Charleston’s newest sporting edition, WPSL’s Charleston Fleet took home the spoils of their inaugural match, winning against the Carolina Rapids by a score of 1-0 thanks to a goal from Sarah Cardamone.
The first match in the club’s history took place at the Charleston Battery’s MUSC Health Stadium, with whom they are affiliated with as part of the Battery’s “’93 Night” promotion. The match started at 4PM, before the Battery kicked off at 7, and saw the women’s side make history with their first win at the first opportunity.
The goalscorer Cardamone was on the front foot straight away, as she got the ball just past midfield and turned toward goal in hopes to find a through ball forward into space for a run on, but it would be collected easily by the Rapids goalkeeper and the chance was gone.
The vistors would then have a corner in the 11th minute, but it was cleared away by what would remain a staunch defense for the Fleet throughout the day.
And then, in the 14th, came the breakthrough. An errant pass back gave Sarah Cardamone the chance to pounce, and though the ball got to its intended recipient in the shape of one of the center backs, Cardamone didn’t give her a moment’s peace, stealing the ball and going clean through before taking a touch and slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
It was history for the Fleet, as it was the first goal in team history, and surely one to remember for Cardamone herself, as a goal such as that isn’t something you forget easily.
Nearly ten minutes later, it could’ve been two. Cardamone was the danger again, latching onto a through ball that just forced her slightly wide and away from goal, before she squared up and went around her marker, but her shot from a tight angle went into the side netting.
The next real chance came for the Fleet again on 37′, when a shot from distance from Amber Adams would find its way onto the crossbar after beating the ‘keeper, but the effort would eventually be cleared.
And so, the Fleet would go in at half-time a goal to the good. They had had the better running in the first half, with the home side creating most of the real chances.
Though it could’ve easily been level just after the break. In the 47th minute, an errant pass out of the back led a Rapids striker clean through, but Fleet goalkeeper Sandy Maciver set her feet well and got behind the effort to parry the ball away and clear.
Maciver was perhaps one of the most interesting players to watch, very comfortable with the ball at her feet, especially for a goalkeeper and able to pick a pass, while being assertive coming off of her line and not afraid to get herself involved if she felt the need to intervene, applying what many refer to as being a “sweeper-keeper” in order to break up the opponent’s attacks and start one for her own side.
She was part of a defense that to that point had only allowed that one notable chance, and the Fleet would hope that would continue.
And with seven minutes to go, the Fleet could’ve had a second goal to put the game to bed. when a free kick from the left was headed down at the back post and into the ground, but lacked direction as it bounced just wide.
And that was how it finished. The Charleston Fleet would edge out a 1-0 win in their first match thanks to Sarah Cardamone’s 14th minute goal. It’s a quick turnaround for the new side though, whose next match is against the Lake Norman Eclipse on Sunday, June 4th. Kick off is at 1PM at Patriot’s Point.