MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston women’s soccer team is set to host the College of Charleston Cup this weekend at Patriots Point. This year’s tournament draws South Florida, Eastern Kentucky and Kennesaw State for another edition of what has become a great tradition of CofC women’s soccer.
The Cougars open play in the tournament with South Florida on Friday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and finish with Eastern Kentucky on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 2:30 p.m.
CofC head coach Christian Michner:
“We want to make sure we’re playing Charleston soccer. This week’s training has reflected how we want to play our style game and we continue to work on that week in and week out. We did a lot of finishing this week… a lot of movement of the ball and possession. We’ve worked on our patterns to goal and worked on getting the ball to areas of the field where we’ll allow ourselves to finish goals.
“It’s always nice to play in Charleston at Patriots Point. It’s one of the best facilities in the country and our grounds crew does an excellent job of making sure it’s in peak form for our matches. We’re excited about playing with the opponents we have coming in this weekend.”
GLANCING AT THE COUGARS…
CofC enters its annual tournament at 1-3-0 after facing a grueling stretch of scheduling in the early going. Last weekend, the Cougars opened up with a 3-1 victory over Charleston Southern to maintain possession of the crosstown rivalry’s Silver Cup for the 15th consecutive try.
Freshman forward Nicole Koretsky (Manalapan, N.J.) picked up her first career goal to put CofC on top in the 20th minute of the match. CSU equalized the match in the second half but CofC’s Sarah Schaidle (Simpsonville, S.C.) netted a pair of goals down the stretch to ice the Cougars’ victory. Sarah Cardamone (Downingtown, Pa.) picked up two assists on the night and leads the Cougars in that category with three on the season to date.
“It’s always a tough battle when you play a team that’s in town,” said Michner. “That crosstown rivalry comes into play and who the higher-ranked team is doesn’t really come into play at that point. It’s just a battle for 90 minutes for bragging rights in your city. I was really impressed with the way our team approached the game. We didn’t let up or take our foot off the pedal. We dominated the game from the outset and created lots of scoring chances and were happy to come away with a 3-1 win.”
The Cougars followed that up with a trip to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on the nation’s top-ranked Florida State Seminoles in a Sunday afternoon match. The Cougars started the match well and weren’t intimidated to be sharing the field with such an elite program. The Cougars opened the match in their offensive end and kept FSU off the board until moments before the half time whistle. The Seminoles tacked on three in the second half, however, to come away with the 4-0 decision.
“I think we held a really good account of ourselves in the first 45 minutes of the match,” said Michner. “In the second half we started to run out of legs and we were certainly playing against one of the premiere teams in our country and it showed. We’re proud of ourselves and what we accomplished down there and we certainly created some chances we could have scored on. We’ll have to be more clinical in our finishing this weekend.”
Browsing the stat sheets…
Schaidle’s two goals on the season lead the Cougars while Koretsky, McCallie Jones (Charlotte, N.C.) and Cardamone have each tallied one thus far. Jones leads the Cougars in shot attempts with nine.
Senior defender Katie Kerr (Cincinnati, Ohio) has been essential to the Cougars’ defensive corps and has yet to take a rest on the bench thus far. She by-far led the Cougars in minutes in 2011 as well.
Taking on the titans…
After last weekend’s clash with Florida State, the Cougars have now faced three of the four national semifinalists from the 2011 College Cup in the past 12 months.
SCOUTING THE BULLS…
The Bulls come into Friday’s match sporting a 2-3-0 record after a trying weekend at the UCF Tournament in Orlando, Fla., last weekend. The Bulls went 0-2-0 in their tournament draw with a pair of 2-1 losses to Georgia and Dartmouth. Both games saw the Bulls fall behind early, equalize before the half and then surrender a second-half goal to accept the loss.
Junior forward Sharla Passariello picked up her team-high fourth goal of the season against Georgia on Friday night. She has provided four of the Bulls’ seven goals on the season and is also one of the five different players contributing to the Bulls’ five assists on the year.
Sophomore midfielder Cara Patterson notched her first goal of the season in the Dartmouth match on Sunday.
Freshman goalkeeper Christiane Endler won the starting job this season and has played every minute between the posts. She sports a 1.40 goals-against average and .750 save percentage on the season. She posted shutouts against Miami and Indiana but has allowed two goals or more in each of the Bulls’ three losses.
Statistically, the Bulls have been virtually identical to their opponents so far this season. USF has scored seven goals on 60 shot attempts while their opponents have produced seven goals on 61 shot attempts. The only steep imbalance comes in corner kicks where the Bulls have created 13 attempts but allowed 35 to their opponents.
SCOUTING THE COLONELS…
Eastern Kentucky is now 2-2-1 this season after starting the season on a pair of wins but going winless in its last three contests. After the 2-0 start, the Colonels were handed losses by Kentucky and Cincinnati before drawing, 1-1, with Wright State last Sunday afternoon.
Sophomore Kaylynn Brown scored early with a near-post run to finish off a cross sent towards the goal from Nikki Donnelly. It accounted for both the first goal and assist on the season for the pair. The Raiders answered not long after, however, and then both defenses stiffened to let the 1-1 tie ride through double overtime.
Erica Wolfer, a freshman on the squad, has assumed the goaltending responsibilities this season and has handled it favorably, maintaining a 1.14 goals-against average and .786 save percentage.
The Colonels have been outscored, 6-5, so far this season. No player has yet to score more than once and the Colonels also befitted from Kentucky committing an own goal.
EKU’s participation in the CofC Cup is its first midseason tournament participation since the 2006 season when the Colonels competed in the University of Kentucky Tournament.
Lindsay Basalyga is in her seventh season as the head coach of the EKU women’s soccer team, her first head coaching position. She has led the team to 36-75-17 record. Last season the team went 7-10-3 but five of their seven wins were in conference as the team finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference.
MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE FOR THE MATCH...
Fans unable to make it to Patriots Point for live and in-person soccer action will be able keep up with the plays on their computers and mobile devices. CofCSports.com will provide a live webstream for both matches CofC is playing in this weekend. Live stats with animated play-by-play will also be provided for all matches, neutral-site matches included.
The webstream requires a subscription but offers a multiple-camera broadcast with play-by-play commentary and analysis. The live stats are available at no charge.
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.