Eight Chants honored after clinching Sun Belt top seed

ccusoc-21whiteThe men’s soccer program at Coastal Carolina made a lot of noise in their first season in the Sun Belt Conference.  From a co-Regular Season Championship to a number one seed in its first SBC Tournament.

The Sun Belt has announced the 2016 All-Sun Belt team and six members of the Chanticleers program have been named to the honor. The league also selected two Chants as players of the week.

Senior Einar Einarsson and junior Frantzdy Pierrot led the CCU contingent as they were named to the first team. Einarsson was a defensive standout on arguably the league’s top defense.  Only 15 goals were scored against CCU the whole season and the Chants had six shutouts, both league bests.

Pierrot was the top team-scorer with CCU accumulating 15 points on five goals and five assists.  He led the conference in shots per game (2.87) and was fifth in total points and also had three game-winning goals.

Martin Melchor, Elis Bjornsson, Braulio Linares-Ortiz and Ryan Reid have been named to the second team. Melchor was second on the team and sixth in the Sun Belt with 14 total points.  The junior’s five goals tied him for team-high honors while his four assists lead the Chants.

Bjornsson, a senior, was another member of the Chants back line which led the conference in goals against in winning a share of the regular season title.

Arguably the best goalkeeper in the conference Linares-Ortiz led the conference in goals against average (0.74), save percentage (.814) and shutouts (6) and shutouts per game (0.43).  He had 48 saves on the season while only allowing 11 goals.

Reid, another member of the senior class, was another one of the strong defenders along the back line of defense for the Chants.Coastal’s players Wes White and Braulio Linares-Ortiz have been named Sun Belt Players of the Week for their performance in the Chanticleers double-overtime win over Georgia State to end the season.

White came off the bench to score both CCU goals in the 2-1 victory to win the Offensive Player of the Week. His first goal came in the 85th minute to even the score at one and his second goal came in the 103rd minute to give the Chants the victory and with the win, CCU won a share of the regular season Sun Belt title.

Linares-Ortiz was named the Defensive Player of the Week. The junior goal tender help shut down the top scoring offense in the league holding the Panthers to one goal while picking up four saves. His play helped topple Georgia State, who entered the match at the top of the Sun Belt’s standings and was also the leading scoring team in the conference.

With the win, CCU will enter the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as the number one seed, earning a bye in the opening round of play.  They will face the winner of the fourth-seeded Hartwick and fifth-seeded Appalachian State game.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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