Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16

Martin Melchor scored two goals and had an assist while Frantzdy Pierrot added a goal and assist as Coastal Carolina upset eighth-ranked Clemson 3-1 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

It didn’t take long for the Chanticleers to take a lead they would never give up as Melchor scored the first of his two goals barely three minutes into the match.

Melchor was able to finish a play which saw both Saif AlHameli and Henrik Mueller pick up assists on the play. The pass was crossed into the middle and Melchor headed the ball into the net from five yards out.

CCU really put the pressure on the home-standing Tigers just 51 seconds later as Pierrot scored his goal after taking a shot from Melchor on the right side of the net. Pierrot finished the play with a blast from 10 yards out.

The score stood that way for over 15 minutes before Clemson cut the lead in half in the 20th minute. CU’s Jason Wright scored what would be Clemson’s lone score in the game on an assist from Diego Campos. The two teams entered halftime with CCU holding a 2-1 lead.

The second half began as the first. Melchor scored his second goal of the match. In the 50th minute as he took a perfect pass from Pierrot and shot the ball into the net from three yards out and CCU went up by two goals. That would be the last of the scoring as CCU’s defense, which has gotten better as the season has gone along, held the Tigers scoreless the rest of the way.

Braulio Linares-Ortiz played all 90 minutes in goal and picked up the win by allowing one goal and picking up nine saves.

What made the win even better was a Coastal player picked up a red card in the 62nd minute meaning the Chants played the final 28 minutes a man down, but the CCU defense held up.

Clemson finished the game taking 17 shots to 12 for CCU and had 10 shots on goal compared to six for the Chants.

The win for CCU was only their third in the series with Clemson in the 14th match between the two. The last two matches before tonight’s victory were both ties between the in-state rivals.

It was also the fourth time the two teams have met in NCAA Tournament play with this being CCU’s first tourney win. The last time CCU defeated Clemson was in 2007, a 2-1 victory at Clemson.

This is CCU’s first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2013 and its fourth overall trip to the third round. It is also the eighth consecutive season CCU has made it to the NCAA Tournament and the seventh straight appearance to win at least one game in the tournament.

Coastal Carolina will now travel cross country to face Stanford next Sunday at 8 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

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