Gudmundsson Lifts No. 11/12 Men's Soccer Past Liberty
CONWAY - Centerback Tommy Gudmundsson made the most of Coastal Carolina's 10th and final corner kick of the day as he slotted home the eventual game-winner in the 86th minute to lift No. 11/12 Chanticleers a 1-0 over Liberty on Saturday afternoon at the CCU Soccer Stadium.
The victory was the Chanticleers' ninth in 11 outings this season, moving the team's record to 9-1-1 and 4-1-0 in Big South play. Moreover, the shutout was Coastal's seventh of the season and fifth straight against the Flames, who fell to 5-7-0 (1-3-0 Big South).
Miguel Gutierrez was credited with the assist on Gudmundsson's goal as his third of three consecutive corner kicks landed at Gudmundsson's feet, allowing the sophomore to poke the ball through traffic and into the back of the net. The goal was Gudmundsson's first and CCU's 23 of the season.
The match was a contrast of styles as the Chants attempted to maintain possession and build toward goal, while Liberty focused on counter attacks and the offside trap.
Coastal had the best look at goal in the first half as Darius Strambler found room to run behind the LU backline in the 41st minute, leaving only the keeper to beat. Strambler launched his one-timer toward the right upper-90, but Jeremy Lee was there to make the save.
Despite Coastal having the better of possession throughout the second half, the Flames' Sachem Wilson nearly gave the visitors a lead in the 83rd minute. Wilson beat his defender to the ball, leaving him 1v1 with Coastal keeper Fernando Pina. Pina forced Wilson wide on the left in an attempt to cut down the angle, but Wilson was still able to get his shot off. However, Wilson's shot deflected off the left post and out of play, keeping the game scoreless.
Coastal then scored in the 86th minute and played a possession game throughout the remainder of regulation to hold home field advantage and pick up three league points.
Pina was officially untested as he recorded his sixth solo shutout of the season and improved his record to 9-1-1. Liberty's Lee (5-7-0) made five saves on the day.
Coastal plays its third of three consecutive home matches on Monday hosting the Colonial Athletic Association-leading and No. 17/22 Hofstra Pride. The match, which is scheduled for 6 p.m., will be streamed live on th¬¬¬e Big South Network. Coastal is 2-0-1 against ranked opponents this season with each match being played on the road.
12' Uzo recorded the match's first shot on frame with his rip from inside the box. However, Liberty's Lee met the shot with a diving save to keep the game scoreless.
30' Gisli Helgason was whistled offside, marking the third time in the opening half that Liberty's offside trap worked in the Flames' favor.
41' Darius Strambler found room to run behind the LU backline leaving only the keeper to beat. Strambler launched his one-timer toward the right upper-90, but Lee was there to make the save.
45' The horn signaled for halftime - with the Chanticleers and Flames deadlocked 0-0.
54' Strambler was afforded a second shot on goal, but it was again saved by LU's Lee.
68' Jair Espinoza recovered a loose ball at the top of the box and uncorked a shot on frame that was blocked by a Flame defenseman.
69' Liberty used its counter attack to find room on the left side of the field. However, a well-centered ball bounced through the box just out of reach on the charging LU attackers.
90' The final horn sounded, resulting in a 1-0 Chanticleer victory.