Coastal, Clemson play to a draw in top-12 showdown

clemsoc-1The No. 11/12 Coastal Carolina University men’s soccer team played No. 6/9 Clemson to a 1-1 draw Labor Day evening in front of 2,748 fans at the Tigers’ Historic Riggs Field.

Clemson’s Austen Burnikel scored in the first half and Coastal’s Bryce Follensbee answered with a score in the second period as both teams ran their respective records to 3-0-1 on the young season.

Clemson snapped the games scoreless tie in the 28th minute as Burnikel redirected a Saul Chinchilla cross in front of the goal mouth into the right corner of the net, providing the Tigers a 1-nil lead. The goal was the first surrendered by the Chanticleers in 297:50 of play that spanned the opening four matches of the season.

Following the Clemson goal, the Chants absorbed a bit more pressure from the Tigers before going on the offensive themselves. Coastal spent the majority of the final 10 minutes of the half with possession on the Clemson half of the field, producing a corner and recording three quality shots.

Follensbee evened the match at 1-1 in the 77th minute with his second score of the season. Elis Bjornsson ignited the play with a ball into the box from the left flank that was touched down by Tobenna Uzo and passed to Jair Espinoza. The Guatemalan sent the ball toward the net where it was redirected into the goal by Follensbee.

The sides exchanged scoring threats over the final 13 minutes, but neither was able to connect on a final pass or shot, sending the fixture to overtime for the second straight season and third time in the series’ 12 meetings.

The teams played a pair of fast-paced overtime sessions that featured ample offensive threats from both teams. However, both defenses stood firm and held on for the draw. Coastal’s Fernando Pina highlighted the defensive play in the overtimes with four saves.

Clemson ended the match with a 19-10 edge in shots, including a 9-3 margin in shot on frame. Coastal was led on the night by Follensbee and Tommy Gudmundsson with two shots each, while Clemson’s Diego Campos and T.J Casner each registered five.

Coastal returns to the friendly confines of the CCU Soccer Stadium, where the program is 87-22-7 all-time, to face William & Mary on Sat., Sept. 12. The match is set for 7 p.m. and is FREE of charge to both CCU students and the general public or can be viewed live on the Big South Network.

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

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