RADFORD, Va. No. 9 Coastal Carolina got three second half goals, two from Jordie Hughes and one from Joseph Ngwenya, to defeat Birmingham-Southern, 3-0, Nov. 16, for its second Big South title in three years and seventh overall. The match was played at a rain-soaked Patrick D. Cupp Memorial Stadium on the campus of Radford University. With the victory, the Chants earned the Big Souths automatic bid into the 2003 NCAA Tournament and will learn their seed at 4 p.m. on Monday when the bracket is revealed live on ESPNews.
Coastal dominated most of the play in the first half, firing 21 shots, but was unable to solve BSC keeper Gavin Long, who made eight of his nine saves in the half.
In the second half, the Chants continued to put pressure on the Panthers, missing a few opportunities early on. After a Coastal foul, the Panthers had their best chance to score, but Martin Zaluks shot in the box sailed over the crossbar.
CCU finally broke through at 73:04, capitalizing on a fast break goal by Jordie Hughes. The tally came on a counterattack when Mubarike Chisoni made a long run down the right side and fed Hughes, who touched it past Long for the eventual game-winner.
The Chants put the game away with a pair of goals 40 seconds apart. Hughes picked up his second tally on another breakaway, as Boyzzz Khumalo found him streaking down the center of the pitch at 80:23. Randy Owen slipped the ball past a pair of BSC defenders to Tournament MVP Joseph Ngwenya for the finally tally of the match.
Coastal held significant advantages in both shots (31-9) and corner kicks (7-2).
Joining Ngwenya from Coastal on the All-Tournament team were Hughes, Chris Moore and Dario Grassini.
With the victory, the Chanticleers improved to 18-2 on the year and break the single-season shutout record with their 12th of 2003, the most in a season in program history. The runner-up Panthers, in their first season of League competition, fell to 12-5-4 overall.
Head Coach Shaun Docking Quotes:
"I thought we played solid soccer today. It was really the epitome of a great squad effort throughout the three days of this tournament. We used all our players, and I think we have a deeper, fitter squad now. We played very good soccer this weekend."
"It really was a total team effort - there were good individual performances, but I can't really single anyone out, because the whole squad contributed. I am pleased and proud of our performance."