Coaches love consistency and production, and men’s soccer senior forward Troy Peterson has been a mainstay in the Cougars’ starting lineup since coming to the College of Charleston. This season, he was rewarded for his efforts, as he and fellow senior Daan Brinkman are co-captains the 40th anniversary team.
Peterson had a decorated high school soccer career before coming to Charleston. He was the star forward of his high school team, serving as captain of Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way, Wash. He was named to the all-state team in both his junior and senior seasons. In addition, Peterson also played club soccer for the Seattle Sounders U.S. Soccer Academy. Among his graduating high school class, he ranked 55th on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s top 100 recruits in the U.S.
Despite having many options open to him for his college career, Troy chose a school he knew little about before visiting.
“I didn’t know of the College of Charleston, being from Seattle, but one of my friends had taken a look here. I went to a showcase in North Carolina, and they saw me. I ended up driving down for a visit, and I just loved the place,” Peterson said.
He made an instant impact for the Cougars, starting in 17 of the team’s 18 matches in his freshman season. Not only did he get playing time, but he excelled, scoring a team leading six goals as well as being honored for his play as a member of the Southern Conference all-freshman team. The team struggled to a 5-8-5 record in 2011, but Peterson was certainly a bright spot.
In his time since, he has built upon his experiences, starting on the Cougars’ front line in every game in his sophomore and junior seasons. He tallied 10 goals and five assists in his first three years on campus, and has turned in a goal and an assist in 12 games in 2014.
“I came in as a freshman having a good relationship with Coach Lundy because I was one of the 11 that was playing every day. He put faith in me that I would do my job. That trust has carried over through the years to now being a captain,” Peterson said.
The Cougars are still winless through nearly half of their 2014 conference season, but are beginning to find the back of the net with greater consistency, which was a problem in the early part of the season. Peterson scored his first goal of the 2014 campaign in a recent matchup against William & Mary, banking a bouncing ball off the post and in from outside the 18-yard box, which gave Charleston a lead in the game.
After missing out on the CAA tournament in their first season in the new conference, Peterson and the Cougars need to make a late season run to avoid missing the postseason once again. They have four games remaining, needing to move into the top six in the CAA to qualify for the conference tournament. Three of those games are against teams directly in front of them in the standings, including dates with James Madison, Delaware, and Hofstra.
Although the team has struggled at times this season, Peterson remains confident in their abilities and prospects.
“It’s been a rough start, but we are starting to put the pieces together,” he said. “I want to get into the top half of the table in our last few league games, so we can get into the CAA tournament. I really think we can string some wins together and go for a run for the championship in this conference.”