Wins vault CCU to No. 14; Pina nets national honors

ccusoc-pinaAfter posting a pair of 2-0 shutout road victories to open the 2015 season, Coastal Carolina University goalkeeper Fernando Pina has been named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. In addition, the Chanticleers have moved up to 14th in the online publication’s top-30 poll.

Pina opened his Coastal career as the starting goalkeeper against No. 22/24 Old Dominion on Aug. 28 and directed the Chants to the road win with a career-high seven save performance. Pina backed that performance up with a four save shutout at VCU. Pina, a native of Houston, Texas, and a transfer from Akron, faced a total of 22 shots on the weekend, while also cutting down numerous threatening crosses. He is the first Chanticleer keeper to start the season with back-to-back shutouts since Aaron Weant and Jeremy Wolfgang combined to shutout Anderson and Furman at the start of the 2004 season. He was also named the Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

The Chanticleers turned in one of the better overall performances of the opening weekend with their wins at No. 22/24 Old Dominion and VCU, which was receiving votes in the preseason national polls. Coastal combined to outscore its opposition by a 4-0 count, receiving goals from Sergio Camargo and Bryce Follensbee against ODU and two from Tobenna Uzo against VCU.

Equally impressive to the overall weekend score line was the extension of Coastal’s streak of defeating a ranked opponent in the season opener. The Chants have now defeated a ranked opponent on the road to start each of the last three campaigns. Coastal knocked off No. 17 Wake Forest in 2013, No. 8 UConn in 2014 and now No. 22 Old Dominion this season. In addition, the Chants also extended their streak of consecutive seasons with a win over a top-25 opponent to five.

Coastal Carolina opens its 2015 home schedule this coming Friday, hosting regional rival No. 18 Charlotte. The match, which is slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff, is free to both CCU students and the general public and can be viewed live via the Big South Network.

Photo courtesy of VCU Athletics

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