MT. PLEASANT, SC October 19, 2013 – The College of Charleston men’s soccer team was 58 seconds away from its first Colonial Athletic Association victory over Hofstra, but conceded a 90th minute equalizer which forced overtime and an eventual a 1-1 draw on a saturated field at Patriots Point on Saturday night.
CofC (2-9-1, 0-3-1 CAA) went up 1-0 when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 30th minute and Jake Currie (Sheffield, England) capitalized in convincing fashion when he blasted his attempt into the upper-left corner of the net.
The Cougars protected their lead for exactly one hour of game clock, 58 seconds short of what they needed. The Pride’s Chris Griebsch found a ball which the Cougars only partially cleared out of the box and volleyed it home from 25 yards out. The ball appeared to take a deflection along the way which allowed it to skip past Cougar keeper Alex Young (Greenville, S.C.). Young finished the night with four saves.
“It was a brutal game,” said head coach Ralph Lundy. “It was played as hard as it could be played by both teams. They have a quality team, and we have a quality team. You want it so bad for these guys who work so hard to get the win. That’s what’s heartbreaking. The Cougars worked hard tonight. So did Hofstra. It was a tremendous, amazing game with 31 shots and lots of action.
“I just want to get the W for my players. They’re working hard and holding to it, and staying loyal to the team. I feel for my players that we just got a tie. This is a great conference, a great conference.”
The beginning of the match flowed from end to end with both teams creating chances. Young was up to the test of Hofstra’s early challenges, first making a diving save to his left, and later in the first half fully extending vertically to snag a bar which appeared to be destined to clip the bottom of the crossbar and find the net.
Tanner Clay (Gilbert, Ariz.) was narrowly denied two chances at an equalizer, the first seconds before halftime and the second just moments into the second period. In the 44th minute, Xavier Rajpaul (Port of Spain, Trinidad) played a ball into the center from his position in the right corner, and Clay headed the ball on frame but Pride goalkeeper Patric Pray got the slightest fingertip on it and glanced it over the crossbar.
In the 51st minute, Clark played a bending ball down the sideline which Daan Brinkman (Amsterdam, Netherlands) kept in play and sent it back to the center where a sliding Clay was on the receiving end, but his attempt caught the outside of the post and trickled into the touch area.
The Cougars played a strong possession style of soccer in the second period and the defense was well organized as they tried to protect the lead, but as Hofstra continued to apply pressure they eventually broke through in the 90th minute.
The first overtime was mostly quiet, and the Cougars were the more threatening team in the second, but the neither period would yield a goal as the teams were ultimately left with a 110-minute draw.
CofC had eight different players offer over 100 minutes in the contest. The statistics were appropriately even with the Cougars winning a narrow 16-15 shot advantage. Both teams committed 16 fouls in the contest with five yellow cards being issued after an extremely physical affair.
The Cougars return to action on Friday, Oct. 25 with a non-conference bout at Alabama Birmingham.