Nolan, Alexander Lead Coastal Past Gardner-Webb, 16-7
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -
Sara Nolan scored a career-high eight goals and added an assist and Haley Alexander notched two goals and two assists in Coastal Carolina’s 16-7 victory over Gardner-Webb at Spangler Stadium Saturday evening.
Charlotte O’Leary and Courtney Genovese were also key contributors for Coastal, as they scored two goals apiece.
A recurring theme of the first 11 games of CCU’s season was the second-half rally, as two of the team’s first six victories were come-from-behind efforts. On Saturday afternoon against Gardner-Webb, the Chants flipped the script by getting off to a fast start, securing a big lead in the first half and putting the game away early. No late-game heroics necessary.
Coastal used a balanced, well-rounded offense to take a comfortable 9-2 advantage by the midway mark, with first-half goals from Nolan, Maggie Carr, Alexander and O’Leary. Nolan scored five goals and O’Leary found the back of the net twice in the first 30 minutes of action.
Nolan kept rolling after action resumed, scoring her sixth of the game with 28 minutes left in regulation. Alexander tallied her second of the day minutes later, putting Coastal on top 11-2. The Runnin’ Bulldogs fought back by rattling off back-to-back goals from Sadie Bryant, but the early deficit proved too large to overcome.
Sophie Crowther effectively iced it with 15:38 left in regulation, putting Coastal ahead 12-4 on her 16th goal of the season. Genovese added two goals late for the Chants, and Nolan tallied two more goals in the waning minutes of action.
The win improved the Chants (7-5 overall) to 3-2 in Big South Conference action. With the loss, Gardner-Webb (3-10 overall) slid to 1-4 in conference play. Coastal leads the all-time series against the Runnin’ Bulldogs, 2-0.
In net, Jenna Stover and Harley Barrett combined for six saves for Coastal. Gardner-Webb’s Cassidy McDowell finished with a game-high 10 saves. Sadie Bryant had a team-high three goals in the losing effort for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.
Coastal had the advantage with 25 ground balls to 17, and the Chants also outshot Gardner-Webb, 32-14. CCU had the edge in draw controls, 16-9. The Chants’ next two games are at home, as they host Longwood on April 16 at 2 p.m., and Winthrop on April 20 at 6 p.m.