Madison Costner’s 35th minute goal – her first as an Eagle – helped Columbus earn a vital 1-1 draw with Motor City FC on Sunday. The Eagles are the first team to take points from Detroit – the division leaders entered the match 5-0-0 with a plus-17 goal differential.
Motor City took the lead in the 24th minute when Yujie Zhao slotted a shot past Hannah Sargent. Columbus dug in and weathered a storm before Costner broke free on a counter-attack and finished fantastically to equalize. The Central Michigan University striker has started all but one WPSL match this season. Nikki Cox earned the assist on the goal.
The second half was the best defensive half of the season for Columbus. The Eagles’ backline of Megan Minnix, Olivia Sensky, Micaela Powers, and Adison Preston kept Motor City at bay, only surrendering a few good chances in the final 45. Detroit hit the crossbar with a few minutes to play, but the division leaders (5-1-0, 16 points) couldn’t get anything past Sargent, and the game finished tied.
Sargent played her best match of the season in the draw, making a handful of important saves in the second half to keep the score level. The Western Michigan University keeper played all 90 minutes, conceding just the one goal.
The result was an important one for the Eagles in the Ohio Valley division standings. With four matches to play, Columbus (2-1-3, 7 points) sits within striking distance of the teams ahead of them – although Detroit is far out in front.
The next two matches are against teams the Eagles have already beaten on the road. This coming Saturday, June 22, Columbus hosts Dayton Dutch Lions at Capital University at 7 p.m. The Eagles set goal-scoring records in a 6-1 win over Dayton in May.
Then, the home finale of the WPSL season is June 30 at Otterbein University against AAFC Lumberjills. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. that day. Columbus bested Ann Arbor 1-0 in the season opener on May 11.
Tickets to both matches are on sale now for $10 – kids ages 6 and younger get in for free.