MT. PLEASANT, SC October 6, 2013 – The College of Charleston women’s soccer team allowed back-to-back goals to erase a second-half CofC lead as the Cougars’ first Colonial Athletic Association victory evaded fruition in a 2-1 loss to Towson at Patriots Point on Sunday afternoon.
The Cougars (2-10, 0-3 CAA) dictated the match and enjoyed long spells of possession, but lapsed in a five-minute window of the second half during which two Tiger goals in rapid succession tilted the result.
CofC got a brilliant first half goal when Michaela Herrmann (Centennial, Colo.) lifted a wondrous strike from 35 yards into the top-left corner of the net for her first of the season, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute.
“The team came out with a lot of energy,” said Tracy Chao, who acted as head coach in replacement of Christian Michner who was battling gameday illness. “It’s never easy to play an opponent coming off a loss and coming in to prove something. I thought we executed well and created so many chances but we missed a few in front of the net. Give credit to Towson; they played well and kept the pressure on us. You have to give credit to our girls too. They always come out and give as much as they can, which is great.
“We’ve got to continue to figure out how we can be successful and how we can finish games. This is the second time in a row we’ve been up and haven’t gotten the result. That’s the next piece for this team… figuring out how to finish it out.”
Freshman Lauren Killian (Blythewood, S.C.) made her first career appearance as a keeper and offered a strong performance in which she displayed great poise and composure in addition to making four first-class saves.
She was immediately inserted into service when Towson’s Sofia Read made a run down the right wing in the fourth minute of play and ripped a point-blank shot on which Killian made a diving save to her left and covered the rebound to prevent the ball from crossing the goal mouth.
The Cougars then began to find their shape and dictated the play for the majority of the contest, especially in the first half. The Cougars peppered the Tigers with an 11-4 first half shot advantage.
Nicole Koretsky (Manalapan, N.J.) was a nuisance in the early going and prodded the defense with her pace and range. She ripped three first half shot attempts, one of which rattled the crossbar.
CofC continues to overcome an injury-depleted bench with only two substitutions checking into the match and seven different players going the full 90 minutes.
“Our numbers are low this year so we’re battling depth,” said Chao. “It’s not because of a lack of players who can give 90 minutes though. The players are fit and can go, but there were times when we got ourselves stretched a little bit too far and that created space and problems. We needed to be a little bit more compressed.”
After a flurry of Towson chances in the opening minutes of the second half, the Cougars again established possession and remained organized in order to protect the lead.
CofC succumbed to a counterattack, however, when Emily Banes took a long decisive run through the central pitch and eventually found herself one-on-one with Killian and scored to the lower right corner of the net for the 70th minute equalizer.
Just over three minutes later, Towson sent a corner kick into the box which Claire Newman (Greensboro, N.C.) cleared away with a header, but only temporarily. The ball found its way back into the box and fell to Hollie Garber who lifted a shot into the crossbar, controlled her own rebound and scored the eventual game winner.
The Cougars consistently pursued an equalizer of their own, narrowly missing at several attempts before the final whistle. CofC finished with an 18-10 shot advantage and a 6-2 edge in corners.
CofC continues CAA play at UNC Wilmington on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.