BOSTON – The College of Charleston men’s soccer team took down Northeastern, 1-0, to enhance its Colonial Athletic Association standing and extend the Cougars’ chances at making the upcoming CAA Tournament.
The Cougars (4-10-1, 2-3-1 CAA), now sitting in seventh place, are vying for one of six seeds for the league’s postseason. CofC will be particularly interested in Sunday’s match between fifth- and sixth- place Delaware and Hofstra to be played at Hofstra at 1 p.m.
CofC now has seven points in the standings off of two wins and a draw. Hofstra (2-2-2 CAA), in sixth, is just one point clear of the Cougars, and Delaware (3-3-0 CAA) is locked in a three-way tie for third place with nine points. Only one win separates the Cougars from reaching as high as second place, which is held by Northeastern (6-7-3, 3-2-1 CAA) with 10 points.
CofC upended the Huskies on a goal from the Trinidadian-freshman connection of Adan Noel (La Brea, Trinidad) and Xavier Rajpaul (Port of Spain, Trinidad).
In a scoreless match in the 75th minute, Noel found Rajpaul 10 yards away from goal and Rajpaul calmly and collectively slotted a low shot into the center of the net to give the Cougars the edge.
The CofC defense was certainly tested with Northeastern mustering a 12-4 shot advantage in the contest, but the defensive corps was stingy and organized and the eleventh-hour defending was up to the task when it needed to be.
Senior goalkeeper Kees Heemskerk (Zaandam, Netherlands) had five saves in the contest.
“We put up a tremendous fight first and foremost,” said CofC head coach Ralph Lundy. “When Northeastern’s pressure was heavy, Kees [Heemskerk] made some big saves and our back four stayed strong; this kept us going.”
“But the biggest thing in this match was the resilience and determination these guys have shown all year long. We kept staying strong as a unit, then Adan [Noel] played a brilliant ball to Xavi [Rajpaul] who really finished well.”
The Cougars wrap up the regular season against league-leading Drexel on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Patriots Point. The match will be Senior Day for the Cougars with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.