RADFORD, Va.- The Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team earned a hard fought 1-1 draw this afternoon, Sun., Oct. 26 against the Radford Highlanders at Patrick D. Cupp Memorial Stadium.
Coastal Carolina (6-7-1, 4-1-1) forward Robert Hunter (Pawleys Island, S.C./Waccamaw (Furman)) broke through first in the 16th minute when a ball in front of the Radford goal mouth was punched out to Robert Hunter, who fired a shot from just inside the box and into the left side of the net to give Coastal Carolina the early advantage.
In the 18th minute, the Highlanders (7-7-2, 3-4-1) answered when junior Justin Zimmer played a ball deep into Coastal Carolina territory, and headed a crossing pass from the left side to freshman Shane Butler. Butler played the ball back to senior Jeremy Delpino in the middle, who buried a shot from the left side, tying the game at one.
The Chants had an excellent opportunity to retake the lead at the 35-minute mark. Hunter tucked a free kick from 25 yards out in the top right corner of the net, but Radford goalkeeper Zach Roszel made the sprawling save the keep the score knotted at 1-1.
Radford had the final scoring chance of the half, as Brendan Shaffer volleyed a shot from 25 yards out that flew just high over the crossbar and resulted in a goal kick. The teams headed into the half tied up at 1-1 in scoring, and 6-6 in the shot comparison.
The Chants had an opportunity right off the start of the second half to take the lead. A Radford foul resulted in a Hunter free kick that was sent in for a cross that Robbie McRight (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter) headed on net, but was deflected by Roszel and resulted in a corner.
The Chants controlled the pace of play early on in the second frame, generating four corner kicks only 15 minutes into the half.
Latham came up big in the 75th minute as Manuel Chavez ripped a shot from 15 yards out. The junior netminder was up to the task, and made the stop diving to his right in his first true test of the contest to keep things all squared at 1-1.
Radford had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 87th minute, as Delpino fired a shot from 10 yards out that rang off the crossbar. The rebound was headed by Lucas Hatcher that just flew over the crossbar in the waning moments of regulation.
The Chants would head into overtime for the fifth time this season with the two teams tied at 1-1. Heading into the extra fram, the shot chart was once again even with 10 a side.
In the 96th minute, Ross Kelly (Suglarland, Texas/Clements) almost gave Coastal Carolina its fifth overtime victory of the year, as he struck a laser from the left flank from 25 yards out that sailed just high of the net. The strike was the only quality chance for either side in what proved to be a back-and-forth first overtime session.
The two sides traded chances in the early going of the second overtime, but chances were few and far between for both squads. The Chants did have the final offensive push of the contest, but came up empty. With one minute remaining in the contest, Hunter sent in a free kick from 40 yards out that rolled out of bounds and resulted in the 1-1 draw.
On the game, Coastal Carolina outshot the Highlanders by an 11-10 margin. Roszel made five saves in net for the Highlanders to Latham's one. This afternoon's draw marks the first time this season the Chants have not won a game that has entered overtime (4-0-1).
The Chants will next play host to Presbyterian on Wed., Oct. 29 at Coastal Carolina University Soccer Field. The kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.