Chants topple Highlanders; No. 2 Wake Forest on deck

ccusoc-celebradfordThe Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team advanced past the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament on Thursday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over Radford at the CCU Soccer Stadium.

Coastal (10-6-3, 3-1-1 Sun Belt), which is playing in its seventh straight NCAA tournament, has now advanced past the first round in each of the last six seasons. Coastal Carolina’s first round win is the first NCAA Tournament win by a Sun Belt men’s soccer team in the 14-year history of the league, which sponsored men’s soccer from 1985-1995 and from 2014-present. Coastal was making the seventh NCAA tournament appearance in Sun Belt history.

Thursday’s win is also the second for Coastal over Radford (14-4-2, 7-1-0 Big South) this season, as the Chants downed the Highlanders by the same score back on Sept. 24 in Radford, Va.

Einar Einarsson and Frantzdy Pierrot scored the two Chanticleer goals, while Fraser Colmer netted the lone point for the Highlanders.

The first shot on goal of the game came in the 29th minute and resulted in Einarsson’s tally to give the Chants a 1-0 lead. With Coastal sustaining pressure in the box, the senior collected a loose ball on the right side of the net and uncorked a shot that crossed the face of goal and behind the outstretched Highlander keeper, Aitor Pouseu Blanco.

Just 23 seconds later the Chants found the back of the net once again. Pierrot, who had been stopped in a one-on-one situation just five minutes prior, turned a Radford defender around and slotted a shot past the Highlanders’ keeper to give CCU a two-goal advantage.

Radford worked quickly to halve Coastal’s lead as the second period began. The Highlanders earned a pair corner kicks in the first three minutes of the half and, with less five minutes played, put their only marker on the board courtesy of Colmer’s 25-yeard free kick that worked its way past Braulio Linares-Ortiz.

The CCU goaltender Linares-Ortiz (9-4-3) faced 12 shots and recorded three saves, two of which occurred in the first half while the final one helped preserve the one Chants’ one-goal advantage late in the game.

The Chants face No. 2 overall seed Wake Forest in the second round of the tournament on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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