CONWAY, S.C. For the first time in school history, Coastal Carolina University's men's soccer team will host the opening round of the 2003 NCAA Men's Soccer Championships, taking on Davidson, Fri., Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. The ninth-ranked Chanticleers earned their third consecutive trip to the postseason by winning the Big South Conference Tournament this past weekend. The winner will advance to the second round to take on North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Wed., Nov. 26.
This will be Coastal's fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament during its 24-year history, with CCU having a 2-4 record. The Chants did get their second NCAA Tournament victory last year, winning at South Carolina, 2-1 in double overtime. Coastal Carolina holds a 3-1-1 lifetime mark over the Wildcats, including 1-0 CCU win, Sept. 2, at CCU Soccer Field. However, Davidson and Coastal played in the 1992 NCAA Tournament, with the Wildcats advancing after a scoreless game by winning 6-5 on penalty kicks.
Led by All-American and the nation's leading scorer, senior forward Joseph Ngwenya, the Chanticleers will bring an 11-game winning streak and an 18-2-0 record into the tournament. Coastal was decisive in capturing their seventh Big South title, winning the three matches by a combined 14-1 margin. Coastal has two of the top five scorers in the country, as Jordie Hughes has 42 points on the year. CCU had eight players receive All-Conference honors from the Big South this season and ranks in the top-10 in the nation in scoring offense, team goals against, shutouts and winning percentage.
Making its first appearance in the tournament since 1995, Davidson was the regular season and tournament champions of the Southern Conference and enters the tournament with a 15-5-2 mark. The Wildcats are led by senior forward Nick Hansell, who was the SoCon Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after scoring two game-winners in the tournament, including the only goal in the championship game win over the College of Charleston. Davidson has posted a school-record 10 shutouts this season, including three consecutive shutouts in the tournament.
The game will be broadcast live on the Internet, as well as live game stats, on Coastal Carolina's athletic web site at www.coastal.edu/athletics.
As part of Friday's events, the women's basketball home opener with Anderson College has been moved from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to allow fans to attend both games. All those with tickets from the NCAA Tournament game can redeem them at Kimbel Arena for free admission to the women's basketball game that night.