Asheville City Scores Late to Beat Columbus in Preseason Finale

Eagles' keeper Hannah Sargent plays a goal kick in the Eagles' 2-1 loss to Asheville City SC on April 26, 2019.
Eagles’ keeper Hannah Sargent plays a goal kick in Columbus’s 2-1 loss to Asheville City SC on April 26, 2019.

Asheville City SC’s Abbie Brown scored in the third minute of second half stoppage time Friday night to give the hosts a 2-1 win over Columbus Eagles FC. The match served as the final preseason preseason match for Columbus before starting WPSL play at Ann Arbor on May 11.

Asheville got off to a strong start in front of their home crowd of 1,197 at Memorial Stadium. ACSC’s Charlotte McClure put the hosts on the board in the 17th minute by firing a right-foot shot past Eagles keeper Hannah Sargent, who’d already made a few smooth saves to that point.

Columbus grew into the game through halftime and dictated possession better in the second half. Ashley Gogolin – a 2018 WPSL All-Conference selection – bossed the midfield throughout and created a handful of great chances for the Eagles. Columbus forward Amberly Knox had a few of the chances, but a stingy Asheville defense kept the Eagles off the board for a long while.

Then in the 86th minute, the Eagles won a free kick in the attacking third. Adison Preston swung it into the box and after a wild scramble, the ball fell to Erin Brockway, who laced home the shot to level the score at 1 apiece. The goal was Brockway’s first for the Eagles since her equalizing goal against Cleveland in May 2018.

Knox had another chance in the 92nd minute – from a quick free kick taken by Gogolin – but the final touch evaded her. Less than a minute later, Asheville’s Abbie Brown slotted a shot past Eagles keeper Andrea Vera to give the hosts the victory.

Vera – a Quito, Ecuador, native in her first season with Columbus – made a handful of important saves in the second half before conceding Brown’s winner. Vera and Sargent played a half each.

The Eagles finish the preseason 1-3-0 with the win coming over Otterbein University on April 14. Asheville City is a fellow WPSL side in their second season. The Blues compete in the South region, Carolinas division.

Next up for Columbus is the start of the WPSL season, on the road at AAFC Lumberjills in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday, May 11. Kickoff up north is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the match will be broadcast live here on the Eagles’ website.

The club’s home league opener is Sunday, May 19 against Cincinnati Sirens FC, and tickets are on sale now for $10. Kickoff at Otterbein University’s Memorial Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m. and kids 6 and younger get in for free.

Match Recap:

Asheville City SC 2; Columbus Eagles FC 1
Friday, April 26, 2019
Memorial Stadium – Asheville, North Carolina
Attendance: 1,197

17′ – ACSC – Charlotte McClure
86′ – CEFC – Erin Brockway
93′ – ACSC – Abbie Brown

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