Winthrop Claims Big South Crown with a 1-0 Overtime Victory Over Coastal


Winthrop Claims Big South Crown with a 1-0 Overtime Victory Over Coastal

ROCK HILL, SC — The top-seeded Eagle soccer team earned its first ever NCAA tournament bid with a 1-0 overtime victory over second-seeded Coastal Carolina (13th in the nation), Sunday afternoon in the Big South Conference Championship match.

With the win, Winthrop became the first top seed to win the Big South Tournament since Charleston Southern accomplished the feat in 1997 under the direction of current Coastal head coach Shaun Docking.

After battling for 90 minutes of regulation, the championship was to be decided in overtime. About five minutes into the overtime, Darrell Vydra stole the ball from a Coastal Carolina defender giving him a two-one-one. Vydra slipped a pass behind the defender to Francis Wakhisi who was all alone with keeper Andrew Paxton. Wakhisi placed the ball into the lower left corner for the goal, his eighth game-winner of the season.

Winthrop (15-6-1) nearly lost the game in regulation when the nation’s leading scorer, Joseph Ngwenya, found himself all alone at the top of the six-yard box, but his shot to the left side was wide. The Chanticleers (18-2-2) outshot the Eagles 23-5.

Steve Winton made seven key saves to record his second shutout of the tournament. Andrew Paxton finished with one save.

The Eagles have earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament and will find out Monday at 4:30 p.m. where they will be playing as the selection show will air on ESPNEWS. Coastal Carolina, ranked 13th in the nation, will await a possible at-large berth into the field of 48.

Winthrop’s Thorvaldur Arnason was named MVP of the Championship. Arnason was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates David Garry, Andy Ross and Wakhisi. Coastal put three members on the squad, which included Chris Moore, Randall Owen and Thomas Rutter.

Charleston Southern’s Roger Wimmer, High Point’s Eric Lona, Liberty’s David Guinn, Radford’s Chris Waltz and T.J. Rolfing and UNC Asheville’s Barrett Locke rounded out the squad.