It is no doubt that coaches at the College of Charleston hope that the school’s scenic location helps sway an athlete to commit to becoming a Cougar. For senior forward Sarah Cardamone of the women’s soccer team, she knew that Charleston would be the place for her to play her college ball almost immediately.
“[I knew] as soon as I stepped on campus, thanks to both the soccer program and the location. I wanted to go somewhere where I could come in and play right away. There’s no doubt it’s a beautiful place to go to school, so it was a perfect storm,” Cardamone said.
Cardamone is just one of two seniors on head coach Christian Michner’s 2014 squad. She has been a cornerstone for the soccer program since coming to Charleston from Downington, Pa. She led her high school team to three consecutive conference championships and two state titles, receiving several all-league and all-area accolades for her fantastic play.
After great success in high school, Cardamone’s desire to become an impact player from the start was hindered by an injury that forced her to miss all but three games in her freshman year. She decided to redshirt that season, which led to her fifth year senior status in 2014.
After regaining her health, the 2011 season proved to be a successful season her team. In her red shirt freshman season, Cardamone led the way for the Cougars, tallying 3 goals and 14 assists en route to a 13-8-1 record. They would reach the Southern Conference championship game, before falling 1-0 to Samford, the lone goal coming in the 88th minute. Her play garnered a good deal of attention, as she was honored on the Southern Conference all-freshman team.
Though the team was not as successful (7-12-1), the 2012 campaign was still a very productive one for Cardamone. She led the team in assists (5), and tied for the team lead in goals (4) in their final year in the SoCon.
The transition to the Colonial Athletic Association has been a very difficult one for the Charleston women. They finished 2-14-1 overall, going winless in CAA play.
“The CAA is just better in general. In the SoCon, you could get away with not showing up with your best day and still come out with a win, and that’s almost impossible in the CAA,” Cardamone said.
The 2013 team had an imbalance of youth, featuring 11 freshman, resulting in a struggle to establish any momentum throughout the season. At the season’s end, Sarah was honored by her teammates with the title of ‘team MVP,’ something she considers as her greatest achievement in her Charleston career.
“Being named MVP by my teammates last year means more to me [than the SoCon all-freshman team], because it came from my teammates,” she commented.
With great respect from her peers, Sarah is a vocal leader of the team. As a fifth year senior on an extremely young team, she looks to help instill a winning attitude into the underclassmen players.
“We have been a little bit inconsistent, which I think is to be expected with such of a young team,” she said. “Our team is made up of almost half freshman.”
Charleston’s inconsistencies and youth have resulted in a 4-7-0 start, 0-2-0 in the CAA, but looking forward to the remaining month of the season, Cardamone remains confident and hopes to challenge her team.
“We have 6 games left, and we kind of have to win them all,” she said. “If your expectations aren’t to win, then you have already sold your team short, so my expectation is to win every game. At this point, it’s almost do or die. We have to win to extend our season. I think we have the ability we just have to put everything together.”
The Charleston women open home CAA play this evening against Elon at 7 p.m.