Citadel, CSU host in-state visitors

Citadel, CSU host in-state visitors

It’s a light week for Charleston soccer, but we’ve got two games to watch.

Mariana Garcia, Citadel forward

Mariana Garcia, Citadel forward

The college schedule kicks off when The Citadel returns to Washington Light Infantry Field on the banks of the Ashley River Wednesday at 4 p.m. for an afternoon match with Winthrop University, that school from Rock Hill.

Our other three teams play on Friday, with the Cougar men playing another match on Sunday, but both the College of Charleston men and women are on the road, leaving only Charleston Southern to host on what has traditionally been a big night for soccer here.

Thing is, I’m not entirely sure where CSU will be playing. I’ve asked, and I’ll clarify it before Friday, but what I know is that the Buccaneers moved their early home dates to Patriots Point and Blackbaud Stadium because of unspecified problems with their field. The hope back in August was that the problems could be repaired, but who knows?

Anyway, the schedule says the Bucs (3-3-1) host USC Upstate (2-4-2)  on Friday at 4 p.m., and I’ll get you the location.

As for the road games, it’s the Cougar women at UNC Charlotte Friday at 7, and the Cougar men play at Stanford in a West Coast game that won’t kick off until 10 p.m. Unfortunate scheduling not to have one of them at Patriots Point on a Friday.

The Stanford Cardinal, or Big Trees, or whatever they are, come into the men’s match 2-1-1. But despite being a big PAC 12 school with the No. 2 women’s team in the country, the men arre not nationally ranked. They lost to 19th ranked Georgetown, but managed a 3-3 home draw to No. 17 Maryland, so they’re in the hunt.

The road gets tougher for the Cougars on Sunday, when they pull up to the beautiful campus of UC Berkeley and run smack into the No. 4 team in the country.

But for now, the focus is on The Citadel versus Winthrop on Wednesday.

Naomi Carter

Naomi Carter

The Bulldogs are off to a 2-3-1 start and coming off a heartbreaking double-OT loss at Presbyterian last week. They’re powered by senior forward Mariana Garcia, who has six goals in the team’s first six games, and backstopped by Naomi Carter, their remarkable freshman goalkeeper, who has already collected an astounding 52 saves.

To put Carter’s performance in context, Charleston Battery goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper had a solid rookie season, but collected just 50 saves in 22 matches.

Meanwhile, Winthrop has been on something of a roll. starting the season 4-1 with wins over Southern Conference clubs Wofford and Davidson.

As for our S.C. United Battery Academy, the whole three-team unit will be making the trip to Winston-Salem on Sunday to face the North Carolina Fusion at BB&T Soccer Park.

The plan here is to cover and shoot the Citadel and CSU home matches, and then round up the rest this weekend.

TOP IMAGE: Naomi Carter, a freshman from New Zealand, resets the offense for The Citadel in their win over CSU this month.  Dan Conover photo.