MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston women’s soccer team fell, 2-1, to South Florida in the opening match of the College of Charleston Cup at Patriots Point on Friday evening. The Cougars scored first and led at the half but two late goals for USF proved to be the difference.
“I’m extremely proud of the way our girls played tonight on our own turf,” said head coach Christian Michner. “I thought we deserved more than we got tonight. We scored an absolutely amazing goal through Kate Twohig and really got the game going our way which was fantastic.
“The girls played really, really well tonight and defended hard. It was probably the best I’ve seen us defend as a unit in my time here at Charleston. We take away a lot of positives.”
The match, which started over two hours behind due to a lightning delay, saw the Cougars take an early lead on some clever ball movement and precise strike by Twohig (Charleston, S.C.) for her first goal of the season.
The goal came in the 15th minute when CofC assist leader Sarah Cardamone (Downingtown, Pa.) sent a ball towards the top of the box from the right touch line. Sarah Schaidle (Simpsonville, S.C.) stopped the ball with one touch and set it up for Twohig who blasted a shot over the keeper’s head from 25 yards.
The Cougars played strong possession-style soccer in the opening period and did well in connecting passes and stringing balls together in the midfield.
Despite a somewhat deceptive 2-5 opening-period shot disadvantage, the Cougars won the possession battle in the middle third and forced the Bulls to settle for shot attempts from distance in the first half.
The Bulls’ closest first-half opportunity came in the 35th minute on a corner kick which Jackie Simpson headed the ball towards an open left corner of the net but Cougar defender Toni Schneider (Arlington, Texas) got across the goal line and cleared the ball to safety.
The second half saw the Bulls become increasingly more aggressive and push the ball into the Cougars’ defensive third.
They evened the match in the 71st minute when Bianca Norman slipped a ball through the middle of the Cougar defense where Olivia Chance ran onto it and tucked the ball into the top of the net from 10 yards away.
The Bulls clinched the deciding goal in a transitional play in the 88th minute when Daniella Andrade found space along the right side of the pitch and slid a low cross along the six-yard line where Chance was again in the right place and scored her second goal of the match.
“It’s unlucky to give up two goals late in the second half and go down 2-1,” said Michner, “but we hold our heads high and look forward to a tough match on Sunday.”
The Cougars continue play in the CofC Cup with the tournament finale on Sunday, Sept. 9 against Eastern Kentucky. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m.