A 'buffet of good players': Alton native Eversmeyer leading Fire and Ice Soccer Club

News-DemocratJune 8, 2013 

Lindsay Kennedy-Eversmeyer is living a coach's dream.

Kennedy-Eversmeyer is the head coach, general manager and owner of the Fire & Ice Soccer Club, which is playing its first season in the Women's Premier Soccer League.

The team, based in Columbia, consists of many former metro-east high school stars who are in the midst of their college careers or are about to begin them.

"I always tell them, 'As a coach, it's going to be hard to make decisions (on playing time) because I have a buffet of good players,'" said Kennedy-Eversmeyer, 33, a 1998 graduate of Alton High School. "There's an abundance of players. That good. We're working out the kinks. Every game we play together we get a little better."

Kennedy-Eversmeyer, who lives in Millstadt with her husband, Aaron, and sons Kaleb, 13, and Gryfin, 3, will lead Fire & Ice (1-2) into its first home against the Ohio Galaxies at 7 p.m. Saturday at Columbia High.

The Galaxies defeated Fire & Ice 3-2 last Saturday in Ohio, but Fire & Ice has since added Triad High graduate and Illinois State standout Rachel Tejada, a forward, and defender Sam Andert, of St. Louis, who starred at Division II Quincy University.

"It's not a cakewalk for us. Obviously, we lost two games," Kennedy-Eversmeyer said. "We've had great possession. (But) we were missing that one offensive threat, and I think that's what Tejada is going to bring to us. She's amazing."

There are 27 players on the roster; 20 can be in uniform for a game. Some of the members of the team are:

* Midfielder Kelsey Dinges (Althoff, Ohio University).

* Midfielder/defender Kayla Delgado (Belleville East, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville).

*Midfielder Marissa Delgado (Belleville East, SIUE).

* Goalie Hannah Poteet (O'Fallon, Bellarmine University).

* Midfielder Kat Roe (Collinsville, Lindenwood-St. Charles).

* Defender Kassidy Rawdon (Collinsville, SIUE).

* Midfielder Cassie Kaiping (Waterloo, McKendree University).

* Defender Erika Prazma (Granite City, Eastern Illinois University).

* Defender Tess Huettner (Althoff, McKendree).

* Forward Ashley Streid (Granite City, Eastern Illinois).

* Midfielder Sulyn Keomanivane (Granite City, McKendree).

*Midfielder Mara Keomanivane (Granite City, Stetson University).

*Defender Katie Foytlin (Belleville East, St. Louis Community College).

* Defender Gayla Foster (Edwardsville, Louisiana-Lafayette).

* Defender Jenni Hamlin (Althoff, Missouri State University).

The entire roster can and other information about the team can be found at www.fireandicesc.com.

The origins for Fire & Ice began in December when league commissioner Jerry Zanelli contacted Kennedy-Eversmeyer, hoping to organize a team in the St. Louis region.

"I ping-ponged around with it because it's a lot of work," Kennedy-Eversmeyer said. "But everybody started jumping on board and it kind of became easy.

"As with any business, when you start it, the biggest thing is getting the word out. This just exploded. I still have girls contacting me who want to get on the roster. I'm like, 'I'm full. I have no room left.'"

Fire & Ice opened the season with a 2-0 loss to the Kansas City Shock. After losing to the Galaxies, Fire & Ice defeated Indiana United 2-1. The team has three games left, all at 7 p.m. at Columbia High: Saturday vs. the Galaxies, June 15 vs. Indiana United and July 6 vs. the Shock.

Another team, the St. Louis Defenders, has dropped out of the league, which reduced Fire & Ice's schedule by two games.

"The three teams we've already played, now I know their style, the players they have and their weak spots," Kennedy-Eversmeyer said. "Hopefully, we can get a different result (vs. the Galaxies and Shock)."

The team's major sponsors are Altered Grounds Outdoor Services, Iberia Bank Mortgage, Elite FT, Chick-fil-A and Nike.

Kennedy-Eversmeyer doesn't know how many fans will attend Fire & Ice's first game Saturday.

"I'm going to say low, because if I say high, I don't want to disappoint myself," she said. Five hundred people would be great. But who knows? We need all the support we can get. As long as people come out to the games and we can make money at the door ... we should be OK."

Admission is $5. Kids 8 and younger are free.

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at i or 239-2665.

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