No. 22 Coastal knocks out No. 5 VCU with early goal

The No. 22 Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team upset fifth-ranked VCU by a 1-0 count on Saturday in front of a ruckus crowd at SportsBackers Stadium in Richmond, Va.

Ricky Garbanzo provided the lone goal of the match in the first minute of play following a Chanticleer set piece, and the Coastal defense allowed the quick lead to stand up.

The Chants’ move to 5-2-0 (1-0-0 Big South) on the season and have defeated three top-25 ranked opponents. Coastal has now won each of its last three games, including the last two by way of shutout. The loss, which breaks a four-game unbeaten streak, drops VCU to 3-2-1 on the campaign.

Garbanzo netted his decisive strike 56 seconds into the contest with a shot that tucked inside the near post. The play started with a throw-in by Simon Laugsand from the far sideline. Laugsand’s throw was flicked on goal by Pedro Ribeiro; however, VCU’s Andrew Wells made a diving save to keep Ribeiro’s header from crossing the goal line. Wells was unable to corral the loose ball before Garbanzo slotted the rebound home for his second goal of the season.

VCU was not without opportunities in the first half as Jose Manel took a pair of shots in the eighth and 11th minutes that hooked just wide of the goal frame.

Justin Portillo also had a great look for a goal in the 22nd minute. Portillo sent a free kick curling into the box that appeared headed for the upper 90; however, the ball pushed just wide of the target.

Coastal’s Devin Cook made his biggest save of the season in the 38th minute of action as he faced a penalty kick by VCU’s Dennis Castillo following a Chanticleer foul in the box. The Simi Valley, Calif., native read Castillo’s penalty attempt perfectly and smothered the low-lying shot without issue.

After trading possession and shots over the opening 25 minutes of the second half, Coastal was afforded a prime scoring opportunity as VCU was whistled for a foul 21-yards out. Ribeiro took the free kick for the Chants and put his well-struck ball on frame, but Wells made another great save to keep the score 1-0 in the Chanticleers’ favor.

Cook made a final stand for the Chants in the 89th minute as he made his fourth save of the night on a VCU header inside the box.

VCU held a 13-7 advantage in shots, including a 4-3 edge in shots on goal. Coastal’s Cook earned the win with his four save performance to move to 4-2-0 on the season, while VCU’s Well’s recorded two saves and the loss, dropping to 3-2-1.

Coastal takes the next week off before returning to action on Saturday, Sept. 28, hosting Big South Conference foe Gardner-Webb. The Chanticleers and Runnin’ Bulldogs are set for a 7 p.m. kickoff at the CCU Soccer Field. Coastal owns a 5-1-1 lead in the all-time series with Gardner-Webb and an 11-6 goal differential.

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