Cincinnati's top women's soccer team plays their first match this Saturday (5/21) at 7pm at Lakota East High School Stadium against St. Louis Fire and Ice SC. Here's a little backstory about how the organization came to Cincinnati and what makes them special.
The Cincinnati Sirens began life as the Ohio Sirens in the summer of 2015 in Springboro, OH. They played a provisional (non-competitive) schedule against many of the same opponents that they will now face in the WPSL (Women's Premier Soccer League). That league is the highest level of women's amateur soccer and includes over a hundred teams. It is the second tier in the pyramid, right below the NWSL.
When the Cincinnati Saints moved up to Dayton and became the Dynamo, it was uncertain what would happen to the Lady Saints (the city's former women's team). While the former Saints organization considered starting a women's side in Dayton, limitations on staff and availability of the stadium prevented a team from starting in the same season as the move and rebrand for the mens side. Dynamo have said that a women's team could still be possible but would be in 2017 at the earliest. John Vogt, owner and coach of the Ohio Sirens, bought the franchise rights that the Lady Saints owned for Cincinnati, moved the Ohio Sirens down to the north side of town, and rebranded as the Cincinnati Sirens.
Playing in competitive games and the move to Cincinnati have proved beneficial. 25 players tried out for the first provisional season but more than 50 were at this May's tryouts, many of them former Saints players like Kate Drummond and Lauren Marcum. The technical director is also a former Lady Saints Head Coach. The response has been so good the club is considering a second team.
This organization has a three pronged mission: provide matches, camps, and training to teach young players; grow its players in a competitive and challenging environment that prepares them to play at the collegiate level or to take the next step into the professional league; and improve the community through its themed charitable matchdays. Sirens’ owner, John Vogt says, “I am looking forward to our first season in the WPSL. We will have a mixture of experienced players looking to forward their career in soccer, current college players looking to improve their game in the off season, and even a few high school players who will be entering college in the fall. Our staff is top notch. We will be heavily involved in the community as part of a non-profit organization, and the response from players, fans and sponsors has been fabulous.”
Sirens' most exciting match of the season has to be the away game against the Columbus Eagles, which includes a tailgate and a Crew match. In addition to their competitive matches, the club will also be putting on three training camps (June 20-23, June 27-30 and July 11-14) at GameTime Training Center in Fairfield and which will be led by players and staff.
In addition to the training camps, each matchday will have a specific organization to raise funds for. This weekend's opener will go towards benefiting the YMCA (release here) and future ones include Building Blocks for Kids and Kyler Strong (for DPIG research). This charitable aspect of the organization should lead to a strong community response and will hopefully be able to engage new fans outside of traditional soccer supporters. In addition to this, the club have emphasized the family oriented nature of their games.
If you have any questions or want to learn more, check out the links below.
Facts and Links
- League - WPSL - Valley Conference w/ Columbus Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, FC Pride (Indianapolis), Knoxville FC, and Fire & Ice Soccer Club (St. Louis)
- Stadium - Lakota East High School, West Chester, Ohio
- Tickets - $7 for adults and $5 for youth (Pre-order is $6 and $4)
- Head Coach & Owner - John Vogt
- Social - Web, Twitter, FB, Insta
2016 Spring/Summer Schedule
- Saturday, May 21 – vs. St. Louis Fire & Ice @ Lakota East 7:00pm
- Saturday, June 4 – vs. St. Louis Fire & Ice @ Fire & Ice 7:00pm
- Sunday, June 5 – vs. Columbus Eagles @ Lakota East 3:00pm
- Friday, June 10 – vs. FC Pride (Indianapolis) @ FC Pride 7:00pm
- Saturday, June 11 – vs. Knoxville Force @ Lakota East 5:00pm
- Saturday, June 18 – vs. Columbus Eagles @ Crew Stadium 2:00pm. (This game is part of the package that includes our 2:00pm game at Crew Stadium, tailgate party, then the Crew game at 7:00pm.)
- Friday, June 24 – vs. Dayton Dutch Lions @ Dayton 7:00pm (this game is part of the 24 hour soccer festival as part of a large fundraiser)
- Sunday, June 26 – vs. FC Pride (Indianapolis) @ Lakota East 3:00pm
- Friday, July 15 – vs. Dayton Dutch Lions @ Lakota East 7:00pm