Women’s soccer clinch program’s first CAA Tournament berth

It has not been an easy transition from the Southern Conference to the Colonial Athletic Association, but after missing out on post season action in each of the past three seasons, the Charleston women’s soccer team (10-6-3 overall, 3-3-3 CAA) clinched a berth in the 2016 CAA Tournament with a 1-1 tie with William and Mary.

Laura Ortega celebrates against William and Mary. (Photo courtesy of CofCSports.com)

Laura Ortega celebrates against William and Mary. (Photo courtesy of CofCSports.com)

Entering the final weekend of play, the Cougars had the opportunity to finish anywhere from second to ninth in the standings depending on how things played out. Following draws with Elon (0-0) and William and Mary (1-1), the Cougars were tied with Hofstra for sixth in the standings, with only six teams qualifying for the tournament. Charleston won the tiebreaker thanks to their 1-0 victory on Sept. 30.

“We’ve had a lot of players that have stepped up,” Charleston head coach Christian Michner said. “Lauren Killian as our goalkeeper has been a rock all year, she’s just been tremendous. Our back three, Meredith Tunney, Suzi Vallez and Maddie Brill-Edwards have been really, really tough to beat. From an attacking perspective, Laura Ortega makes our wheels turn; she’s been wonderful all season.”

Since the Cougars are the lowest seed in the tournament, they will play their first round game on the road at No. 3 seed James Madison (Sunday at 1 p.m.), for the right to play No. 2 seed Drexel. The semi-finals and championship will be hosted by Northeastern University in Brookline, Mass.

“I am extremely proud of our team,” Michner said. “They fought really hard, been very consistent and we’re excited to make our first appearance in the CAA Tournament.”

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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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