Lady Patriots fall to Columbus State Bears


Photo by: Caleb Reeves

Freshman forward Kylie McElroy jockeys to win ball from Columbus State midfielder.

Columbus State University (CSU), which is ranked 16, defeated the FMU Lady Patriots 11-1 on Oct. 14 at the Hartzler Stadium. The game marked the Lady Patriot’s seventh Peach Belt Conference game this season.

The game against CSU was the Sanfilippo Awareness Night for the lady Patriots, and they honored their Team Impact player, Paisleigh Butler. Butler and her family have been a part of the team for three years, and this was the team’s second year honoring her during a game.

The stadium was decorated with purple, the official color for the awareness campaign, and there was a table set up for attendees to donate to research funds for Sanfilippo. All players from FMU and CSU wore purple tape on their wrists to show support for Sanfilippo awareness.

Prior to the game, Butler took the honorary first kick to celebrate her place on the team. Head Coach of FMU’s women’s soccer team Lindsey Morgan said the team holds this special game to honor Butler and to raise awareness of Sanfilipoo.

“The Butlers have become family to us, and holding Sanfilippo Night is the smallest thing we could do to try and help,” Morgan said. “Not a lot of people know what Sanfilippo is, and we hope to raise awareness.”

Despite their efforts, the Patriots struggled to overcome CSU’s offense. CSU outshot the Patriots 27-5 and had 13 corner kicks for FMU’s one kick.

Senior Breanna Henderson capitalized on freshman Holly Bowman’s corner kick in the 73rd minute with a header past the CSU goalkeeper Adriana Ortiz. This was Henderson’s first goal of the season.

FMU goalkeepers Micahla Kitchen and Janine Gordon posted 6 total saves for the Patriots. Each goalkeeper played one half of the game with Kitchen playing in the first half and Gordon playing in the second.

According to Morgan, CSU consistently has a talented women’s soccer team, but the Patriots use each game against the Bears as an opportunity to learn and grow on the field.

“Columbus State is a very talented team and has tremendous tradition and culture, which is difficult to beat,” Morgan said. “It was good for us as a coaching staff to see what we have to do to continue to grow and compete at that level.”