Lady Chants erase two-goal deficit for draw with GSU

ccuwsoc-21familiThe Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team battled back from a two-goal halftime deficit to force a 2-2 tie with host Georgia Southern Friday night in its final non-conference game.

Kacey Kelley and Daniella Famili netted goals in the 54th and 63rd minutes to help the Chanticleers (3-5-1) break a four-game losing streak. Georgia Southern moved to 5-1-1 on the season.

After surrendering a goal late in the first half to fall down by two, the Chanticleers came out strong to start the second half, generating pressure on the Eagles’ net and drawing a pair of corner kicks. Ellie Taylor got a shot off of the second one and Georgia Southern defender Alana McShane needed a handball to make the stop and prevent the goal, leading to a penalty kick and a red card.

Kelley took the PK and converted her second in as many chances this season to make it 2-1. It was the senior’s fifth tally of the season and 21st of her career, putting her fourth alone on the Chants’ all-time list.

Just over nine minutes later, Famili got the equalizer on Coastal’s next shot. The freshman stole the ball from an Eagles’ defender, dribbled 10 yards into the box and beat Georgia Southern goalkeeper Katie Merson with a 13-yard shot for her second of the season.

Freshman Brenna Leftwich had a chance in the 75th minute as Amber Adams sent a cross into the middle of the box, but Leftwich’s shot went just high. Both teams then had chances off of corner kicks in the final five minutes of regulation, but missed the net.

In the first overtime, Coastal recorded four shots and put three on goal, but Merson was able to make the saves. Both the Chanticleers and Eagles had their best scoring chances of either overtime late in the second 10-minute period. First, freshman Hanna Johannsdottir got a header on a corner kick by Ellie Taylor. The ball was headed for the left corner of the goal, but an Eagles defender’ was in the right spot near the post to block it away.

On the other end, with less than three minutes left, Georgia Southern’s Jennifer Wittick got a shot opportunity in the middle of the box off a deflection, but goalkeeper Becca Austin was able to make the save to keep it deadlocked.

Austin got the start in place of Faith Farley, who along with senior defender Maddie Phillips had to sit out after receiving red cards in the last game. The sophomore recorded a career-high five saves.

The first half had a seesaw flow, with the Eagles recording the game’s first six shots before Coastal took the next five over a span of seven and half minutes. GSU then had four of the last five shots in the half to finish with a 10-6 edge. Junior forward Nora El-Shami tallied both of the goals, converting in the ninth minute from the penalty spot off of a cross and then scoring from 14 yards out in the 43rd minute.

Coastal rebounded to outshoot GSU 10-7 in the second half and 6-2 in the overtimes, finishing with a 22-19 advantage for the game. The Chants doubled up the Eagles in shots on goal 14-7, while Georgia Southern had a slim 7-6 edge in corner kicks.

Kelley totaled a game-high eight shots, putting five on goal, while Adams put all three of her attempts on net.

The Chanticleers will return to action on Wednesday, Sept. 24 when they open Big South Conference play at home against Longwood.

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