Chants run past High Point, advance to Big South final

ccusoc-follensbeeCoastal Carolina scored a pair of goals in each half as the second-seeded Chanticleers cruised past third-seeded High Point 4-1 in the semifinal round of the Big South Tournament Friday night at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. The victory sends the Chanticleers to Sunday’s championship match where they will face top-seeded Radford.

The Chanticleers will be playing in the championship match, which will air live on ESPN3 at 2 p.m., for the third straight year and fourth time in the past five years. The Chanticleer program currently holds a Big South record 11 tournament titles.

Bryce Follensbee and Martin Melchor counted Coastal’s goals in the first half, while Ollivier Gueguen and Agust Arnarson scored in the second stanza. The four goals moves Coastal’s tally on the season to Big South-best 45 on the season. Moreover, the Chants have scored 13 times in the last three games.

Coastal started the match in its usual attacking style and quickly produced several great looks at goal that were blocked by the High Point defense or pushed just wide of the target. The Chanticleers broke through in the 26th minute with a set-piece goal following a High Point foul 23-yards from goal on the left side of the 18-yard box. Ricky Garbanzo lined up the free kick and delivered a perfect ball into the keeper’s box that was headed home by Follensbee.

Melchor game Coastal a 2-nil lead just before the break with his fourth goal of the season. The freshman received a the ball from Shawn McLaws near the top of the 18-yard box, dribbled through a pair of High Point defenders before burying his shot into the back of the net from six-yards out.

High Point’s Mamadee Nyepon cut the Chants lead to 2-1 with 38:39 to play in regulation with a penalty kick after a Coastal foul in the box. The goal was Nyepon’s conference-best 12th of the season and 39th of his intercollegiate career.

Just over 10 minutes later the Chanticleers got the goal back as Gueguen converted his first penalty kick of the season with 29:44 to play in regulation. The score was Gueguen’s third of the season.

Arnarson capped the Chanticleers scoring at the 83:01 mark with his third goal of the year. Sergio Camargo dribbled into the box and a used a combination play to set up Arnarson’s shot from five-yards out.

The Chanticleers finished the match with a 16-5 shot and 5-1 corner kick advantage. Coastal was paced by Follensbee’s eight shots.

Coastal net minder Devin Cook-Perales made two save in the winning effort, while High Point’s Kody Palmer came up with six stops in the loss.

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