CONWAY, S.C.- The Coastal Carolina University men’s soccer team defeated the High Point Panthers 1-0 in a key Big South contest this afternoon, Sun., Oct. 19 at Coastal Carolina University Soccer Field.
The Chanticleers (5-7, 3-1 Big South) controlled the majority of chances in the early going. Matt Schroeder (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa) had an opportunity to give the Chants the early lead less than five minutes into the contest, as the sophomore blew by a Panther defender just outside the 18 and had a clear path to the net. High Point goalkeeper Michael Chesler came charging out the net, and took the ball right off the midfielder’s foot before he could get a clean shot off.
High Point (6-6-1, 2-2 Big South) had its first scoring threat in the 25th minute, as midfielder Matt Tuttle ripped a knuckling shot from just outside the six-yard box. Chanticleer goalkeeper Phillip Latham (Annadale, Va./Falls Church) was up to the task, and managed to get his hands on the shot with a host of Panthers waiting for the rebound.
The contest remained as even on the field as it was in the box score for the remainder of the half, as the shot comparison was tied up at 5-5 heading into the intermission.
In the second frame, High Point began to step up their intensity level, controlling the pace of the match in the opening minutes. It wasn’t until Robert Hunter (Waccamaw, S.C./Pawleys Island (Furman)) began finding the head of sophomore Ross Kelly (Sugarland, Texas/Clements) that the Chants started to generate quality chances. The pair nearly gave Coastal Carolina the lead of several occasions, the first coming in the 60th minute as Hunter sent a ball inside the six that Kelly fired on net but was blocked by the Panther defense. Five minutes later, Hunter sent a cross from 35 yards out that Kelly headed just wide of the net. In the 75th minute, Kelly headed another promising cross that sailed wide of the mark.
High Point had its best goal-scoring opportunity of the game in the 78th minute, as the Panthers' Karo Okiomah beat his defender down the right sideline. The forward fired a shot from 25 yards out that sailed just wide of a sprawling Latham and the net, resulting in a goal kick.
The score remained knotted a 0-0 heading into the overtime session, which is a place familiar for the Chants as this was their fourth overtime contest of the season.
The Panthers came out of the gate firing to start the overtime, as Okiomah almost ended things on a pure hustle play less than two minutes in and took a shot that sailed just wide of the net. The Chants, pinned in their defensive end in the early minutes of the extra session, managed to clear their defensive zone after withstanding the offensive barrage.
Just four-and-half minutes into the extra period, freshman Tyler Miles (Houston, Texas/Cypress Falls) beat a defender down the left sideline and fired a shot just inside the 18-yard box that Chesler managed to stop, but couldn’t corral the rebound. Miles picked up the loose ball, and dished the ball to a streaking Hunter who found the back of the net for his second “Golden Goal” the season.
The defensive foursome of Robbie McRight (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter), Kyle Russell (S. Elgin, Ill./ St. Charles North), James Stapleton (Barnsley, England/Shelley College (Potomac St.)) and Phillip Blake (Holmdel, N.J./St. Rose (Gardner-Webb) were instrumental in holding a Panther offense that averaged nearly 14 shots heading into today’s contest to just nine attempts. Latham made two saves on the day for his second clean sheet of the season, while Chesler made eight stops for the Panthers in the losing effort.
With today’s overtime victory, the Chants improve to 4-0 in overtime matches this season.
The Chants now enter a stretch where four of their next five contests will be played at the friendly confines of Coastal Carolina University Soccer Field, where they are now 2-3 on the season. Coastal Carolina will next host UNC Asheville on Wed., Oct. 22 at