No. 20 Chanticleers Down North Florida; Advance in NCAA Tournament
CONWAY - For the second time in as many years Martin Melchor scored the lone goal on a header to send Coastal Carolina into the second round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament. This time it was Atlantic Sun champion North Florida that fell to the Chanticleers by the 1-0 score Thursday evening at the CCU Soccer Stadium.
With the win Coastal improves to 13-2-4 overall and advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they will face fifth-seeded North Carolina on Sunday at 6 p.m. The second round meeting will mark the third between the Chanticleers and Tar Heels in the NCAA Tournament. The series in the national tournament is currently tied 1-1-0 with CCU winning 3-0 in 2003 and UNC 3-2 in 2011.
North Florida's season comes to a close with a 10-7-1 record.
Melchor quickly made his impact on the match with his second goal of the season at the 5:37 mark of the first half. Arnar Geirsson initiated the play with a long throw from the right sideline. Geirsson's throw into the box was headed by Tommy Gudmundsson toward the far post. Melchor then got his head on the ball and redirected it into the left side netting. The goal, which was CCU's 32nd of the season, marked the 34th scored by a Chanticleer in NCAA Tournament play.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net through the remainder of the first half, sending Coastal into the intermission with a 1-nil advantage. North Florida did outshoot the home-standing Chants 7-4 in the opening 45 minutes, but Coastal's defense was there to turn away each shot.
The second half tilted more toward the Ospreys as they outshot Coastal 7-1. However, the Chanticleer defense, which entered the contest ranked seventh in the nation with a 0.63 goals against average, held firm to post its 10th clean sheet of the season.
Coastal's Fernando Pina posted a five-save effort in the win, while also lowering his season goals against average to a paltry 0.60. North Florida's Nasta made one save in the defeat.
6' Melchor scored the match's opening goal on a header into the left side netting. Geirsson sent a long throw from the right side that was headed over to Melchor and the sophomore did the rest.
12' Alex Morrell found room to work on the left side of the CCU six-yard box, but his shot attempt was smothered by Pina.
15' Sergio Camargo forced a save by UNF's Nasta on a shot attempt from just inside the 18-yard box.
35' UNF's Helge Pietschmann ripped a pair of shot in the minute, with the first going wide of the frame and the second being blocked by a Chanticleer defender.
43' Pietschmann fired a low-lying shot for inside the box, but Pina was there with the save at the left post.
45' The horn signaled for halftime - with the Chanticleers leading North Florida 1-0.
52' Coastal earned a pair of corner kicks but each was deflected away by the Osprey defense.
68' UNF's Simen Solstad received a cross through traffic in front of goal, but his one-timer went high of the cross bar.
53' Pietschmann attempted two shots in succession from the top of the box, but each was blocked away by Coastal's Einar Einarsson.
87' North Florida had a final scoring threat by Pietschmann's head in the box deflected off the right post and the follow-up shot by Josh Castellanos was saved by Pina.
90' The horn sounded, sending the Chanticleers through to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 shutout.