The College of Charleston men's soccer team dazzled the 1,013-fan crowd at Patriots Point with a decisive 4-0 victory over Bucknell in the 10th annual Nike / Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic on Friday night.
"Our energy level was high for the entire match," said head coach Ralph Lundy. "It's so nice to play at home here at Patriots and to have this kind of crowd. The team really fed off that energy."
Sean De Silva (Port of Spain, Trinidad) sparked the Cougars with a 20th minute goal off a beautifully played assist from Ralph Lundy, III (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.).Tony Kattreh (Neptune Beach, Fla.) extended the lead to two goals with just 1:26 remaining in the first half. 2010 CofC goal leader Francis Twohig (St. Simon's Island, Ga.) netted his third and fourth goals of the year to put the game out of reach in the second half.
The Cougars were effective and decisive on the attack and saw a lot of success stringing together passes. As a result, CofC spent the majority of the game in the attacking and middle thirds of the field and registered six corner-kick opportunities compared to just one for the Bison. CofC controlled a 17-14 shot advantage in the match as well.
"I think we played the ball around the park so fast and used excellent passing to get the ball where they didn't have defenders," said Lundy. "It worked out great. The ball movement was so fast that we got players open and we finished on our chances tonight."
The Bison saw the first quality chance of the game when CK Kumah broke behind the Cougar defense on a one-on-one break towards to the goal. Charging CofC keeper Kees Heemskerk (Zaandam, Holland) stifled the attempt with an outstretched right hand, however.
The Cougars broke the scoreless tie in the 20th minute when Lundy, III displayed his creative field vision. Lundy controlled the ball near the top of the box and chipped a ball onto the boot of De Silva who was streaking through the left side of the box. De Silva collected the pass and made a single move towards the end line before beating the keeper to the far post.
The Cougars padded their lead just before halftime when Andy Craven (St. Simon's Island, Ga.) threaded a ball through the top of the box to Kattreh who one touched the ball into the back of the net with just 1:26 remaining in the half.
The teams went into the locker rooms deadlocked in the shots and saves categories at seven and three, respectively. Bucknell committed nine first-half fouls compared to just one for the Cougars.
The Cougars maintained the attacking style of play throughout the second half. Twohig showed why when he chased a ball all the way to the end line to stop a ball from going out of bounds in the 68th minute. Twohig cut back between defenders and chipped over the keeper who had been drawn out from a virtually impossible angle and inside the far post.
Twohig got on the board again in the 74th minute to extend the Cougars' lead to four goals. Kareem Yearwood (Sou Sou Lands, Tobago) picked up an assist on the play.
Heemskerk went the full 90 minutes in goal and made seven saves.
The Cougars will conclude the Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic with a 1:30 p.m. showdown against Lehigh on Sunday, Sept. 19 at Patriots Point.