No. 24 Chants’ suffer rare league loss to Highlanders

ccusoccer-dockingpointFraser Colmer’s score in 12th minute combined with determined defensive play in the second half lifted Radford over No. 24 Coastal Carolina by a 1-0 final Saturday at the Highlander’s Patrick D. Cupp Stadium.

The victory moves the Highlanders to 11-3-2 on the season and keeps them unbeaten in Big South play at 8-0-0. The loss, which was just Coastal’s second in its previous 36 regular season conference matches, sets the Chanticleers back to 11-5-0 overall and 6-1-0 in league play.

Just as they had in two of the last three meetings against the Chanticleers, Radford took an early lead. The Highlanders earned a pair of corner kicks in the 12th minute of play. Colmer scored on the second corner as his in-swinger from the right side beat the CCU defense inside the far post. The goal, which was Colmer’s first of the season, was only the second surrendered by the Chanticleers in seven Big South matches this season.

Following the Radford goal, play centralized at midfield with neither side able to find the connecting passes to make a march forward toward the goal. Coastal did begin to connect passes in the later stages of the half, leading to a Louis Dargent header in the box that forced a Highlander defensive save off the line. The Highlanders took the 1-0 lead on the scoreboard along with a 5-2 advantage in shot attempts into the intermission.

The second half was played primarily on the Chanticleer attacking half of the field as Radford dropped 10 players behind the ball in an effort to protect its lead. Despite the plethora of Highlanders in and around the 18-yard box, Coastal managed five shot attempts and earned a corner in the initial 10 minutes of the second half. However, Radford routinely blocked the Chanticleer shot attempts, keeping the score 1-0 in the white-clad Highlanders’ favor.

As the end of regulation loomed, Coastal deployed more players forward in search of the tying goal. Bryce Follensbee had a prime opportunity to knot the match in the 69th minute, but his header following an Elis Bjornsson corner sailed inches high of the cross bar.

Coastal would attempt four additional shots during throughout the remainder of regulation, but none would fall on frame as the Highlanders hung on for the 1-nil victory.

For the match, the Chanticleers outshot Radford 14-8 and earned an 8-2 advantage in corner kicks. RU’s Aitor Pouseu Blanco earned the victory in goal, while Coastal’s Mark Petrus took the loss. Both keepers recorded a single save.

The Chanticleers return home for their final two matches of the 2013 regular season. Coastal first squares off against High Point on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. before hosting Longwood Saturday, Nov. 8, in the season finale. Coastal is 17-3-3 all-time against the Panthers and 2-1-0 against the Lancers.

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