ELON, N.C. – A defensive struggle turned into a contest littered with fouls and eventually those fouls led to Elon’s Daniel Lovitz converting the game-winning penalty kick in the 85th minute as No. 25 Elon upset No. 5/6 Coastal Carolina 2-1 on Tuesday evening at Rudd Field.
Lovitz’s penalty strike sent Elon to 12-4-1 (3-2-0 SoCon) on the season, while delivering Coastal (12-3-0, 7-0-0 Big South) its first loss since falling to then 15th-ranked Charlotte in the third contest of the season. The loss snaps Coastal’s NCAA leading 11 game winning and unbeaten streak.
Elon scored the game’s first goal in the 70th minute of action. Following a double booking to a pair of Chanticleers, the Phoenix restarted with the ball on their half of the field. Several Elon players combined to get the ball to Charles Howard in the open on the right edge of the 18-yard box. Howard attempted a blast to the far post that appeared destined to be headed out by Coastal’s Kai Morton. However, Elon’s James Brace moved in front of Morton and deflected the ball into the back of the net for his eighth score of the year.
Pedro Ribeiro leveled the score in the 80th minute as he also scored his eighth goal of the season. Sergio Camargo sent a cross from the right flank to Ribeiro who hit his shot off the crossbar. However, Ribeiro was able to beat Elon’s keeper to the rebound and slot the ball into the back of the net past several Phoenix defenders.
Twenty-eight seconds later Coastal’s Justin White was issued a red card leaving the Chants a man down the rest of the way. The Chanticleers held their ground over the next five minutes, but a defensive foul in the box led to Lovitz’s game-winning penalty kick with 5:03 to play in regulation.
The Chants then pushed forward in search of the equalizer. Coastal earned a corner kick with three minutes to play and Justin Portillo sent an inswinger to the head of Ricky Garbanzo, but a Phoenix defender was able to block the header attempt before it reached the goal.
The teams equaled each other with 11 shots, but Elon held a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal. Coastal earned five corners to Elon’s four.
The sides combined to be whistled for 27 fouls, six yellow cards (three on each team) and a red card.
Coastal Carolina continues its two-match road stand at Big South foe UNC Asheville on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs are one of Coastal oldest opponents as Saturday’s match marks 34 all-time meeting between the sides. Coastal owns a commanding 28-5-1 record in the series, including victories in each of the last 12 matches.