Women’s soccer season ends in defeat at UNCW

The College of Charleston women’s soccer team was shut out in Sunday afternoon’s season finale at University of North Carolina at Wilmington (4-0). The Cougars season comes to an unfortunate end (8-9-1, 2-6-1 CAA), as they will miss the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.

The 2015 campaign was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the Cougars.  A 5-game winning streak in September punctuated the College’s best start (8-3) since 2008. Over that stretch, the Cougars defeated rival Charleston Southern to lay claim to the Silver Cup (pictured) for the 18th straight year. Victories over in-state rivals South Carolina State and The Citadel extended the run to three, before winning consecutive games over conference opponents for their first time in the team’s CAA history.

Once the calendar flipped to October, headed into their toughest stretch of the season, the team hit a cold spell that lingered for the duration of the CAA schedule. Unfortunately, 7 points in the conference standings was not enough to earn one of the top six seeds necessary to earn a birth in the tournament.

The six seniors in this year’s graduating class will be missed greatly. Michaela Herrmann, Nicole Koretsky, Claire Newman, Allison Sender, Jane Vardzel and Hope Walker accounted for a combined 4,766 minutes played and 55 starts this season. They all contributed to propel the Cougars to their best record since 2011.

“They were my first recruiting class coming to the College of Charleston,” head coach Christian Michner said. “They really did a lot to set the bar extremely high. They have very high standards for themselves both on and off the field and have been incredible representatives to the College of Charleston. I hope the things that they have accomplished will lay the groundwork for this years team and future teams.”

Sophomore defender Rio Speller-Drews led all players in minutes, as she never left the pitch in 1650 minutes this season. She, along with goalkeepers Lauren Killian and Genevieve Henderson, will be key for next year’s defense in the absence of Newman, Sender and Walker.

Up front, Raymara Baretto, Jessica Schifer and Laura Ortega showed a great deal of potential. The trio of freshman accumulated the three highest point totals on the team. Schifer and Baretto tied for a team leading 5 goals, while Ortega led the team with 4 assists.

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On a cold January evening in the winter of 2004, Sam Oleksak realized his dream. As a mere fourth grader, he had the chance to announce a high school basketball game for his hometown television station. In the hopes of one day becoming a sports pundit, Sam began at Cisternyard News in Fall 2014. He now serves as the Sports Editor on staff and also makes frequent appearances on Cisternyard Radio.

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