College ties Princeton 0-0 during the Nike/Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic

College ties Princeton 0-0 during the Nike/Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic

Goalkeeper Kees Heemskerk makes a save by swatting the ball up and over the top of the crossbar (Colin Johnson/GSO)

The College of Charleston displayed a strong effort to make a play on Princeton University and came up with a final score of 0-0. With 90 minutes of regulation time and 20 minutes of overtime, the Patriots Point soccer field was scorching with movement after Friday night’s game.

The game started for the College roughly seven hours before their cleats ever touched the pitch. The Cougars were dispersed across the campus handing out fliers and posters to promote the night’s game. As a result, 1218 fans crowded into the stands to watch the Cougars take on Princeton.

It took only minutes before sophomore Andy Craven (St. Simon’s Island, GA) calmly lined himself up in front of the goal and took a shot.

Craven, coming off a large bank of scores from the game against USC, was looking to score early. During much of the first half he could be seen driving low and trying to take aim at the net but unfortunately coming up empty.

There was high volume of play close to both the Cougar and the Tiger nets. Charleston found themselves on the defense more often during the match but were able to make some quick defensive scrambles, producing some heart stopping saves.

Junior Shawn Ferguson (Rockhill, SC) made a powerful defensive showing in the final two minutes of the first half. He was able to catch up to Princeton forward Antoine Hoppenot’s drive down the field and power the ball away, helping a lone Kees Heemskerk (Zaandam, Holland) in front of the net.

There was also a close shot by Junior Sean de Silva (Port of Spain, Trinidad) who took aim at the Princeton net but missed by mere inches.

Entering the second half, the Cougars began to play a more offensive game and simultaneously held together their defense game to hold off the Tigers.

Junior Ralphie Lundy (Mt. Pleasant, SC) created a lot of the offensive pressure, completing a total of seven shots at the goal, during the second half and during over time.

In all 110 minutes of the game Heemskerk had the reflexes and physicality needed to hold off some of the extraordinarily close goals forced by Princeton. “It was a tough game and physical battle,” said Heemskerk. “We had a tough match with them; we had no idea what we were coming into.”

Not being too discouraged with the tie Heemskerk understood speed of Princeton’s game, going on to state, “we met up with them at the physical challenge.”

Among the players to prove their legs in the game, playing the entire 110 minutes of the game for Charleston, were Shawn Ferguson, senior Will Moore (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.), and freshman Daan Brinkman (Amsterdam, Netherlands).

Head Coach Ralph Lundy noted the hard work done by both teams Friday night. “It was a great game and [Princeton] they are a very good team…an excellent team. We had to step up.”

It was a hustle for both teams, and Lundy saw the match as the water needed to grow the relatively young team.

“They probably had a little more of the game, but that kind of game makes us way better. We can play tough teams and we can play decent teams; that was a tough team.”

Expanding on the second half of the match Lundy said, “I felt we were a little strong as the game went on. They did everything faster than we did. We had to adjust, which we did and I’m happy that.”

The entire weekend games are in honor of CofC soccer player Aaron Olitsky (97’), whose life was suddenly ended in a car accident in 2001. He was a sensational player helping bring the team to 1994, 1995, and 1996 NCAA Tournaments.

Continue watching the Cougars in the 11th annual Nike/Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic on Sept. 3rd at 2:30pm at Patriots Point. Buses will be available for transportation and will depart from the Stern Center to Patriots Point before and after the game, as well as during half time.

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Authored by: Lynsey Cichon

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