The College of Charleston men’s soccer team finished their non-conference schedule yesterday with a trip to No. 2 ranked North Carolina. The Cougars (5-5-2, 2-1-1 CAA) were only the second team to score more than one goal on the Tar Heels (11-0-1) this season, but the Tar Heels prevailed 3-2 after the Cougars conceded an own goal in the game’s final 15 seconds.
“We fought hard and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the boys, we gave everything for each other,” said team captain Nico Rittmeyer. “It was a tough loss considering how well I thought we played but if we play the way we did tonight in our upcoming conference games, I’m sure we’ll get the results we need. We have to take this and learn from it and look to improve on our performance. It all starts with our next training session.”
The College took a 1-1 tie into the half despite not using any subs, thanks to a header by Rittmeyer in the 40th minute from an Adan Noel free kick. The goal increased Rittmeyer’s team leading goal total to four.
Carolina reclaimed the lead in the the second half on a 72nd minute penalty kick, after a costly foul in the box. However, junior defender Jacob Nelson quickly responded by beating Tar Heels’ keeper James Pyle for the Cougars’ second goal of the evening to tie the game in the final 15 minutes.
In the last minute of the game, the Cougars were stunned when a defender’s failed attempt to clear a North Carolina corner inadvertently found the back of the net to give the Tar Heels a decisive 3-2 lead.
With just four games remaining in the regular season slate, the Cougars currently sit at fourth place out of nine CAA teams. They will need to maintain a spot in the top six to advance to the CAA Tournament.
The College will host their final home game of the season at Patriots Point on Saturday, Oct. 17 when they host Hofstra (7 p.m.). The team’s seniors, Tucker Coons, Adam Purvis, and Alex Young, will be honored before the game for senior day.