After recording wins over VCU (1-0) and Radford (3-0) last weekend on a road trip to Virginia, the College of Charleston returned to action Friday night against Kennesaw State at Patriots Point. The Cougars cruised to a 3-1 victory in their opening game of the Charleston Cup, thanks to two goals by Freshman Raymara Barreto in her first career start.
Barreto got the scoring started in the ninth minute with what was unquestionably the goal of the week. A headed feed by Laura Ortega to the top of the box was flicked over Barreto’s own head, with a bicycle-kick, sans a flip, that found the top right corner of the net.
The Cougars looked like they would pull away after doubling their lead in the 25th minute. Sarah Blakely threaded the needle on a through ball down the right wing, finding Jessica Schifer, who beat the keeper to the near post.
Kennesaw State’s lone goal came in the 31st minute, when Maggie Gaughan cashed in on a scrum in front of the net off of back-to-back corner kicks.
The Cougars were the better team throughout in this one, but they were not able to put it out of reach until the 81st minute. Mary Kate Bowers swung in a cross to Barreto, who one-timed her second goal on the evening, to bring the score line to 3-1.
The back line shined once again for the Cougars, carrying over their momentum from their two wins last weekend. Kennesaw only managed one goal, and quite frankly it was a ‘soft’ goal. It marked the first goal they had allowed since they dropped the opener to Clemson.
“Real happy with how we’re defending as a team.” Cougars head coach, Christian Michner said. “The team carried over the momentum from last weekend. We dominated this game from the onset in all aspects. I think we were unlucky to not a few more goals in the first half, so the game was closer for a longer period of time, but I never thought the game was in doubt at any point.”
The team continued to use a 2 goalie approach, giving Genevieve Henderson the start in net and Lauren Killian the playing time in the second half. They have used both keepers in all four games so far this season.
“I don’t think that will be an all year thing, at some point we will narrow in on who our number one is,” Michner said. “They are real close. Genevieve and Lauren do such a great job for us, and they’re real consistent. The plus side of that is you get a goalkeeper who is fresh, sharp and focused when she goes in and doesn’t lose focus over the course of 80 or 90 minutes. So there are positives to it. But right now it is too close to call, so Sunday will probably be the same thing.”
The Cougars will play their next game on Sunday Sept. 7 (1 pm.), at Patriots Point. They will look to extend their win streak to four games when they play host to Fordham in the closing game of the Charleston Cup.