No. 8 Chants top High Point, reach Big South title match

Top-seeded and eighth nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina used a pair of first half goals to defeat fifth-seeded High Point 2-1 in the semifinals of the 2012 Big South Men’s Soccer Championship Friday afternoon at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C.

Coastal Carolina advances to Sunday’s championship match, its second appearance in three years, and will play No. 6-seed Winthrop for the Big South’s automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship.  Sunday’s game will air live on ESPN3 at 2 p.m.

It was the sixth all-time tournament meeting between the sides as Coastal Carolina moved to 5-1 all-time vs. the Panthers.

Pedro Ribeiro put the white clad Chanticleers on the board first as he buried an Ashton Bennett assist at the far post in the 20th minute to give Coastal the early 1-0 lead. The assist was the eighth of the season for the Big South Attacking Player of the Year, while the goal was Ribeiro’s third of the campaign.

Five minutes later, Ribeiro returned the favor and found an open Ricky Garbanzo 10-yards out to give the Chanticleers the 2-0 lead.

“I feel like we won the first half and High Point controlled the pace in the second half,” said Coastal Carolina Head Coach Shaun Docking.  “We hung on and got the win and we are pleased with that.”

In the second half High Point came out firing and cut the lead to 2-1 in the 60th minute of action.  Shawn Sloan got the play started and found Mamadee Nyepon on the left side.  Nyepon turned and found the back of the net on the right post from nearly 18 yards away.

High Point held the advantage in shots in the second half with six, as Coastal Carolina was only able to get off a pair of shots.

Ribeiro led the Chants with three shots, while High Point’s Nyepon matched him with a trio of attempts of his own.  As a team the Panthers held the advantage on shots at 13 to Coastal Carolina’s nine total shots.

Coastal Carolina’s Federico Bertele finished the match with six saves.  For the Panthers, Big South Freshman of Year Kody Palmer turned away five Chanticleer attacks.

Coastal Carolina advances to its 13th Championship match and improves to 18-1-2, while High Point drops to 12-5-3.

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