Men's Soccer Brings Home First Sun Belt Tournament Championship
Atlanta - It didn't take long for the Coastal Carolina University athletic program to begin its quest for Sun Belt Championships as the men's soccer team brought home the Sun Belt Title with a 1-0 win over Georgia State.
Neither team had been able to score in the match until Jair Espinoza's goal at the 67:54 of the second half. Espinoza had entered the match exactly one minute earlier and was able to get his third goal of the season into the net, which was his second game winner of the season.
As has been the case all season, the Chanticleers showed off their conference-best defense once again holding the league's top offense scoreless. CCU goalie Braulio Linares-Ortiz faced five shots on goal and picked up five saves as none of the Panthers shots could find the back of the net.
For Linares-Ortiz it was his conference-leading eighth shutout of the season. He did not allow a goal in the team's first Sun Belt Conference Tournament and lowered his goals against average to 0.65 as the Chants picked up the two wins and the title.
The statistics were as even as the match as both teams finished with 17 total shots. CCU had six shots on goal and Georgia State had five. Both goalies picked up five saves and each team was called for an offsides.
While the title may be the first Sun Belt Championship, the men's soccer program is no stranger to conference titles. This is the program's 13th Tournament Title with 12 of those coming when CCU was a member of the Big South.
Along with the championship, the Chants have earned the Sun Belt's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. It will be CCU's 14th trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Coastal will not have to wait long before they know their first round opponent and where they will play at. The NCAA Soccer selection show is scheduled for tomorrow (Monday), Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. The selection show will be shown live on ncaa.com.
The first round will be played Thursday, Nov. 14 with the second round scheduled for Nov. 20.