Chants’ run comes to end in lopsided loss to Terrapins

The Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team’s record-tying season came to an end with a 5-1 defeat at second-seeded Maryland in the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 on Sunday evening at the Terrapins’ Ludwig Field.

The Chanticleers conclude their season with a school-record tying 20 wins against only three losses and a pair of draws. The 2012 Chants, who defeated Elon 3-0 in the first round and Wake Forest 2-1 in the second round, also tie the 2003 team for the deepest postseason run in Coastal Carolina and Big South history.

The game also marked the conclusion of the collegiate careers of Chanticleer seniors Ashton Bennett, Robby Joe Daniels and Sean McCormick.

Maryland’s third nationally-ranked offense struck first in the 13th minute as Sunny James sent a cross from the left side of the box toward Mikias Eticha who was streaking toward the far post. Eticha received the ball and slotted it past Coastal’s Mark Petrus for his first counter of the season.

Ashton Bennett leveled the score eight minutes later as he beat Maryland’s Keith Cardona inside the near post. Bennett received a pass at the top of Coastal’s offensive third and dribbled just inside the box before uncorking a left-footed, 17-yard scoring blast. The goal was Bennett’s 16th of the season and his third in NCAA Tournament play. Bennett ends his Chanticleer career with 38 goals in only 46 career games, ranking him sixth on the Coastal Carolina all-time list.

The score stayed tied for only 73 seconds as the Terrapins’ leading scorer Patrick Mullins scored Maryland’s second goal on a direct free kick. A Coastal infraction just outside the 18-yard box set up Mullins’ score. Mullins’ lobbed the kick into the box where it bounced just past the penalty spot and arced over the diving Petrus.

Fifteen minutes into the second half Maryland found its third goal of the contest as Jane beat his defender to the left, turned back right and slid a shot across the goal mouth and into the far side netting.

Coastal regained its composure and pressed forward creating several scoring opportunities and corner kicks. It looked as though Bennett would find his second of the game as he took another heavy shot inside the box. However, Maryland’s Cardona made a reaching save to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Jane tacked on an additional goal at the 63:09 mark when he knocked home a ball that was originally deflected by the Chanticleer defense. Jereme Raley added the Terps’ final goal in the 86th minute to provide the 5-1 final.

Maryland improves to 19-1-2 on the season and advanced to the tournament’s round of eight. The Terrapins will host Louisville, who defeated Northwestern in its third round game, on Saturday.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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