Garbanzo’s hat trick lands him national recognition

Sophomore forward Ricky Garbanzo of the ninth-ranked Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team has been named to both the Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News National Team of the Week, the publications announced on Monday.

The plaudit marks the second time this season Garbanzo has been honored as a member of the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week. In all, the Chanticleers have earned 10 National Team of the Week honors this season.

Garbanzo turned in his finest back-to-back games of his career last week that included four goals and an assist. The Rock Hill, S.C. native scored his first career hat trick to lead the Chanticleers to a 3-2 victory over in-state rival South Carolina on Wednesday, Oct. 24. He followed that performance with a second-half goal and assist to help Coastal secure its second consecutive and 11th overall Big South regular season championship with a 4-1 win at Radford on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Garbanzo showed off his skills on his second goal at South Carolina as he converted arguably Coastal’s most impressive goal of the season. Shawn McLaws chipped a pass over his defender toward Garbanzo on the right side of the box. The 5-foot-7 Garbanzo elevated and bicycle kicked the pass over the Gamecock keeper and into the far side of the net.

The four goal output moved Garbanzo’s season tally to 10, trailing on Ashton Bennett’s 13 for the team lead. Garbanzo is tied for second in the Big South in the goals scored category as only one of four student-athletes to reach the double-digit plateau.

The 15-1-2 Chanticleers return home for their final game of the season on Friday as hosts to the High Point Panthers. Coastal, who has already secured the top seed in the Big South tournament, looks to finish its regular season with an undefeated league mark for the second straight season.

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