MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston men’s soccer team edged No. 33 University of Central Florida, 2-1, in a 120-minute exhibition match at Patriots Point on Tuesday afternoon.
The Cougars shut out the Knights through 90 minutes of play and earned the victory by controlling possession and successfully stringing together passes to push the ball into the offensive third of the field.
“As the game went on, we found our targets much more in the second half than we did in the first,” said head coach Ralph Lundy. “Depth was a key today. We had a lot of guys come off the bench in the second half and do great, and that really leads to a great team.
“We’ll want to create more chances in the attacking half. We did well in holding the ball defensively and building, but we’ll have to break through and get into that attacking space.”
Ralphie Lundy (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) initiated the Cougars’ first goal in the 54th minute with his first attempt at a corner kick in the 2012 season. From the near side, he bent an in-swinging kick into the box where Francis Twohig (St. Simon’s Island, Ga.) came to the ball and flicked it on with a header which found its way through a crowd and into the far-side netting.
In the 63rd, the Cougars controlled the ball in the right-hand corner before working it back across the top of the 18-yard box with several precise passes. Daan Brinkman (Amsterdam, Netherlands) took possession at the top of the box and threaded the ball through a defender’s legs where it fell to Luke Huggett (Brighton, England) who beat the helpless keeper to the bottom right corner of the net.
After two 45-minute periods, the teams played an additional 30-minute period to allow the coaches to experiment with their formations and work in more substitutions. Lundy capitalized by checking 25 players into the game and getting his side in-game experience in multiple positions.
UCF finally broke through in the 113th minute when Matthew Gaskins sent in a ball from the left side and Gabriel Zapponi volleyed it in from six yards away.
Kees Heemskerk (Zaandam, Holland) played the first 90 minutes in goal for the Cougars and kept the Knights off the scoreboard with three saves.
The Cougars return to action on Saturday, Aug. 18 with another exhibition match at East Tennessee State University beginning at 7 p.m. CofC then heads to the upstate to open the regular season the following Friday, Aug. 24, at cross-state rival South Carolina in a rematch of last year’s thrilling opener which CofC claimed, 3-2, at Patriots Point.