The women’s soccer team opened conference play over the weekend at Patriots Point. Behind CAA player and rookie of the week Jessica Schifer, the team defeated Delaware and Drexel to extend their winning streak to five games.
“I was really happy with our performance this weekend,” said head coach Christian Michner. “To come back from a goal down and fight back to win is tremendous. We showed a lot of character for a young team and that tells me our leadership has been phenomenal. Our senior class has done a great job all year of really leading by example and we have a really talented group of kids so anything is possible.”
Friday night’s match was a showcase for keeper Lauren Killian’s abilities. She made 8 saves on her way to her fourth consecutive shutout appearance for the Cougars in net.
Charleston and Delaware fought to a scoreless in the opening period, despite either side tallying 4 shots on target. In the opening minutes of the second half the Cougars came out as the more aggressive side, and their efforts were rewarded. Senior forward Michela Hermann’s cross found Schifer in the heart of the box, who blasted her shot just below the bar for the lone goal of the evening.
Sunday, the Cougars faced a 1-0 halftime deficit, after Killian’s 369-minute scoreless streak was snapped when Drexel’s Vanessa Kara banked her shot in off of the post.
Despite that misfortune, the Cougars freshman attackers came through for them one again when it mattered most. Raymara Barreto scored the equalizer in the 53rd minute, marking her fifth goal of the year. Minutes later, Sara Deutsch’s through ball to Schifer
Sara Deutsch stole possession at midfield and played a through ball to Schifer on a breakaway. Outrunning a defender and dodging the goalie, Schifer gave the Cougars a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish.
With the victory, the Cougars (8-3) are off to their best 11 game start since they began the 2008 season 8-2-1.
The young guns in their talented arsenal of attackers will surely strike fear in CAA opponents, for there is a new power rising in the conference.
“Both Raymara and Jess have been unbelievable this season. They have come through with timely goals all season and could potentially be battling each other for CAA Rookie of the Year. They both are fantastic players for us who score timely goals and to know we will have them in our arsenal for the next couple years is scary for other teams. They are a lot of fun to coach and certainly they have tremendous ability.”
Despite the sensational play of these promising scorers, the linchpin to the Cougars success has been their humble keeper Lauren Killian.
“My defense has been working really hard in front of me and they are great at listening to my directions throughout the game,” said Killian. “They have been playing at such a high level making it very difficult for other teams to create good shot opportunities, which gives me better angles to make saves.”
The Cougars begin a stretch of four straight road games when they ship up to Boston for a match against Northeastern on Friday, Oct. 2. The College will return to Patriots Point on Oct. 16 when they host Towson.