BIRMINGHAM, AL -- Jordie Hughes'(Victoria, British Columbia/Spectrum) first-half goal was all the offense second-seeded Coastal Carolina would need to defeat sixth-seed UNC Asheville in the Big South Conference Tournament Semifinals, 1-0, Nov 13.
Coastal got on the board at the 8:35 mark when freshman John Ferguson (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap) had his shot from 18 yards out hit off the cross bar, where Hughes headed it into the back of the net for the first and only tally of the afternoon. For Hughes, it was his 10th goal in his last seven games and his 15th goal of the season. It would be the only goal of the first half as the Chanticleers took a 1-0 lead into the break. CCU outshot the Bulldogs 6-3 in the first half with three shots on goal to two.
In the second half, UNCA had several good scoring chances but the Chanticleers' defense, spearheaded by seniors Itayi Pondwa (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe/Mpopma (Charleston Southern)) and Dario Grassini (Pretoria, South Africa/Pretoria Boys) and freshman goalkeeper Aaron Weant (Morrisville, N.C./Green Hope) preserved the shutout with several outstanding team blocks and saves. Weant finished with three saves on the afternoon.
For the game, CCU outshot the Bulldogs 19-5, including 5-3 in shots on goal. Coastal also dominated the corner kicks with a 9-1 advantage.
With its first win over the Bulldogs in two years, Coastal advances into the championship game against host and top-seeded Birmingham-Southern, Sun., Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. The action can be followed on-line in the Game Day Central portion of the soccer schedule at www.GoCCUSports.com.