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Men's Soccer Drops 3-2 Decision to Winthrop

       

Men's Soccer Drops 3-2 Decision to Winthrop

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CONWAY, S.C.- The Coastal Carolina University men’s soccer team saw an opportunity to claim their ninth Big South Regular Season Championship in program history slip away tonight, Nov. 5 at Coastal Carolina University Soccer Field as the Chanticleers dropped a heartbreaker to the Winthrop Eagles 3-2.

 

Things started off on a high note for the Chanticleers (8-8-1, 5-2-1 Big South), as defender James Stapleton (Barnsley, England/Shelley College (Potomac St.) was taken down inside the 18 on a run that resulted in a penalty kick. Robert Hunter (Pawleys Island, S.C./Waccamaw (Furman)) capitalized on the early opportunity, burying the attempt to give Coastal Carolina the early 1-0 lead with 84 minutes of hard fought soccer left to play.

 

After surrendering the early goal, Winthrop (13-4, 5-1 Big South) settled down, and began to control the flow of play. In turn, the Eagles generated several offensive opportunities. 26 minutes in, Matthew Skonicki sent a cross from the left flank that found the foot of Big South Preseason Player of the Year Daniel Revivo inside the six, but constant defensive pressure from the Chants resulted in the shot missing just wide of the net.

 

Under duress most of the first half, the Chants resorted to a counter-attack style of offense that was contained by Winthrop’s defense. The Eagles had another solid chance to knot the match up in the 33rd minute, as Revivo had a clear shot on the goal from 25 yards out, but fired high.

 

The Chants would enter the second half holding tightly onto a 1-0 lead despite being out shot by the Eagles by a 4-2 margin.

 

Winthrop picked up where they left off in the second half, as they came out firing in the opening minutes. Two minutes in, the Eagles thought they had the equalizer, as Revivo headed a cross from 10 yards out that found the back of the net. However, a foul was called on the striker, resulting in the goal being taken off the board, leaving the score at 1-0.

 

Less than two minutes later, Winthrop found the equalizer that they were searching for. Skonicki took a deflection off a Coastal Carolina defender 25 yards out, and volleyed a perfectly placed shot past Chanticleer goalkeeper Phillip Latham (Annandale, Va./Falls Church) to knot the contest at 1-1.

 

The Chants would quickly answer back in the 52nd minute, as Stapleton again worked his magic, taking a shot from 20 yards out that was deflected out of bounds by Eagle goalkeeper Patrick Mitrovitch, resulting in a corner kick. Hunter sent a cross in that found the head of Chanticleer forward Ross Kelly (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements), and Kelly buried the attempt past a diving Mitrovitch to once again give Coastal Carolina the lead at 2-1 with 38 minutes remaining.

 

After being tightly marked the entire contest, Revivo showed why he is the leading scorer in the Big South Conference. With his back turned to the net at the top of the 18, he one touched a pass to Miquel Casajuana, who buried the ensuing shot in the lower left corner of the net to run the tally to 2-2 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the match.

 

After the game-tying goal, the intensity from both teams reached a new level. Stapleton had a chance to gave the Chants the lead again with six minutes remaining, but fired wide of the net in what would turn about to be the final goal-scoring opportunity for Coastal Carolina.

 

The tie was broken in the 86th minute, as Eagle midfielder Rafael Araujo found teammate Matt Lacey just past the midfield line. Lacey took a touch, and ripped a brilliant shot from 35 yards out that found the top left corner of the net to give Winthrop the game winner with only four minutes remaining.

 

Mitrovitch stopped a trio of Coastal Carolina attempts for the win, while Latham turned away a shot in the losing effort.

 

With the win, the Eagles clinch the Big South Regular season title, and the No. 1 seed in the Big South Tournament that begins Thursday, Nov. 13 at Coastal Carolina University Soccer Field. The loss wraps up Coastal Carolina’s Big South slate with a 5-2-1 record, earning them the No. 2 seed. The rest of the seeds will become clear following this weekend's remaining Big South contests. For more tournament information, log onto BigSouthSports.com or GoCCUsports.com

 

The Chants will play their final regular season contest of the season Sat., Nov. 8 as they travel to North Florida for a 12 p.m., kick-off in the non-conference match-up. Winthrop will take on the High Point Panthers Saturday at 1 p.m. to wrap up its regular season ledger.