Chants down Red Wolves, advance to Sun Belt semis

ccuwsoc-arkstateThree second half goals and several key late saves in the game by senior goalkeeper Becca Austin powered the second-seeded Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team a 3-0 victory in the opening round of the Sun Belt Championship over seventh-seeded Arkansas State Wednesday at the Foley Sports Tourism Complex.

The victory gave Coastal (11-5-3) its first program win in Sun Belt post-season action and advanced the Chants to the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 4. Coastal will take on the winner of the Little Rock-UL Monroe game in a 4 p.m. (CT) match.

All-Sun Belt selection Amber Adams, the play-maker on the first two tallies, recorded two assists and a shot to give the Chanticleer the offensive spark it need in the second half.

On the first goal, Adams drove the ball down the left flank and crossed the ball to find the head of senior Ellie Taylor on the six-yard box. Taylor ran through the ball to head it home for the go-ahead goal in the 52nd minute. This was Taylor’s first goal of the 2016 season.

Just 10 minutes later, the Chanticleers continued their offensive momentum to take a 2-0 lead over the Red Wolves. In the 62nd minute, Daniella Famili received a driven ball from Adams on the flank in the center of the 18-yard box. With great composure, Famili cut by her defender and placed the ball in the back of the net. The goal was Famili’s ninth tally of the season, tying her season-best from 2015.

Not letting up, Coastal tacked on three more shots within minutes of the second tally. One of CCU’s best chances came when freshman Montanna Hill, who towered over her defender, gave the Chanticleers another dangerous opportunity on frame but ultimately came up empty.

Late in the second half, CCU goaltender and All0Sun Belt selection Austin came up big as she stretched out over the goal line to make a key save to keep the Red Wolves scoreless.

In the 76th minute, Brooke Horist battled through the midfield to go 1-v-1 with her defender. Horist drilled one into the bottom left corner to put Coastal in a comfortable 3-0 lead, which proved to be the final score.

Austin (9-4-3) recorded her sixth solo shutout of the season and gave the Chanticleers their 11th shutout of the season – which tied the 2013 team for most in a season.

The Chanticleers advance to the Sun Belt Conference tournament semifinals and await their opponent for Friday’s semifinal match at 5 p.m. (ET).

Photo by Joel Beachum

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