MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - The College of Charleston women's soccer team fell to UNC Greensboro, 2-1, at Patriots Point in a battle for first place in the Southern Conference on Sunday afternoon. The match also served as CofC's Senior Day as the Cougars honored their five seniors.
The teams came into the match tied with a league-leading 4-1 record in SoCon play. CofC falls to 8-6-0 (4-2-0 SoCon) while UNCG improves to 6-7-0 (5-1-0 SoCon) and takes over sole possession of first place.
Hannah Gmerek (Anderson, S.C.) celebrated her Senior Day in style with an equalizing goal late in the match but it was Kristin Player's pair of goals which ultimately earned UNCG the decision.
"It was a very good match between two teams at the top of the conference who wanted to win this game and were playing good soccer," said head coach Christian Michner. "I tell you, a couple mistakes can kill you. We made the same mistake twice and their kid got in all alone and scored a couple of great goals. Credit our team for battling back and scoring a great goal off a corner kick with our senior leader getting up, knotting the goal and getting us back to level terms. To make another mistake and give away the winning goal after that hurts. It's a killer. Now we'll regroup and move forward from this one and be prepared for our next match."
UNCG struck first in the 13th minute when some quick one-touch passing by Jaimey Etten and Lauren Hein sprung Player in alone on goal who capitalized with the game's first mark.
The Spartans were the more possessive side and held the ball back and made methodical moves forward which seemed to drain the clock on the Cougars. The remainder of the first half and the majority of the second were played mostly along the sidelines and flowed freely from end to end.
CofC broke through late in the match on an 84th minute corner kick taken by Sarah Cardamone (Downingtown, Pa.). Gmerek used her 5-7 frame to elevate above the crowd in the box and head the ball into the back of the net to knot the match.
The match appeared to be destined for overtime until Player notched the ultimate game winner in the 88th minute after again being sent in one-on-one with the Cougar keeper off a pass by Ashlee Wilhelmsen.
In honor of Senior Day, the Cougars celebrated the careers of Gmerek, Hope Atkinson (Rumson, N.J.), Lindsay Frey (Cincinnati, Ohio), Allison Truitt (Greenville, S.C.) and Cricket Wise (Walhalla, S.C.).
"It was great to honor our seniors before the match," said Michner. "This bunch has done so much for our program throughout their careers and certainly this season. They've all done a great job in leading our team both on and off the field and will truly be missed."
The Cougars stay at home to host Davidson at Patriots Point in further SoCon play on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.
"It's super important to take advantage of our games at home," said Michner. "Davidson has had a strong year so far and we know they will be coming here looking for three points so we'll do what we can to get ready in the next few days."
The Davidson match will be the Cougars' last at home before embarking on a four-match, season-concluding road stand.