Aug 29, 2013
CONWAY - After much anticipation and fanfare the 13th-ranked Coastal Carolina men's soccer team opens its 34th season of play with arguably the toughest two-game stretch in program history. The Chanticleers, under the direction of 16th-year head coach Shaun Docking, get the season under way playing in the Carolina Nike Classic, starting on Friday (8 p.m.) at No. 17 Wake Forest. The men of Conway then travel to No. 4 North Carolina for a 7 p.m. first kick on Sunday.
No. 13 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (0-0-0 | 0-0-0, Big South) at No. 17 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (0-0-0 | 0-0-0, ACC)
Match 1| Carolina Nike Classic
Date/Time: Aug. 30, 2013 | 8 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Spry Stadium | Winston-Salem, N.C.
Radio: None | Television: None
Video Stream: WakeForestSports.com | Live Stats: WakeForestSports.com
OPENING THE 2013 SEASON AT THE CAROLINA NIKE CLASSIC
Coastal Carolina opens the 2013 regular season on the road at No. 17 Wake Forest on Friday, Aug. 30 followed by a match at No. 4 North Carolina on Sunday, Sept. 1 as part of the Carolina Nike Classic. Monmouth is the fourth team participating in the Carolina Nike Classic, but the Chanticleers and Hawks will not meet on the pitch.
Coastal enters the 2013 campaign ranked 13th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason top 25 poll, the official poll recognized by the NCAA. The Chants rank 15th by Soccer America and 17th by both TopDrawerSoccer.com and College Soccer News. Coastal finished the 2012 campaign ranked 11th by the NSCAA.
Friday's match will mark the start of the 34th season of Coastal Carolina soccer. The Chanticleers own an all-time record of 392-221-45 (.629) since 1978.
It is the first time since the 2010 campaign that the Chants will open on the road. Coastal hosted No. 23 Charlotte in 2011's season opener and Longwood in 2012's.
Coastal won last year's opener against Longwood by a decisive 4-0 mark, breaking a string of three straight season-opening losses.
The Chants are 7-7-1 in head coach Shaun Docking's 15 season lid-lifters.
ABOUT THE CHANTICLEERS
The Chants return seven starters and nine letter winners from a team that made a deep postseason run - reaching the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time since 2003.
In all, Coastal posted a mark of 20-3-2 and captured its second straight and 11th overall Big South Conference regular-season championship with a perfect 10-0-0 mark in league play. The Chants ended the year ranked 11th in the final NSCAA poll.
Headlining the list of returnees this fall is College Soccer News Preseason All-American and Hermann Trophy Watch List honoree Pedro Ribeiro (5g/10a in 2012).
Other key returners include senior midfielder Justin Portillo (4g/10a) and junior defenders Uchenna Uzo (23 starts) and Shawn McLaws (25 starts).
Coastal welcomes in a recruiting class of 19 for the 2013 campaign. The class, which was rated a four-star class by College Soccer News, includes collegiate transfers Simon Laugsand (2012 MAAC All-Rookie Team selection at Marist), Ridge Robinson (19 games played at Drexel) and Devin Cook from SMU (2013 PDL Goalkeeper of the Year finalist). In addition to the transfers, Docking welcomes 12 freshmen.
The Chants will have to find a way to replace the production of graduated striker Ashton Bennett. Bennett, a two-time All-American, produced 39 goals and notched 16 assists in his two seasons in Conway.
BUILDING A PERENNIAL WINNER
Over the past two seasons Coastal Carolina and traditional power program Creighton have each won an NCAA-high 38 games. Coastal won 18 games in 2011 and 20 games in 2012. Creighton amassed 21 wins in 2011 and 17 in 2012.
Coastal has appeared in the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two seasons, falling to eventual nation champion North Carolina in 2011's second round and to College Cup participant Maryland in 2012's third round.
NCAA Wins Leaders Since 2011
1. Coastal Carolina 38 Creighton 38 2011 & 2012 College Cup participant 3. North Carolina 37 2011 National Champion 4. Connecticut 36 5. New Mexico 35 6. Maryland 34 2012 College Cup participant
CHANTS PICKED TO REPEAT AS BIG SOUTH CHAMPS
Coastal Carolina was voted first in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll, as voted by the league's head men's soccer coaches. In addition, the coaches voted Chanticleer midfielder Pedro Ribeiro the league's Preseason Attacking Player of the Year and Coastal defender Uchenna Uzo the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
PRESEASON HONORS FOR RIBEIRO
In Addition to being named the Big South Preseason Attacking Player of the Year, senior midfielder Pedro Ribeiro has garnered a plethora of national preseason honors heading into his senior season. The Brazilian was named a MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List selection for the second straight season, a College Soccer News Second Team All-American, a TopDrawerSoccer.com Third Team Best XI, CollegeSportsMadness.com First Team All-American and TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 10 Midfielder.
THE WINNING GENERAL
Head coach Shaun Docking is already the winningest coach in Coastal soccer history entering the 2013 season with a 194-90-27 mark over 15 seasons as the Chanticleers' head man. His overall career record of 214-109-29 (20-19-2 as head coach at Charleston Southern from 1996-97) ranks him as the 24th winningest active coach in the NCAA by percentage (.648) and 40th by total victories.