The Marshfield Columbus Dons men’s soccer team is in the midst of another successful season.
The team is 15-4-1 on the year, went undefeated in conference play, and beat Wisconsin Lutheran 9-1, last Saturday, scoring eight goals in the second half to capture their sixth consecutive regional title.
"Playoff attitude is that we're relaxed, so that's how we like it” said forward/midfielder Evan Dieringer. We just want to go into every game thinking that the score is always 0-0 for us, so it's just keep on fighting.”
Just one more key fact to know about Columbus, they do play against majority all boys teams, but they're co-ed.
The team has multiple girls playing key roles for them, including two starters, Annika Brown, and Addison Bairel.
"It's just unexpected for girls to be competitive with guys for some people,” said Brown. Since it's unexpected, they kind of take it easy on us.”
"When you walk up to a team, they see that you have girls on your sidelines, it's just kind of like 'oh well, what the heck,'” said Bairel. “We go out there, and we play our game. We end up having success."
Most people would expect that playing co-ed against all boys teams would put the Dons at a disadvantage, but they don't think that at all because most of them have been doing it since middle school or even before that. In fact, they think it gives them an advantage, because opponents take them for granted, at their own peril."
Brown added, "As girls they don't expect us to be strong and fast and competitive with guys. So I know that I tend to frustrate guys and so does Addi and we just get inside their heads.”
"When teams pull up and see two girls or three girls in the starting lineup, they're going to think oh it's going to be easy but next thing you know they're getting beat by them” added Dieringer. “And that just tells you the mentality that they have is that they're probably the toughest girls out there.”
It may be unconventional, but this team wouldn't have it any other way. It's a formula that works for them, and a formula they hope leads them to their second state tournament appearance in school history.