Lady Chants record fourth straight shutout over Kent

Sophomore midfielder Fia Jonsson returned to the lineup for Coastal Carolina’s women’s soccer team and paid immediate dividends, netting the lone goal in the Chanticleers’ 1-0 victory over Kent State on Friday evening in the College of Charleston Cup at Patriots Point complex.

Jonsson, who was sidelined for the first four games due to illness, found the net in the 60th minute off an assist by sophomore defender Mikayla Williams. The goal was enough to give the Chants (3-1-1) their third straight victory.

Coastal also notched its fourth consecutive shutout, CCU’s longest streak of clean sheets since 2007 when that team went six straight without allowing a goal. This Chants’ squad has now held their opponents scoreless for the last 418 minutes of action.

After outshooting Kent State (3-2) 8-1 in the opening half, Coastal got its first chance of the second half when Jonsson fed a pass ahead into the box for Ellie Taylor. Her hard shot was knocked away, but led to a Chant corner kick and eventually set up the goal on a similar play.

This time, Jonsson was on the receiving end of the lead pass from Williams into the left side of the box and the 2012 Big South Freshman of the Year finished it with a low shot into the near half of the net.

Megan Spencer needed to make just one save in the game to preserve the shutout, but it was a spectacular one. In the 66th minute, Kent’s Shelby Simmons lofted a high shot from 25 yards out toward the upper right corner, but a leaping Spencer was able to tip it just over the crossbar. The Golden Flashes did get another chance off an ensuing corner kick, but a blast from right in front went well wide.

Kent pushed forward in the game’s final minutes, but the Coastal defense, which has surrendered just eight shots and two shots on goal in the last two games, prevented any other opportunities.

The Chants controlled play for most of the opening half and needed just 29 seconds to record their first shot as freshman Taylor Valentine put one high over the goal. In the 6th minute, Taylor made a run up the middle after intercepting a pass near midfield and got off a shot inside the box toward the right corner that was saved.

Kent State recorded its lone shot of the half in the 14th minute shortly after a corner kick, but the attempt was blocked away.

Coastal then went back on the attack in the 23rd minute as senior Alyssa Clark fed a pass for Taylor down the left side. The freshman from Midlothian, Va., had a brief opening as she got inside the 18-yard box, but a Golden Flashes’ defender closed in and deflected the shot wide.

Freshman Brianna Panico came off the bench to record three shots in the last eight minutes of the half, putting two on net, including one from the top of the box that forced a diving save by Kent goalkeeper Stephanie Senn.

The Chanticleers outshot Kent State 15-6 in the game, including 8-2 in attempts on goal, and had a 4-3 edge in corners.

Coastal returns to Patriots Point on Sunday to take on VCU at 12 p.m., the last of its five consecutive games on the road before a home contest against UAB on Friday, Sept. 13.

Photo by Joel Beachum, Carolina Clicks Photos

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