Coastal nets back-to-back Big South wins by shutout

The Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team won its second straight game for the first time this season and knocked off another team previously unbeaten in the Big South Conference, shutting out Longwood 2-0 Saturday afternoon at the CCU Soccer Field.

Senior forward Ashley Day scored off an assist by freshman midfielder Fia Jonsson in the 61st minute and sophomore forward Kacey Kelley tacked on an insurance goal for the Chanticleers as they improved to 5-6-0 overall and evened their Big South record at 2-2-0. Longwood fell to 8-4-0 overall and 3-1-0 in conference play.

Coastal also recorded its second straight shutout and fifth of the season.

“We talked to our team about defending before the game and they did a good job,” head coach Paul Hogan said. “Keeping them in check and getting a shutout was awesome for us. It was a great statement going back-to-back and it gives us a lot of confidence going forward.”

After an evenly-played first half, the Chants came out strong to start the second and pressured the Lancers’ defense. Day had a shot from the top of the box that went wide and minutes later headed a ball forward to Kelley, who one-touched a shot that forced a diving save by Longwood goalkeeper Kyra Byron.

Byron, though, had no chance on Coastal’s next shot attempt less than two minutes later. Working on the left side, junior forward Christina Stern beat her defender toward the middle and fed a pass back to Jonsson outside the left corner of the 18-yard box. Jonsson then sent a perfect cross to a leaping Day at the right post and the Elkton, Md. native headed it in the open near side. It was Day’s second goal of the season and Jonsson’s third assist.

“A great service by Fia and Ashley stayed at practice late a couple of times this week working on her finishing,” Hogan said. “That was an absolutely great finish.”

The Chanticleers continued to attack for several minutes following the goal before Longwood started to penetrate the Coastal defensive half. With just over 10 minutes left, senior midfielder Anna Lowe intercepted a dangerous cross into the box from the left side and cleared the ball away. Moments later, the Lancers set up a header attempt in the middle of the penalty box, but junior goalkeeper Megan Spencer was there to make the save and Longwood was unable to get another shot the rest of the way.

The Chants worked the ball down into their offensive half and capitalized when Longwood’s goalkeeper came well out near the top of the box. A loose ball went to Kelley and she calmly put it in the wide open goal from 25 yards out for her team-high fifth tally of the season.

Coastal outshot its opponent for the fourth consecutive Big South game, finishing with a 12-7 advantage, including 8-4 in the second half. Both teams had five shots on goal, with Spencer recording five saves to notch her fourth individual shutout of the year.

The Chants play their next three games on the road, beginning Thursday, Oct. 4 at Radford.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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