Sarah Cardamone, College of Charleston CougarsWhen the redshirt senior forward looks back on her undergraduate career, Sarah Cardamone ’14 realizes her fondest memories took place at the College’s Patriots Point soccer field. Unlike her graduating teammates’ careers, however, Cardamone’s tenure on the women’s soccer team didn’t end with this May’s commencement, when she earned her degree in business administration. She rejoins the team this season as she pursues her master’s in communication in the College’s graduate program.

“Grad school has been an adjustment,” she admits. “It’s a different style of learning. It’s a lot of research, which I didn’t do that much of in my particular area in the School of Business.”

One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the Pennsylvania native’s love for soccer – oh, and her goals for her team.

“Coming into a season, if your goal isn’t to win a championship, then you’ve already sold your team short,” she says.

Cardamone is still filling in the blanks when it comes to her ambitions off the soccer field. Right now, she just hopes to keep up her A–B average in school and enhance her Sarah Cardamone, College of Charleston Cougarsresearch abilities so that she can find a job in sports or entertainment marketing (“preferably sports”).

Whatever comes of her future, she knows that she’ll always have soccer – that one constant in her life.

“I love the game so much that I’m sure I’ll find a way back to it, either through coaching or being a spectator,” says Cardamone, whose pro-soccer aspirations were complicated by an ACL tear, two knee injuries and a sports hernia, each of which required surgery.

Head Coach Christian Michner, who has coached Cardamone for more than four years, trusts that she can meet her goals.

“Sarah is an incredibly competitive person,” he says. “She works very hard at everything she does, which is why she has been so successful in the classroom and also on the field. Her passion for the game drives her teammates. But Sarah has also become more vocal on the field – the instruction and encouragement she gives other players is helping mold the next generation of leaders for our program.”

In her fifth year on the team, Cardamone says she feels closer than ever to her teammates.

“It’s odd, considering that there were 13 new players coming into this season, so it’s almost split: 13 new players and 12 players coming back,” she says. “It’s a good environment where everyone is able to perform at their best.”

And, for Cardamone’s part, she is consistently working to perform at her best – no matter what environment she’s in.

Photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04