CONWAY – A 32nd minute goal by Preseason All-American Pedro Ribeiro and a total team defensive effort led fifth-ranked Coastal Carolina to a 1-0 victory over rival Liberty on Friday afternoon at the CCU Soccer Field.
Ribeiro broke the scoreless tie at the 31:35 mark of play in the first half with his seventh goal of the season. Sergio Camargo started the scoring play by beating a defender and playing a cross to Ribeiro at the top of the box. Ribeiro took a touch to settle the ball before ripping a left-footed shot just inside the left post and out of the path of Liberty’s diving Jeremy Lee. Camargo’s assist was his fifth of the season and 15th total point.
The Chanticleers extend their winning streak to 11 matches and improve to 12-2-0 overall and a perfect 7-0-0 in the Big South Conference, while the Flames dropped to 7-7-0 (3-4-0 Big South) on the season. Coastal has now won five games by a 1-nil final and have a 6-1 record in games decided by a single goal.
“Liberty is an excellent team that plays tough and is well coached,” said head coach Shaun Docking. “They are always extremely motivated to play us. We were fortunate to score in the first half and then post a shutout to win the game.”
The opening minutes of the first stanza played a frenzied pace with the sides trading possessions. Coastal finally settled in and controlled the bulk of possession through the middle and late stages of the half.
Ribeiro appeared to score the game’s initial goal in the 28th minute as he sent a free kick into the back of the net from 22-yards out. However, offside was whistled against the Chants, negating the goal.
The Flames forced the second half to play much more defensive for the Chants. Liberty continually kept pressure on the Coastal backline and goalkeeper Devin Cook. However, the Chants were up to the task as Liberty was unable to find the score-leveling goal.
Cook made his presence known in the second stanza as he came away with a trio of spectacular saves to keep a clean sheet. The sophomore from Simi Valley, Calif., finished the match with a career-high six saves as he posted his eighth shutout of the season. The eight total shutouts ties Cook for the CCU all-time single season record with Chris Malinky (1999), Ray Fuller (1991), Reggie Pierre-Jerome (1990) and Patrick Nolan (1984).
Coastal returns to the pitch in a top-flight showdown at regional rival Elon on Tuesday, Oct. 29. Kickoff from the Phoenix’s Rudd Field is set for 7 p.m. The Chanticleers and Phoenix have become very familiar recently as the sides have played five times since the 2010 season. Coastal has eliminated Elon in the first round of the last two NCAA Tournaments and holds a 10-1-2 lead in the overall series.
Liberty plays host to Longwood on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in its next match.