MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston women’s soccer team opens the 2013 regular season with a pair of matches at Patriots Point this weekend. The Cougars open the season against Charleston Southern on Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. and then take on North Florida on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 1 p.m.
The Cougars and Buccaneers will by vying for the Silver Cup on Friday night, the prize for the crosstown rivalry which dates back to 1993. The Cougars have dominated the series with a 13-3-4 record and possession of the Cup since 1996. Head coach Christian Michner picked up his first-ever head coaching win against Charleston Southern in 2010 when the Cougars came from behind twice to beat the Bucs, 3-2, at Blackbaud Stadium.
CofC head coach Christian Michner:
"We are very excited about our opening games this weekend against Charleston Southern and University of North Florida. Both opponents will be very difficult and each comes with its own set of unique challenges. We believe that we have the talent to win both games and will need to be at our best to accomplish that.
"The CSU match is for the Silver Cup and that is a very important trophy that we play for every year. We have had possession of the trophy for a number of years now and our players put a great deal of importance on this match. You will see a typical crosstown rivalry match and both teams will be playing to win and playing for school pride."
"The players enjoyed a great summer and have prepared themselves well over the break. That mentality has carried over into preseason training camp and we've seen some very good things in training and in our two exhibition games.
GLANCING AT THE COUGARS…
The Cougars split their pair of exhibition matches with a most-recent 3-2 win at Georgia State last Friday after a 2-0 loss to South Carolina in the preseason premiere.
Senior McCallie Jones (Charlotte, N.C.) netted a pair of goals in the opening 10 minutes of play in Friday’s victory over Georgia State. After the Panthers equalized the match early in the second half, sophomore Nicole Koretsky (Manalapan, N.J.) netted the game when she dribbled the ball through the top of the box and hammered home her strike from the top corner.
Jones promises to be a difficult player to defend with her size and speed both on and off the ball this season. She returns to the team after tying for a team-high in goals scored last season with four and also contributed two assists.
Sophomore Hope Walker (Charlotte, N.C.) led a very productive preseason and demonstrated her commitment to developing her game. She is one of the fittest players to come through the program and will surely be a key piece in 2013.
Sarah Cardamone (Downingtown, Pa.) continues to impress the coaching staff and her work rate and ability will make her a dangerous player this season. She also scored four goals last season and also added five assists to combine for a team-high 13 points.
Koretsky also had a great offseason and comes into the season fit and ready to play. She scored three big goals last season as a freshman and looks to contribute to the success in 2013 as well.
Michner brings back six regular starters and 12 from last season’s 7-12-1 team. The team restored the bulk of its offensive firepower as the scorers of 18 of last season’s 26 goals are back for the 2013 season.
The team also brings back a pair of goalkeepers who nearly-evenly split all the Cougars’ minutes in goal last season in senior Eli Sarasola (San Sebastian, Spain) and junior Taylor Avery (Clifton, Va.). The two both saw quality action in the preseason.
New to the scene is a signing class which brings in a highly-touted group of players who will challenge for playing time and make their impact known immediately. The 2013 signing class comes from a diverse geographic range and has played high school and club soccer at the highest level.
SCOUTING THE BUCCANEERS…
After a 7-11-1 season in 2012 which saw the Buccaneers fall in the first round of the Big South tournament to High Point, Charleston Southern looks to return to previous glory under a trio of seniors who have received multiple accolades throughout their careers, including All-Conference, All-Freshman and Scholar-Athlete honors.
Head coach Eric Terrill will have to replace two of the top players in CSU’s program history in Becca Hollstegge and forward Morgann Wood, but will look to do so with returning juniors Stephanie Hand and Emma Faubert, as well as sophomores Gina Cox and Chelsea Frankeny.
With three seniors, seven juniors, seven sophomores and eight freshmen on the roster, youthful energy and the steadiness of the upperclassmen will be expected to blend for the Buccaneers.
SCOUTING THE OSPREYS...
Under the guidance of head coach Linda Hamilton, the Ospreys welcome nine freshmen to the team and return 18 letterwinners, including eight of last year's starters. The Ospreys come off an 8-10-2 season in 2012; including a 5-3-1 record in the Atlantic Sun. UNF has advanced to the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Tournament for the past two seasons.
Earlier this month, senior Thea Linkfield was tabbed Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Conference. In addition, the Ospreys were picked to finish sixth by the league's head coaches.
The team only competed in one exhibition match and played Embry-Riddle to a scoreless draw. The Ospreys finished the night with nine shots, including two from freshman Elyse Fontecchio.
Freshman goalkeeper Susie Ford recorded four saves to earn the shutout, while Embry-Riddle's Jen Grimes and Olivia Lynch combined to record three saves.
They will take on Gardner Webb in their season opener on Friday, Aug. 23 before traveling to Charleston.
GET TO THE POINT…
The best way to catch all the action of CofC soccer is live an in person at Patriots Point, one of the finest venues for viewing collegiate soccer. Friday night’s match against Charleston Southern will be free to the public and Sunday’s match will be free to all South Carolina United Mount Pleasant participants.
Season tickets are still being sold and are the best way to catch all the action at Patriots Point. Season tickets are only $15 for youth and $30 for adults and include admission to all men’s and women’s home games. For more information, contact the box office at (843) 953-COFC (2362).
Throughout the season, Sports Bingo and Kickin’ for Cash will allow fans to get more involved in the games and collect prices based on what’s happening on the field. During every home match, visit playsportsbingo.com on your smart phone to play CofC soccer bingo and win prices. At halftime, three fans will be brought down to the field for the chance to win Kickin’ Chicken cash by kicking a ball at different targets.
For more information on promotions and ticket prices throughout the season, click here or follow Clyde the Cougar on Twitter (@ClydeTheCougar).
MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE FOR THE MATCH…
Fans who can’t make it out to Patriots Point can watch the action by a web-based broadcast available through CofCSports.com.
Live statistics and virtual play-by-play will also be provided free of charge by CofCSports.com.
FOLLOW THE COUGARS…
Another great way of keeping up with the CofC women’s soccer team is through the team's own Twitter account (@CofCWSoc). The account provides pictures, team activities, statuses when the team is on the road as well as in-game thoughts and updates.