MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston women’s soccer team opened its regular season campaign with a 2-1 loss to UNC Charlotte at Patriots Point on Saturday evening.
The Cougars were the more possessive and perhaps better team for most of the match but back-to-back UNCC second-half goals wiped away the Cougars’ first-half lead.
“I’m pleased with the effort tonight,” said head coach Christian Michner. “Our girls came out and battled for 90 minutes and really wanted the result. Certainly we’re disappointed in losing the match. Charlotte is a very good team and is very well coached.
“They weren’t necessarily concerned with whether their play was pretty or not. They wanted to be effective and if we could take something away from the match, it’d be that. We need to not worry about making a pretty pass or starting an attractive run, but instead focus on being effective and consistent.”
The Cougars got off to a bit of a slow start and struggled to connect passes in the early minutes. The team settled in, however, and played a crisper brand of soccer through the rest of the first half to gain and maintain possessions in the middle and offensive thirds of the field.
With just over a minute remaining in the first half, the Cougars broke the scoreless draw with Sarah Cardamone’s (Downingtown, Pa.) first goal of the season. Maryam Buazza (Katy, Texas) played a long ball over the 49er defense which fell to Cardamone who was one-on-one with the keeper. Cardamone was able to coral the ball away from the charging keeper and rolled it into the back of the net.
The Cougars outshot UNCC, 7-4, in the first 45 minutes. CofC ended the match with a 12-10 advantage in shots and put seven on the frame. The Cougars also produced five corner kicks opposed to UNCC’s two.
UNCC came out more aggressively in a physically contested second half which brought on 13 total fouls in the 45 minutes.
In the 69th minute, Taylor Rovito played a ball across the top of the 18-yard box where Amanda Jones tucked it in to the bottom right-hand corner to equalize the match.
Five minutes later, Rovito again picked up an assist on UNCC’s go-ahead goal, this time threading a pass through the left side of the field to Sara Trexler who gathered it in stride and scored to the far-side netting.
In the dying minutes of the match, the Cougars produced three consecutive corner-kick chances but none were fruitful as the clock ultimately expired and finalized the 2-1 score.
The Cougars return to action when they head to Conway, S.C., to take on Western Michigan on Friday, Aug. 24 at 5 p.m. as part of the Coastal Carolina Tournament.