CONWAY, S.C. – The College of Charleston women’s soccer team is set for game number two in which they’ll take on Western Michigan on Friday, Aug. 24 at 5 p.m. in the Coastal Carolina Soccer Classic.
Head coach Christian Michner:
“We’re excited about a great week of training and getting excited for a really good test against Western Michigan on Friday night. We know they’re going to be a really athletic team and it’s a chance for us to put the pieces together and evaluate our squad, but certainly we want to go out and play as hard as we can and get a win.
“The effort from the players last week was fantastic. We’re going to keep what we’re doing for now. We are getting some players into health who we haven’t had, which is a great thing. I know they’re excited about this weekend. They’ve had a really good week of training so far and we’ll look to finish it today (Thursday) and tie them up tight tomorrow (Friday).
“If we weren’t creating chances and being dangerous in the attacking end we’d have a few more worries. We certainly have the ability to create a lot of chances and score a lot of goals. We have to pull the trigger and take our opportunities. I don’t expect it will be easy against a team that really pushed a highly-ranked Illinois squad to the wall last week. We’ll have our work cut out for us but I’m confident if we execute our game plan in a way that I think we’re capable of playing then I think we’ll come out on top.
“Western Michigan is athletic. They’ve got some really creative players in the midfield. They move off the ball well. They don’t give up a lot of opportunities. We’ll have to be really focused for 90 minutes and take our chances, and when we get them we have to bury them.”
Sophomore forward Sarah Cardamone:
“We definitely put some good things together [against UNC Charlotte] and we’re trying to build on that. We had a good week in training and now it’s just about incorporating everything together. We’re getting some people back from injuries and it’s sort of all coming together so this week will definitely be better.
“I’m confident in my teammates. Everyone is doing a great job. We’re working through injuries but the freshmen are stepping up and helping out filling gaps while we have people out. The freshmen are making it tough on them to come back and just step into it; they’re making them work for their spots.
GLANCING AT THE COUGARS…
Michner’s Cougars look to bounce back from a 2-1 opening-day loss to UNC Charlotte at Patriots Point on Saturday, Aug. 18. The Cougars seemed to outpossess the 49ers and were perhaps the better team in the match, especially the first half, but didn’t capitalize on the chances they needed to take the result.
After dictating the pace of play for the first half, the Cougars got on the board in the 44th minute when Maryam Buazza (Katy, Texas) sent a ball over the back line of the defense where it was collected in the box by Sarah Cardamone (Downingtown, Pa.). Cardamone found herself alone with the keeper and tucked the ball into the net for the 1-0 lead just before halftime.
The tide of the match ebbed in the second half, however, and the 49ers equalized the match in the 69th minute, then seized the lead and wouldn’t relinquish it five minutes later.
CofC took a 7-4 shot advantage into the locker room at half time and finished the match leading 12-10 in shots. The Cougars also produced five corner kicks in the match with three coming in the last moments as the match as the Cougars desperately tried to equalize.
The Cougars proved their fitness on the field as seven players played the entirety of the match including sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Avery (Clifton, Va.) who made four saves. Katie Kerr (Cincinnati, Ohio), McCallie Jones (Charlotte, N.C.), Mauri Harrison (Vista, Calif.), Sarah Schaidle (Simpsonville, S.C.), Buazza and Cardamone also went the full 90 minutes on the field.
Five Cougars posted two shots in the match and Schaidle put both of hers on the target.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS…
WMU was also tagged with a loss in their opener, a tough-to-swallow 1-0 loss which they suffered to No. 19 Illinois last Friday night. The Broncos outshot the Illini, 20-9, but were doomed by committing a foul in the box and Illinois striker Kassidy Brown converted on the penalty kick for the game’s only goal.
The Broncos were picked to finish third in the Mid-American Conference West behind Central Michigan and Toledo.
Head coach Nate Norman is in his first season as head coach of the Broncos after serving one season as an assistant under previous head coach Suzie Grech, who left for a position at Houston.
The team aspires to make it back to its third consecutive MAC Tournament finals appearance in 2012. The Broncos lost quite a bit from those back-to-back finals teams, including all-time career-scoring leader Stephanie Skowneski, two-time All-MAC midfielder Nikolette Rivera and their rock on defense, Caitlin Henderson, who appeared in every game possible over her career.
Junior keeper Michelle Watson is back, however, after a career-best season in her sophomore campaign.
Brittney Pavlica, Diana Dedvukaj, Aubrey Sudomeier and Sarah O'Connor combined for nine goals last season and all rejoin the attack in 2012.
Both the Cougars and Broncos are coming off of seasons in which they posted program highs in wins and advanced to the finals of their respective conference tournaments.
The Cougars posted a program-record 13 wins in 2011 en route to the Southern Conference finals.
The Broncos won 14 games and played in the MAC Championship for the second consecutive year.
MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE FOR THE MATCH…
The Coastal Carolina athletic department will provide live statistics for the match through goccusports.com which will be available free of charge. The link will also be available on CofCSports.com.
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.
The Cougars stay on the road for two more contests, first a bout at crosstown rival Charleston Southern on Friday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m.
The Cougars will then head to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on No. 3 Florida State on Sunday, Sept. 2 at 2 p.m. The Seminoles made it all the way to the College Cup and will be one of the three 2011 national semifinalists CofC has played in the past calendar year.