Lady Chants end losing skid with home shutout of VMI

The Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team picked up its first home victory of the season and evened its Big South Conference record with a 3-0 shutout of VMI Friday night at the CCU Soccer Field, snapping a four-game losing skid.

Brianna Panico scored two goals and Darbie Kelley tallied the other as the Chanticleers (4-5-1, 1-1-0) snapped a four-game losing skid. Fia Jonsson and Maddie Phillips dished out assists and the Chants held VMI without a shot on goal.

Megan Spencer and Faith Farley combined on the shutout as Coastal blanked VMI (2-7-0, 0-2-0) for the 10th time in the last 11 meetings between the teams.

The Chanticleers had a number of chances early on as Shelby Evans and Linsey Eckel had shots from the right side of the 18-yard box go just wide. Phillips then hit the crossbar with a long attempt and another from deep shot by Alyssa Clark sailed just high.

However, in the 33rd minute, Panico recorded the Chants’ first shot on goal and made it count. Getting a lead pass from Kacey Kelley up the left side, the freshman took a couple dribbles forward and then made a nice cut back to the middle before ripping a shot from just inside the box over the leaping VMI keeper into the top of the net.

Coastal continued to attack in the second half despite picking up two early yellow cards and Panico tallied her second of the night – and third of her career – in the 62nd minute. Jonsson sent a pass from the top of the box to the right side and Panico’s hard shot hit off the Keydets’ keeper and went in inside the near post. The play was set up by a nice move by Ellie Taylor in the midfield and a centering pass by Amber Adams to Jonsson.

Kelley then capped the scoring in the 70th minute, taking a throughpass by Phillips and blasting a 25-yard shot off the crossbar and in for her first career goal.

Even with the three-goal lead, the Chanticleers kept the pressure on as the game wound down, but were unable to add their scoring total. Coastal finished the game with a dominating 20-2 advantage on shots with 12 different players registering at least one. Panico led the way with four, while Evans had three.

Spencer played into the 73rd minute before Farley finished the game off in her first action of the season.

Prior the game, Coastal honored Eckel as she played in her final collegiate game. The junior, who transferred to Coastal last year, is retiring after a string of injuries.

The Chants return to the CCU Soccer Field on Wednesday, Oct. 2 as they host Gardner-Webb at 7 p.m.

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