The 20th season of College of Charleston women's soccer will be its third under head coach Christian Michner, who holds a 22-18-2 record as head coach. This includes a 13-7-2 mark in Southern Conference games.
In 2011, Michner saw the team to its winningest season in program history as the Cougars racked up 13 wins en route to a SoCon runner-un finish. CofC picked up non-conference wins over Murray State, Winthrop, Old Dominion and crosstown-rival Charleston Southern before going 7-3-1 in conference play to finish the regular season.
As the tournament No. 3 seed, the Cougars opened with a convincing, 3-0 win over No. 6 Elon at Patriots Point to advance to the semifinals on the campus of UNC Greensboro. There, the Cougars downed Georgia Southern, 4-2, to advance to the program's third-ever championship game. The match was highly contested but No. 1 seeded Samford provided the lone score with less than three minutes remaining to claim the win.
Michner's team placed three players on the all-conference team and three on the all-tournament team as well. The offense he has implemented led the Southern Conference in goals scored with 44 over the 2011 season.
Michner has been building a program which looks to compete and continually assess itself against the finest competition in the nation. Following the 2012 season, the Cougars will have played three of the four national semifinalists from the 2011 Final Four.
In his first season with the Cougars, Michner led the Cougars to a 9-10-1 mark including a 6-4-1 record in the Southern Conference. The Cougars finished the regular season as the fourth-place team and earned home-field advantage in the opening round of the SoCon Championships.
Michner picked up his first head coaching win when the Cougars downed Charleston Southern, 3-2, at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island, S.C., on August 23, 2010.
"Returning to College of Charleston is a dream come true for me and my family," said Michner, who earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from The College. "It's a wonderful university in a beautiful city, and you get the sense immediately that there is something really special happening here with the women's soccer program."
Michner, a CofC alumnus, returned to his alma mater after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Illinois under head coach Janet Rayfield. The Illini we were ranked as high as No. 11 in the nation and produced six All-Americans, 11 All-Big Ten First Team selections and 51 Academic All-Big Ten honorees during Michner's Tenure.
Prior to joining the Illinois staff, Michner spent one season as an associate head coach and three as an assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma under head coach Randy Evans.
Michner has a wealth of soccer experience both as a coach and a player. He spent two years as a member of the U.S. U-20 National Team and his coaching resume includes stints with the Cal South Olympic Development Program and multiple youth soccer leagues across the country. Michner attained his U.S. Soccer Federation "A" Coaching License in 2006 and NSCAA Premier Diploma in 2010. He is also a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and U.S. Soccer Federation.
A 1998 graduate, Michner played for current men's soccer head coach Ralph Lundy from 1996-98 after transferring from Creighton University. After graduation on the Cistern, he played five years in the professional ranks with the Colorado Rapids, San Jose Clash, San Francisco Bay Seals, Seattle Sounders, El Paso Patriots and San Diego Flash.
He is married to the former Sarah Popper, who was an NSCAA First Team All-American at the University of Connecticut and played professionally in the Women's United Soccer Association with the Boston Breakers. They are the proud parents of two sons, a three-year-old named Caelen and Brooks who was born on July 5, 2011.
"Christian Michner is a man who is passionate about the game of soccer," Director of Athletics Joe Hull said. "He loves the game and lives the game. He had a terrific background as a player and has learned how to teach the game from some of the very best coaches."