It took longer than they expected -- certainly longer than they wanted -- but the USC Beaufort women's soccer team finally earned its first win Wednesday at Fin Land Field, beating Warren Wilson College 1-0 on the strength of Lauren Cornett's goal in the fourth minute.
"A long time coming," coach Ed Heberling said. "I guess the stars were aligned. The moons must have been aligned, too."
Whatever forces were at work, the Sand Sharks (1-12) finally found their way into the win column for the first time in their inaugural season.
"You could just tell that the girls had a different attitude when they showed up to the field today," Heberling said.
The enthusiasm paid off early. Kre Voight put a corner kick into the box in the fourth minute, and it bounced out to Cornett, who booted home her team-leading third goal of the season from about 10 yards out.
That was enough.
The Owls (2-8-2) forced Sand Sharks goalie Blair Kent to make only six saves, and none of them represented real scoring threats.
"I told the girls sometimes your best defense is a strong offense," Heberling said. "We switched up the formation and kept the pressure on them. They really couldn't penetrate our defense and get a good look."
Now the Sand Sharks have a chance to add another first -- their first winning streak. They play host to Newberry College at 3 p.m. today, and Heberling hopes to see Wednesday's win inspire confidence and bring more success.
"Even though we've been losing, I think they realize we're still a good team," Heberling said. "We see the improvements coming from game to game. They really know that we have the ability. Today, for some reason, it just all clicked all across the field."