The USCB women’s soccer team returned to its winning ways Thursday, beating visiting Columbia (S.C.) College 4-0 at Fin Land Field.
After a frustrating first half in which USCB outshot the Koalas 18-3 but went to the break scoreless, the Sand Sharks broke through in the 50th minute when a loose ball fell to MJ Orduna’s feet and she finished it for her third goal of the season.
Hayley Pina added her team-high fifth goal of the season on a long strike in the 63rd minute, and Karen Pimentel scored twice in a 12-minute span, finishing a header off a Hanna Crist corner kick in the 75th minute and scoring on a penalty kick that Pina earned in the 87th.
“I’m proud of the girls today,” USCB coach Ed Heberling said. “They were able to get rid of the distractions and focus on the game. Columbia was tough to crack in the first half, but our persistence paid off.”
Heberling credited Elin Sturesson’s adjustments with helping the Sand Sharks produce better scoring chances in the second half, as she was repeatedly able to make runs up the right flank and play crosses into the box.
The win was the Sand Sharks’ first in four meetings with their regional rivals and moves USCB to 3-2 on the season. Saturday’s scheduled match against Columbia International has been canceled due to Hurricane Irma, and the Sand Sharks’ two scheduled contests next week are in jeopardy with USCB closed and a mandatory evacuation expected this weekend.
“This was a great win to send the team off before the evacuation,” Heberling said. “Now we need to wait it out and see what happens while staying focused on our season.”