Lady Chants drop debut, host Citadel on Sunday

ccuwsoc-jax2The Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team scored first in Friday night’s season-opener at Jacksonville, but the host Dolphins answered with a pair of goals to take a 2-1 victory at Southern Oak Stadium.

Kacey Kelley put home a penalty kick in the 23rd minute for the Chanticleers. However, defending Atlantic Sun Conference champion Jacksonville tied it up just before halftime and then got the go-ahead goal in the 61st minute.

Following an even first 20 minutes of play in which each team had four shots, the Chants found the back of the net for the first time in 2014. Kelley made a move past a Jacksonville defender and had just the keeper to beat, but was pulled down from behind in the box. The senior forward capitalized on the ensuing opportunity, putting her shot past Jacksonville’s Sarah Sierra into the left side of the net. It was her 17th career goal and first on a PK.

Less than a minute later, Coastal freshman Daniella Famili put a shot on goal, forcing a save by Sierra. However, the Dolphins started to control play after that, generating eight shot attempts and tying the game with just 1:33 left in the half as Sami Koemans scored inside the far post off a cross.

Jacksonville carried the momentum into the second half, recording a pair of early shots and forcing a corner kick. Shortly after, Ashley Poirier put in an 18-yard shot for the go-ahead goal.

With 10 minutes left, Coastal started to pressure for the equalizer as Kelley had a header and another shot attempt, but both went wide. Sophomore midfielder Sam Patterson then had a pair of shots blocked and the Dolphins were able to hang on.

Jacksonville finished the game with a 23-13 advantage in shots, though just an 8-5 edge in attempts on goal. Kelley led the Chanticleers with four shots, while junior Mikayla Williams had three.

Junior Faith Farley made her first career start in goal and played all 90 minutes, recording a career-high six saves.

Coastal returns to Conway to host the Citadel for its home opener on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at the CCU Soccer Stadium.

Photo courtesy of JU Athletics

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