Rapids lose both matches in season opener
In the first ever matches for the NISL, the Columbus Rapids faced off with the Memphis Americans. The Rapids Men's team was first on the field for their match which started at 3:30 p.m. EST.
The first ever quarter of NISL play was saw the Americans take an early lead, with Jowayne Laidley scoring the first NISl goal on an assist from Samuel Castro. With only 11 seconds remaining Djorde Djordevic found the back of the net as well to make it 2-0 to end the first quarter.
The Rapids took six shots in the first quarter, only one less than the Americans, but could not find the net, something that continued throughout the match.
They finished the first half with 14 shots, three more than the Americans but they trailed Memphis 3-0 at halftime after Samuel Castro added another goal late in the second quarter.
The Americans remained on the attack in the third quarter, getting 10 shots while the Rapids only recorded one. Djordevic got his second goal of the evening in the third quarter then assisted on the team's fifth with a pass Mike Scharf.
The fourth quarter was even in terms of shots with the Americans and Rapids each getting seven but the Rapids still could not find the net and were held scoreless while the Americans added another goal, ending the game with a 6-0 victory in the NISL opener.
The NISL Women's match directly followed the Men's match. The first ever quarter of women's indoor soccer was a defensive battle with 10 shots combined, seven for Columbus and three for Memphis, but no goals scored.
The Americans were the first on the board in the second quarter with a goal from Brune Leiria, assisted by Kristen Sparks, the first goal in the history of women's indoor soccer.
The Rapids responded, with Megan Byers scoring unassisted for the first Rapids goal of the season. The remainder of the quarter was all Memphis with the Americans scoring three more times, including once by Kristen Sparks and another by Ashlynn Jones. Both teams headed to the locker room with the Americans holding a 4-1 lead.
While the Rapids led in total shots during the first half 14-12, the Americans defense shut down the Rapids' attack in the second, holding Columbus to just 3 shots in the third quarter. The Americans, on the other hand, had 11 third-quarter shots and two goals.
Ashlynn Jones scored the first two, giving her the first ever NISL hat trick and Bruna Leiria got her second and third as well in the fourth quarter to give her a hat trick as well.
The Rapids scored for the second time late in the fourth quarter on an unassisted goal from Olivia Jarrell but it was too little too late and the Americans won the first ever women's indoor soccer match 10-2. The Americans had 32 shots to the Rapids 24 and had two players with hat tricks.
Angel Hailey was the goalkeeper for the Americans and has 16 shots against, saving 14 and allowing the two Rapids goals, good for a save percentage of 87.5%. Haley Ryan was the goalkeeper for the Rapids and had 26 shots against, allowing 10 goals but saving 16 shots, which gave her a save percentage of 61.5%.
In both matches, the Rapids' attack showed promise with a number of shots but each team struggled to find the goal. The Rapids will be back in Columbus on December 30 to take on the Fayetteville Fury. The match is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. EST.
All NISL games are streamed directly on the NISL Youtube channel.
ABOUT NATIONAL INDOOR SOCCER LEAGUE (NISL):
The National Indoor Soccer League, which has its league office in Georgia, was founded in January 2021 by a group of experienced sports team/league owners with over 40 years of ownership experience. The NISL has plans to grow the league nationally within the next three years and will kick off its inaugural season in December 2021. The league will operate a Men's & Women's division with each market fielding both teams. Fans will be able to watch a men’s and women’s game each gameday. For more information, go to nislpro.com