduate, finishes the indoor season with six goals in two games.
Columbus finishes 2017 unbeaten (2-1-0) against Cincinnati in #HELLISREAL rivalry matches between the two clubs. The Eagles and Sirens will likely be in the same WPSL division once again in 2018, which means they’ll play a home-and-home series for the third-straight year.
The Eagles will announce their 2018 preseason schedule early in January, and the WPSL schedules will be released after the league meetings on Jan. 27 in Las Vegas, NV.