Jordie Hughes(Victoria, British Columbia-Spectrum) tallied a goal and an assist to lead second-seeded Coastal Carolina (14-7, 4-3 Big South) to a 4-0 victory over top seed and host Birmingham-Southern in the Big South Conference Tournament Championship Game, Sunday afternoon, Nov. 14. CCU is the Big South Tournament Champion for the second consecutive season, as well as for the third time in five years, and earns the league's automatic bid to make its fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Coastal scored the first goal of the game less than 10 minutes in, when Hughes recovered a rebound from senior Randy Owen's (Columbia, S.C.-Irmo (Francis Marion) blocked shot from and put it past the Panthers' sophomore goalkeeper Joseph Anthony for the first tally of the afternoon. For Hughes it was his 11th goal in his last eight games and his 16th of the season.
CCU would strike again at 27:43 when Hughes beat his defender down the field, and fed senior Boyzzz Khumalo (Soweto, South Africa-Bethlehem (Lindsey Wilson)) in front of the left post, for the second goal of the afternoon to give the Chanticleers a 2-0 lead. Coastal outshot BSC 5-4 in total shots and 2-1 in shots on goal in the first half.
In the second half, Coastal continued their strong offensive play when Khumalo beat the Panthers defense down the field and fed fellow senior Mubarike Chisoni (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe-Chegutu) for Coastals third goal with just under 25 minutes to play to make the score 3-0. Chisoni would add another goal with under six minutes to play, when he beat the BSC goalkeeper one-on-one, for the fourth and final CCU goal of the game.
Freshman goalkeeper Aaron Weant (Morrisville, N.C.-Green Hope) and senior defensemen Itayi Pondwa (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe-Mpopma (Charleston Southern)) and Dario Grassini (Pretoria, South Africa-Pretoria Boys) all anchored the CCU defense that recorded its third shutout in as many tournament games. For the game, Coastal outshot the Panthers13-11 with six shots on goal to three.
After the tournament was completed, Khumalo was selected as the Big South Tournament MVP. Hughes, Chisoni and Grassini were also selected to the Big Souths All-Tournament Team.
CCU will next be in action on either Nov. 19 or Nov. 20 against a yet to be determined opponent in the First Round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship. The opponent and location will be announced by the NCAA selection committee on Monday, Nov. 15 at 4:30 p.m. All Coastals soccer action can be followed on-line in the Game Day Central portion of the soccer schedule at goccusports.com.