CONWAY- The Big South regular season co-champion Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team will travel to Radford’s Patrick D. Cupp Memorial Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 4 as the number three seed in the Big South Tournament to take on sixth seeded Liberty in quarterfinal action set for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff.
The Big South Tournament will feature four quarterfinal matches and concludes with the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 7. The Big South’s tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship.
Coastal enters the tournament with a share of the Big South Conference regular season title for the third time in a four-year span. The Chanticleers finished the Big South season with a 6-2-1 record and are riding a six game unbeaten streak.
The Chants locked up a piece of the championship with a 1-0 win in the last game of the season against then top ranked Winthrop. Coastal’s goal in the game came from the unlikely boot of freshman defender Okina Crawley. The goal, which resulted from a free kick of 45 yards, was Crawley’s first in her collegiate career.
Two seniors who have garnered Big South Player of the Week honors the past two weeks will lead the Chants into the tournament. On the attacking side Anna Tupy, Big South Attacking Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 24, has netted a team high five goals on the season and assisted in three others. Three of Tupy’s goals have been game winners with the most recent coming in the 2-1 win over Charleston Southern on Oct. 22. Defensively, Coastal will look to goal keeper Amy Haggard, the Big South Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 31, to continue her strong performance between the pipes. Haggard has recorded 28 saves while posting four shutouts on her way to a 6-0-2 record this season. In the past two games alone, Haggard has turned in two clean sheets while posting 15 saves including a career high nine against Gardner-Webb on Oct. 27. Her .34 goals against average was tops during league play while her .917 save percentage was third.
Defensively, the Chants rank second in the Big South after only allowing six goals and posting four shutouts during conference play.
The Coastal attack, although led by Tupy’s five goals, is well balanced as 14 Chanticleers have combined to score 24 goals this season. Kate Wilkinson ranks second on the team with four goals while Hannah Brown, Christina Stern, and Ashley Day who have each chipped in two apiece.
Liberty enters the contest as the six seed in the eight team tournament after turning in a 4-5 record in the Big South. The Flames outlasted Presbyterian 1-0 in its final regular season match with Maria Owen scoring on a 10 yard tap in off a corner kick.
Liberty’s volatile attack is led by 13 goals from Aimee Luurtsema and eight from Silvia Betancort who rank second and fourth in the Big South in the category respectively. In all, the Flames have netted 33 goals on the season.
In the two teams’ last meeting on Oct. 4 at the Coastal Carolina Soccer Field, it was the home team that came away with the 1-0 victory as Tupy headed home a corner kick from Morgan Thomas for the match’s only goal. The impending match will be the second time the schools have played each other in the Big South Tournament with Liberty winning 3-0 in the 2006 tournament.
Live stats will be available for the match through RUHighlanders.com.
Big South Women’s Soccer Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting
Thursday, Nov. 4
Game 1: No. 4 seed Charleston Southern vs. No. 5 seed High Point, 11:30 a.m.
Game 2: No. 1 seed Winthrop vs. No. 8 seed VMI, 2 p.m.
Game 3: No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina vs. No. 6 seed Liberty, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 2 seed Radford vs. No. 7 seed Gardner-Webb, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 5
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner (Semifinals), 4 p.m.
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (Semifinals), 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 7
Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (Championship), 2 p.m.