MT. PLEASANT, SC September 28, 2013 – The College of Charleston men’s soccer team was tagged with a 1-0 loss to UNC Wilmington in the Cougars’ first-ever competition in the Colonial Athletic Association at Patriots Point on Saturday evening.
CofC (1-6, 0-1 CAA) created several truly-threatening scoring chances, but in the end lacked the bit of brilliance needed for any of their opportunities to yield a goal.
After the Cougars seemed to have the better of the first half, the Seahawks found the game’s only goal moments into the second period. Jamie Dell made a decisive run into the Cougar box and dribbled to the endline before centering the ball to his right across the goal mouth. Colin Bonner feigned a touch to draw the defense but let it continue to Jack Ward who hammered it into the net on his first touch.
“I’m disappointed for the players because they played incredibly hard,” said head coach Ralph Lundy. “We played a real good game. We’re playing attractive soccer but I want to play effective soccer. That’s the big deal right now.
“We played a good game, but we’ve got to create more. Their keeper had a strong game with the balls we served. We served lots of them – we had six corners – and he won on almost all of them. Towards the end of the game we won a few, but we’re pretty strong and we’re pretty big so we need to do better.
“We didn’t win the ball in the air when we got it in the box. We got it in plenty, but we just have to work on those things. We defended well. They had one great chance and they took it.”
The early minutes saw the Cougars spend significant time in the attacking third with several quality chances narrowly evading realization.
Freshman Adan Noel (La Brea, Trinidad) was a key piece to the creation and served several inviting balls which the Cougars were ultimately unable to convert. On one such ball on a corner kick, Troy Peterson (Federal Way, Wash.) got his head to the ball and sent it goalward, but a Seahawk defender standing on the goal line was able to head it away from danger.
Towards the end of the half, Tanner Clay (Gilbert, Ariz.) made a clever through-ball up the left side of the pitch which sprung Noel on goal, but UNCW goalkeeper Sam Williams fully extended to his left and got a fingertip to Noel’s shot and steered it just outside the far post.
Clay, who has spent much of the season on the backline, saw his responsibilities shift to the offensive attack in the contest. Late in the match, Connor Coons (Alpharetta, Ga.) shifted out of his role as the central back and joined the attack as well as Lundy looked to diversify his attack to solve the goal-scoring riddle.
Coons played the full 90 minutes and was one of eight Cougars to do so including goalkeeper Alex Young (Greenville, S.C.) who made six saves in the contest.
The Cougars will quickly break from CAA play with a trip to the Upstate to take on Wingate in a midweek affair scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. After that, the Cougars head to Williamsburg, Va., for a CAA match at William & Mary on Saturday, Oct. 5.