Columbus, OH (June 4, 2016) On a terribly rainy evening, the Dayton Dutch Lions FC (2-0-0) took on the Columbus Eagles and came away with a well deserved 1-0 win. The victory puts them atop of the Valley Conference of the Women’s Premier Soccer League. They were led by the Hope Springs Wellness Center Player of the Match Danielle Rotherman.
The contest was statistically a one-sided affair as the Lions outshot their hosts 23-1 and had held a 12-0 edge in corner kicks. The second half was all Lions as they limited the Eagles to only three possessions in the attacking third and had a 75-25% edge in possesion.
The game was initially delayed 30 minutes due to lightning and strong rains. Once the game kicked off, the Lions were all over the place. They had their first great chance in the fourth minute as Meghan Blank crossed into the box and Alexis Kiehl turned her defender with a deft first touch and fired a shot far post. The shot beat the keeper, but caromed off of the crossbar.
The Eagles were playing hard and had a great chance to get on the board when a cross from the left side eluded Alex Steigerwald and the Eagles right midfielder came in and had a clean shot on goal. Steigerwald made the point blank save and pushed the rebound aside. This was the only shot the hosts had all evening.
As the half started to slip away, the Lions seemed to lose some patience in front of the net. Three shots in a 10 minute period all were over the top, but the seven shots in the first 45 did force the Columbus goalie to make four saves.
As the second half got under way, rain clouds filled the sky and it seemed a distinct possibility that the full 90 minutes might not be played. Coach Richardson shared with his team the need to score early in the final half.
The Lions were in full offensive mode and the first 20 minutes of the half was complete attack focus. They had numerous chances…….3 breakaways, 11 shots and 5 corners, but none of it forced the keeper to do anything special. Chance after chance was created and each time either a save or shot going wide.
The players looked as if the pressure of wasting so many opportunities was unsettling them. Coach Ian Richardson went to the bench and brought on Mattie Cutts on the left flank and Aaliyah Patten on the right side. These players made an instant impact and led to the only goal. Patten had the ball in the middle of the pitch and fired it out wide for Cutts to run on to. She muscled her way past the oncoming defender and fired a wonderful cross to the top of the penalty area. Rotheram had beaten her defender and got off a very nice volley. As the shot was goal bound, a small deflection made it that more difficult and the Lions finally led 1-0.
The ladies killed the game off and the final whistle gave the Dutch Lions a well earned 1-0 victory.
“If you had told me at the start of tonight that we would have a shutout, no injuries and play the full 90, I would have been satisfied,” said Head Coach Ian Richardson. “We had chance after chance, but lacked the ability to finish in rough weather. I was so afraid that one strike of lighting could end the match. We needed to score and Danielle came through for us.”
The ladies travel to Indianapolis tomorrow to take on the FC Pride.