Friday Aug. 18th not only marked the first game of the season, but the 25th season in program history for the College of Charleston Women’s Soccer Team. Following a 10-7-3 season, the Cougars are looking to improve.
Head coach Christian Michner enters his eighth season with the Cougars, where he has posted a 56-71-9 record. A nice 10-win season marks the best record the Cougars have had since joining the CAA.
In Charleston’s lone exhibition they faced off against South Carolina and lost a tight battle 2-0.
“Our ability to contain and defend as a team collectively was very good, but we also created four or five good chances to score against the number four team in the country,” said Micher.
A roster with 19 upperclassmen gives the team a better chance of having a successful season. This should help in the development of the younger players on the roster.
“Upperclassmen are our leaders. They have been in the environment and understand the atmosphere and the expectations of the program. They are leaders and teachers. This will be new for us, we have generally been young the last few years. We are certainly lucky to have a lot of upperclassmen to lean on,” said Michner.
Among those upperclassmen are juniors Meredith Tunney and Maddy Brill-Edwards. Tunney was named to the Preseason All-CAA Women’s Soccer Team and Brill-Edwards was named as a Honorable Mention. They will be key to the Cougars’ success but Michner will also look to standout forward Laura Ortega on the offensive side of the ball.
After finishing sixth in the conference last season, Michner has high expectations for his team.
“Last year it was so tight. Every single team in the CAA was still in it to place somewhere in the top six, in order to play in the conference tournament. We were happy finishing sixth because it was another incremental step forward for us. I think if we play at the level we are capable of [playing] consistently throughout the season we are good enough to finish in the top four,” said Michener.
Charleston began their season Friday August 18th where they faced off against Campbell. The Cougars also played host to Coastal Carolina on Sunday August 20th.
“Both teams will be shaking out the nerves [in the season opener]. We are at home. My expectation is that we dominate the game from the beginning,” Michner said after asked what he expects in the Cougars’ opening weekend. “We are looking for two wins this weekend on Friday and Sunday.”
In Charleston’s’ opening weekend the Cougars split games against Campbell and Coastal Carolina. In a tightly contested defensive battle, the Cougars squeaked by winning 1-0 off a goal from sophomore forward Alyssa Beck to top Campbell. In the matchup to Coastal Carolina, they fell 2-1 in a more offensive driven contest. Even though Charleston had more shots on goal, more shots and more corner kicks, the Cougars were unable to capitalize.
Although these two games may not have been the most beautiful, they did indicate that the Cougars will be serious contenders in the CAA once again.
Charleston’s next game is Friday August 25th on the road against Virginia Tech.