Ralph Lundy’s rebuilt Cougars earned their first win, Eric Terrill’s CSU women extended their winning streak to three games, and Bob Winch’s Bulldog women salvaged a draw on a bright busy afternoon of college soccer in Charleston.
Only a pair of late goals from the Depaul women in Chicago prevented Christian Michner’s Cougar women from stealing a road point from the second match in their Midwest road trip. The College flies home 0-2 against the state of Illinois, outscored 9-3 on aggregate.
C of C Men 1, Xavier 0
PATRIOTS POINT: Fullback Tanner Clay’s perfect pass ahead to fill-in freshman forward Xavier “Xavi” Rajpual gave the Trinidad youth international all he needed to tap home the game-winner with 13 minutes remaining in the first half, and the Cougars choked out the clock and the visiting Musketeers in the second.
“That team is nationally ranked (No. 22 in one poll, No. 27 in another) , went to the NCAA tournament the last three years, so they’re a good opponent,” said Cougars Coach Ralph Lundy Jr. “Tough day, great win”
Afterwards, the Cougars (1-1) celebrated like kids who’d just taken the cleaned out cookie jar — and gotten away with it. Depleted by injury and policy, Lundy turned to a young “kinda funny” lineup that leaned heavily on four freshmen.
“One of our best players (center forward Jake Currie) hasn’t been cleared by the NCAA, so he was out. No. 2, our (backup) center striker (Adan Noel, another freshman from Trinidad) pulled his hamstring yesterday… Another one of our guys (freshman midfielder Ike Crook) got a red card (in Friday night’s loss to Akron), so he was out. Kees, our keeper goes out at halftime.
“And the boys came through. Players came through for us big time, came off the bench. It was just a great effort.”
Two freshmen from Wando High School — midfielder Erik Clark and defender Brock King — started the match, with a third Wando Warrior, midfielder Christian Jablonski, subbing on midway through the first half. All three played extremely well, “and boy, that’s a good feeling,” Lundy said.
The fourth freshman — Rajpual, a 5-7, 150-pound attacker from Port-of-Spain, Trinidad — is a slight player with clever feet. Coming out of preseason, Lundy described him as still adjusting to the physicality of the college game. On Sunday afternoon, Rajpual not only scored the day’s only goal with a veteran’s calm demeanor, he also came back from being shoved off the ball late in the first by running down the offender and harrying him into a turnover. Winger Adam Purvis, a 5-7 sophomore, similarly made a pest of himself, making at least three perfectly timed sliding tackles on the sideline.
And as the Cougars milked the clock late, junior forward Brice Allanic showed up repeatedly– running down stray balls, working possessions into the corner, winning throw-ins and just generally annoying the hell out of the visitors from Ohio. Until this summer, Allanic had been a C of C tennis player from Colombes, France.
The Xavier Musketeers generated multiple chances in the first half, but were unable to break the Cougars’ Dutch goalkeeper, Kees Heemskerk. He saved once with his foot with 21 minutes remaining in the first, then fended off a furious Musketeer barrage less than two minutes later with dramatic back-to-back saves.
With less than 17 minutes remaining, Heemskerk charged off his line and went high to take a dangerous ball away from a raiding Musketeer forward. The Xavier player submarined him on the play, and as Heemskerk fell from his fully extended height, he landed awkwardly on his opponent’s head. Both stayed down for a minute or so, but seemed to be OK.
Except when the Cougars returned to the field for the second half, it was sophomore backup Alex Young in goal.
“I landed straight on my back on the guy’s head,” Heemskerk said. “It’s OK, though. It hurt with kicking and hurt with diving, and I just didn’t want to bother my team with that.”
Young — who filled in for Heemskerk this spring while the senior keeper recovered from knee surgery — picked up where the starter left off, and the Cougars’ tightened down their defense, filling in the spaces they’d left for swift Xavier counterstrikes in the first half.
The visitors out-shot the home team in the first half, but generally struggled to put their chances on frame. After Rajpual’s goal, the game typically revolved around the midfield possession battle until the final half-hour, when the Cougars packed it back into their defending third. Even with the Cougars conceding possession around the midstripe and giving Xavier freedom to switch the ball across their back line, the Ohio boys found few open chances in the late going.
With 1:08 remaining, however, the Mustketeers found precious space in the right and passed ahead towards a forward in a dangerous area. Scottish senior center back Tam McGowan managed to reach the ball first, and with opponents closing him down, turning his hips and rifled a low, bouncing clearance more than 50 yards upfield to close on the afternoon.
Heemskerk was moving stiffly after the match, but was pleased with the win. “It’s extremely important. This is going to get us going. If we keep this momentum going over the next two weeks, we’re going to do a lot of big things.”
The match closed the books on the 2013 Aaron Olitsky Memorial Tournament. Akron emerged with two victories and four players on the All-Tournament team, while the College of Charleston and Furman finished 1-1 with three players on the honorary squad. Xavier left without a win after dropping their Friday afternoon match to Furman in double overtime.
Defenders McGowan and Connor Coons joined Rajpual on the All Tournament team.
The College of Charleston match recap is here.
Charleston Southern 4, Jacksonville State 2
(CSU sports information)
BLACKBAUD STADIUM: Anna Sells made her first collegiate goal count, putting in the go-ahead score in the 80th minute of the match and she added an insurance goal six minutes later as the Buccaneers improved to 3-0 on their home stand with the 4-2 win over Jacksonville State on Sunday afternoon.
Toni Lashley added her fourth goal of the season and Chelsea Frankeny scored for the second time in as many games, but the true star of the match was the freshman forward as Sells led the team with five shots and three shots on goal, and added an assist in the win.
“Overall we had a great performance today,” commented head coach Eric Terrill on the Bucs win. “Our chemistry is continuing to build. We’ve seen some nice chemistry between Chelsea Phillips and Toni Lashley. But today we really saw some nice interplay between Chelsea Frankeny and Anna Sells. They played really well together today.”
Full recap here.
Citadel 1, Canisius 1
(Citadel sports information)
THE CITADEL: Mariana Garcia drilled a shot into the top of the net with 54 seconds remaining in regulation, and neither team scored in the two overtime periods as The Citadel and Canisius played to a 1-1 tie in a women’s soccer contest Sunday at WLI Field.
The Bulldogs (1-2-1) trailed since the final minute of the first half before Garcia took a pass from Jillian Meyer, dribbled through the Canisius (1-3-1) defense and fired a bullet over the head of Golden Griffin goalkeeper Megan Tock for her fourth goal of the season.
Full recap here.
DePaul 3, College of Charleston 1
(College of Charleston sports information)
CHICAGO: Senior midfielder Jade Reynolds (Oxon, England) scored in the 89th minute, but it wasn’t enough as DePaul used late scoring to get past the College of Charleston women’s soccer team, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at Wish Field.
Reynolds knocked in a clean header off a free kick from nine yards out by sophomore forward Michaela Herrmann (Centennial, Colo.) to put the Cougars (1-3) on the board in the final minutes of regulation. It marked the second goal of her career.
“Jade plays with a lot of heart,” CofC Head Coach Christian Michner said. “She is all about helping her team get results. She went into battle, found Michaela’s ball off the free kick and headed toward the goal.”
Full recap here.
TOP IMAGE: Freshman forward Xavier “Xavi” Rajpual scored the winning goal for the Cougars Sunday and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. College of Charleston photo.