No. 24 Chants score early for win in Big South debut

ccusoc-garbanzogreenRicky Garbanzo’s goal in the third minute and assist on Agust Arnarson’s goal in the 15th proved to be enough as No. 24 Coastal Carolina defeated Gardner-Webb 2-1 in the teams’ Big South Conference opener on Tuesday evening at the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ Greene-Harbison Stadium.

The win, which moved the Chants to 4-3-0 on the season, was Coastal’s 29th in its last 30 league matches and seventh consecutive against Gardner-Webb. The Runnin’ Bulldogs fell to 1-6-0 with the defeat.

Garbanzo gave the Chanticleers the early lead at the 2:37 mark of play. The senior, who now has 34 career goals, received a cross on the left side of the box from Michael Millay that he volleyed inside the near post and past Gardner-Webb’s Matthew Swan.

Arnarson made the score 2-0 in the Chants favor with his goal in the 15th minute of action. Garbanzo set up the play with a cross that was deflected, but not controlled. The ball bounced back out to Garbanzo who sent a shot toward the far post that was punched into the air and found the foot of Arnarson on the way down for the easy strike. The game-winning goal was Arnarson’s second of the season, while the assist was Garbanzo’s third.

The Chanticleers controlled the pace of play throughout the remainder of the half, registering a 9-2 advantage in shot attempts and a 3-1 edge in corner attempts.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs got a goal back in the 53rd minute of play as Arjun Jung fed a pass behind the CCU defense to Ali Al-Gashamy, who finished in the upper right corner of the net from 15-yards out.

Coastal owned the better of the possession battle through the remainder of the game, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs created several scoring threat on well-organized counter attacks. However, the Chanticleer back line held firm and kept the tying goal from finding the back of the net.

Coastal closed the game with an 18-9 shot advantage and out-cornered GWU 7-3. Garbanzo led the Chanticleer attack with four shot attempts, including two on frame.

Coastal’s Mark Petrus, who was making his first appearance in goal since Nov. 15, 2012, at Maryland, picked up the win with a two-save performance.

Coastal returns to the pitch for a regional showdown against Elon on Friday, Sept. 26. Kickoff from the CCU Soccer Stadium is set for 7 p.m. The Chanticleers and Phoenix have become very familiar recently as the sides have played six times since the 2010 season. Coastal eliminated Elon in the first round of the 2011 and 2012 NCAA Tournaments; however, the Phoenix were victorious in last season’s match, winning by 2-1 final.

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