Oct. 11, 2013
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina women's soccer team had the better of the offensive play for most of the night, but Winthrop capitalized on a loose ball in the final minutes to hand the Chanticleers a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat Friday night at CCU Soccer Field.
Winthrop's Taylor Walton scored the game's only goal into an empty Coastal net with 1:53 left in regulation. The Eagles improved to 9-2-1 overall and 5-1 in the Big South, while the Chants fell to 6-7-1 overall and 3-3 in the conference.
Despite outshooting the Eagles 17-7 and dominating the corner kick battle 13-2, Coastal was unable to get one past Winthrop goalkeeper Amelia Henderson.
The game appeared headed for overtime before the Eagles scored suddenly on a broken play. With a loose ball coming into the top right corner of the 18-yard box, Chants goalkeeper Megan Spencer came out to try and get it. She made a diving attempt to beat Walton to the ball and got her hands on it, but couldn't control it. Walton kicked it ahead, followed it to the six-yard box and put it home.
Coastal tried to regroup quickly and get the equalizer, moving the ball into the Winthrop defensive third and eventually drew a foul. Fia Jonsson took a free kick from 30 yards out in the middle of the field, but the ball was cleared away by the Eagles as time ran out.
The Chanticleers had their best scoring opportunities in the first half, when they dominated possession in and Winthrop was only able to muster occasional counterattacks. In the 11th minute, Sam Patterson sent a 20-yard shot that had Henderson beat to the left side of the goal, but Winthrop's Megan David was able to block it off the line for the defensive save.
Three minutes later, Brianna Panico put a shot on net that forced a Henderson save and set off a series of five Coastal corner kicks in less than six minutes. However, the Chanticleers weren't able to convert any of them into a goal.
Fia Jonsson put two attempts on net later in the half, but Henderson made both stops and the Chants had to settle for a tie at halftime, despite a 10-3 shot edge.
Coastal continued to have the edge in play early in the second half, before Winthrop started to even it out, though both defenses were able to prevent the sides from getting prime scoring chances.
Morgan Smith made a run up the right side in the 69th minute and put a low shot on goal, but Henderson made a relatively easy save. Winthrop's Krystyna Freda, who came into the game leading the nation in goals per game and points per game, got off a high shot in the 72nd minute, but Spencer jumped to make the save. It was the potent Eagles' first shot on goal and their only one of the game until Walton scored.
In the 80th minute, Panico launched a 40-yard shot toward the left side and it appeared to be curving wide, but Henderson dove and stopped it anyway.
The Chants finished with eight shots on goal, including all four attempts by Jonsson. Freda recorded four shots, but put just the one on net. Henderson totaled seven saves, while Spencer had one. It was CCU's fourth defeat in a row that came by just one goal.
Coastal returns to action Wednesday, Oct. 16 for a 7 p.m. matchup at Campbell.