JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Senior Dana Gentile (Utica, N.Y./Herkimer C.C.) converted on a penalty kick with 25:46 left in the match to lift the Coastal Carolina University women’s soccer team (1-0) to a 2-1 win over Jacksonville (0-2). The match was the first in this weekend’s Osprey Classic on the campus of the University of North Florida.
Jacksonville took the early 1-0 lead at the 19:37 mark when Eva Leeper’s 15-yard shot went in the left side of the goal. That goal was assisted by Arianne Heaton. Jacksonville had an 8-2 corner-kick advantage and a 5-4 shot advantage in the first 45 minutes, with both goalies, junior Amy Haggard (Sylva, N.C./Smoky Mountain) and Jacksonville’s Alexa Rooney, garnering one save in the first half.
Coastal Carolina started its second-half comeback in the 51st minute, as a cross from junior Sara Niles (Elgin, Ill./Elgin) found the head of sophomore Tori Strengari (Newark, Del./St. Mark’s), who found the back of the net on the left side of the goal. It was Strengari’s first career goal as a Chanticleer, tying the game at one.
The Chanticleers would take the lead at 64:14 as a foul in the 18-yard box led to a Gentile penalty kick. She scored her fourth career goal at Coastal Carolina and her first game-winning goal as a Chant.
Jacksonville almost tied the game at two with just 1:47 remaining when the Dolphins’ Liz Funk hit the bottom of the crossbar, but Haggard held on to the ball before it crossed the line, giving the Chants the Opening Day victory.
Haggard stopped two shots to earn her 25th career win. Jacksonville outshot Coastal Carolina 10-8, with both teams putting three shots on frame. The Dolphins also had the 10-3 edge in corner kicks. Gentile led the Chants with three shots, while Funk had four for Jacksonville.
Coastal Carolina concludes the Osprey Classic Sunday, August 30 against North Florida. Kick off is scheduled for 2 p.m.