MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - The College of Charleston men's soccer team is set to host Davidson in the opening round of the Southern Conference Men's Soccer Tournament on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Patriots Point.
The Cougars host the match by virtue of sharing the SoCon regular season title with Furman and UNC Greensboro, all with 14 points in the conference standings and identical 4-1-2 records in conference play. CofC's share of the title is the first in program history.
Seeding procedures place CofC (10-3-3, 4-1-2 SoCon) in the third seed where they host sixth-seeded Davidson (6-6-6, 1-3-3 SoCon).
"The season starts over now and there are no advantages other than home field, which we earned," said head coach Ralph Lundy. "They [Davidson] present a strong challenge. In the postseason, players step up and find that next gear and extra push. They are a very strong, big, physical team so I expect a rigorous match."
The wind in the Cougars' sails stilled down the stretch as they enter the tournament riding a loss to Furman and disappointing tie with Appalachian State in their final two matches of the season. Prior to that, CofC strung together a twelve-match unbeaten streak and looks to restore its winning ways moving into the tournament.
"The focus for our team has got to be playing two halves," said Lundy. "Against Furman we were slow in the first half and with Appalachian State we didn't finish the second half. We have got to put together a full 90 minutes to be successful.
"When we focus for 90 minutes we are a great team. Some of our disappointments have come when we play one great half and one mediocre half so we have to put that aside."
In their regular-season bout with the Wildcats, the Cougars scored in the sixth minute and clung on for a 1-0 victory at Patriots Point. The action was demonstrative of the bitter rivalry between the teams. The Cougars controlled a 15-6 shot advantage but the action was not as one-sided as the statistic indicates. The physical, aggressive play from both sides brought on 21 total fouls in the match.
A win advances the Cougars to the semifinals where they'd see the winner of Saturday's match between No. 2 Furman and No. 7 Wofford. All semifinal matches as well as the championship match will be played at Patriots Point.