Red-hot AFC Columbia battle Stars in top-table battle

AFC Columbia is riding high after three consecutive MWPL wins and rocketing to the top three of the Gateway standings. The team is currently on a collision course with St. Louis Stars SC at home in Columbia at R Marvin Owens Stadium on Saturday, June 22 at 8 p.m.

After starting 0-1-1 in league play, AFC Columbia rallied with three consecutive wins to bounce back. Most recently the team won 3-1 against Southeast Soccer Academy in a trip to Iowa. Sam McCrary scored late in the first half to put AFC ahead. 

“We were knocking the first 30 minutes, finally got one in,” McCrary said. “We were really them taking them down the end line.”

In the second half Jack Hackett scored on a header, giving the road team a two-goal lead. This marked the first goal of Hackett’s MWPL career, a huge mark for the defenseman. The final goal came from Samuel Appiah, scoring in his second consecutive game. 

After scoring one goal in their first two MWPL games, AFC bounced back with seven goals during the winning streak.

“Finally just finding the net,” McCrary said. “We’ve had goal-scoring troubles all year.”

Currently AFC is tied for 2nd place in the Gateway division with 10 points alongside Ajax St. Louis and St. Louis Stars SC. This Saturday marks the first meeting between AFC and the Stars during official MWPL play. The two teams will meet in St. Louis the following Wednesday. 

St. Louis Stars SC suffered their first loss of the season this past weekend, losing to Ajax 4-0. So far all the Stars’ wins and ties have come against teams ranked lower in the table. AFC fared much better against Ajax, tying 1-1 in May.

“We’re going to try and keep the form going,” McCrary said. “Try and get at least four points out of those two games.”

AFC Columbia meets St. Louis Stars SC at home on Saturday, June 22 at R Marvin Owens Stadium at 8 p.m.