Nov. 5, 2010
RADFORD, Va.- The Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team was unable to complete a comeback from an early 2-0 deficit against Liberty in the Big South Championship Tournament as the No. 3 seed Chanticleers fell to No. 6 seed Flames by a 3-2 final. The loss concludes the Chants season with a 10-8-2 record.
Liberty (8-10-2) scored first in the contest with 22:30 remaining in the first half. The play originated with a corner kick from Laura Nyholt that was launched across the box toward the back post. As the ball descended, Lauren Stell elevated above the crowd of Coastal defenders and headed the ball home for her first goal of the season.
The Flames tacked on a second goal eight minutes later off the foot of Maria Owen. Coastal goal keeper Amy Haggard was able to deflect a shot resulting from a corner kick by Nyholt but, unfortunately, Owen was there to collect the rebound and fire a swift strike into the net.
Despite the two goal deficit, the first half was nearly even statistically with Liberty holding a slight 6-5 advantage in shots while the Chanticleers edged the Flames 4-3 in shots on goal. Coastal had a prime opportunity to cut the Liberty lead in half with time winding down in the period. After midfielder Christina Stern was fouled just outside the 18, the Chants caught the Flames off guard with a quick free kick. However, forward Kate Wilkinson was a half-step too quick and was called offside as she shot the ball.
The Chants wasted little time in the second half before forward Hannah Brown was able to trim the Liberty lead by one after only 2:02 had elapsed in the frame. Brown scored on a play initiated by a long run down the near sideline by Stern. Stern took a shot that would be deflected by a Liberty defender, but Wilkinson was able to gather the rebound and feed the ball down to Brown just outside the 18 yard box. She fired a rocket of a shot that went just under the crossbar and came to rest in the back of the net. The goal was the third on Brown’s freshman campaign.
Liberty responded in the 60th minute of the match off a short corner. Madison Short was able to turn and fire a cross into the box that found the right foot of Ariana Espinoza, who was able to poke the ball past Haggard to give Liberty a 3-1 lead.
Coastal was quick to respond as Brown scored her second goal of the game. After a Liberty foul, Brown lined up for a free kick from 30 yards out and hammered a strong shot that brought the Chants back to a one goal deficit. With the goal, Brown recorded the first multi-goal game since Dana Gentile’s against VMI on Oct. 10, 2010.
The Chanticleers continued to pressure the ball the rest of the way taking three shots on goal in the final seven minutes, but were ultimately unable to find the equalizing goal.
Haggard finished the day with four saves to bring her season total to 32. She finishes her collegiate career as Coastal’s all-time leader in shutouts (23) and fewest goals allowed (60).
The close match saw Liberty finish with a 15-12 edge in shots while Coastal maintained an 8-7 lead in shots on goal. Coastal was led by Brown’s five shots, four on goal, and two goals. Stern and Morgan Thomas each took two shots while Anna Tupy, Wilkinson, and Jessie Benchley fired one each.
"Our first half performance was a little disappointing and Liberty took advantage of that," said head coach Tammy DeCesare. "We knew we were facing a good opponent but we didn’t bring everything we had for the full 90 minutes and that cost us tonight."