MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston women’s soccer team opens the 2012 season when it hosts UNC Charlotte on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.
COACH’S MICHNER’S OPENING THOUGHTS…
"It's been a very good week of training leading up to the match against a solid UNC Charlotte team,” said head coach Christian Michner. “We are excited to get the season underway and know we have a great challenge ahead of us to start off on the right foot. I expect that our team will come out ready from the opening whistle and put in a good performance on our home field."
A LOOK AT THE 2012 COUGARS…
The Cougars, now embarking on their 20th season of existence, return 15 letter winners from the 2011 team which recorded a program-record 13 wins en route to a Southern Conference runner-up finish.
Michner’s offensive philosophy was extremely effective in 2011 as the Cougars led the SoCon in goals at 44 and 2.0 goals per game.
The 2012 team will also provide a high-octane look with versatile players who combine for a creative attack with several options in the forward thirds of the field.
The 2012 roster combines a wealth of both veteran experience and young talent which Michner will utilize as the team continues striding to new heights.
The Cougars will benefit from the leadership of their six-member senior class which has logged mass amounts of playing time and experience over the years. As it has already done for years, the senior bunch successfully combines charisma and vocal leadership to influence the younger members of the team.
New to the scene in 2012, Michner added 10 newcomers which comprise the 18th-ranked recruiting class in the nation and will immediately challenge for playing time and look to make an impact.
"The 2012 senior class is very important to our success and we're looking for that group to really take the reins and lead from the front this season,” said Michner. “How they incorporate our younger players will be a huge key as we look to challenge for the SoCon title once again."
In CofC’s exhibition match, Michner pitted his team against one of the best sides in the country in No. 3 Wake Forest. The Cougars fell, 3-0, but proved they belonged on the field with the national powerhouse and played their best soccer through the middle portion of the match. The Demon Deacons found the net in the 11th, 27th and 85th minutes.
The league's coaches pegged CofC to finish second in the SoCon again according to a poll conducted this week. Senior midfielder Sarah Schaidle (Simpsonville, S.C.) was named to the preseason all-conference team.
SCOUTING THE 49ers…
The 49ers finished the 2011 season with a 7-10-4 record and 4-4-1 mark in Atlantic 10 play. They were dealt a 4-0 loss by Dayton in the opening round of the conference tournament to end the season.
Head coach John Cullen, who is entering his fourth season at the helm, brings back six starters and 16 letter winners from that team.
UNCC hosted UNC Asheville in exhibition play on Saturday, Aug. 11. The 49ers got off to a sluggish start and allowed the Bulldogs to get on the board in the third minute of the match. UNCC later found its composure and senior Carrie Dail quickly put her side out front with back-to-back goals in the 20th and 21st minutes. Sara Trexler then scored in the 32nd minute to put UNCC up 3-1, the eventual final.
Goalkeepers Alex Kubrick, Alex Weaver and Annika McHenry split time in the net and McHenry led the pack with three saves.
Dail is joined on the team by fellow seniors Lacey McGowan and Lena Suarez. Amanda Jones was an Atlantic 10 rookie selection last fall and will look to contribute even more in her sophomore campaign. The team has brought on 11 newcomers this season.
Dail and Jones are two of just three 2011 goal scorers who are back on the 2012 team.
COUGARS IN THE OFF SEASON…
Saturday’s match may officially mark the opening of season, but the Cougars have already been hard at work all summer to position themselves to achieve their goals for the 2012 season. The women’s soccer student-athletes have been in the Holy City since the beginning of August and have been undergoing two-a-day training sessions emphasizing peak fitness as well as the game’s tactical side.
Earlier in the summer, the team traveled to Trinidad and Tobago on a 10-day trip during which they played seven games and enhanced their team chemistry by immersing themselves as a group into a foreign culture. For more on the trip including a video feature, click here.
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 both a live webstream and live stats with animated play-by-play.
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.
Following play against the 49ers, the Cougars will get set to travel to Conway, S.C., to play in the Coastal Carolina Tournament. The Cougars will take on Western Michigan on Friday, Aug. 24.