CONWAY, S.C. – Freshman Martin Melchor made the most of his minutes off the bench, recording his first career multi-goal game to lead No. 23 Coastal Carolina to a 2-0 win over Presbyterian College on Tuesday evening.
Melchor, who entered the game with one goal on 14 shot attempts through Coastal’s first 10 games, scored in the 44th and 84th minutes of action. The two goals on four shot attempts move him into a four way tie for second-most by a Chanticleer this season.
The victory, Coastal’s sixth straight over the Blue Hose and 31st in its last 32 Big South matches, moved the Chanticleers to 8-3-0 (2-0-0 Big South) on the season and extended their win streak to five. The loss set Presbyterian back to 1-8-0 overall and 0-3-0 in conference play.
Coastal Carolina controlled the pace of play and owned a commanding advantage in possession through the entirety of the first half. However, the Blue Hose deployed 10 players behind the ball, including instances of 10 men in the 18-yard box, and forced the Chanticleers to systematically break them down.
Despite the Blue Hose defense, Coastal’s Ricky Garbanzo had several good looks at the goal during the opening 25 minutes of action, but PC’s Johnny Archer was there each time to turn the shot away.
Melchor finally broke through the Blue Hose defense with his second goal of the season 1:10 before the intermission. A loose ball in the box was knocked down by Garbanzo and touched back to Melchor. The freshman from Jacksonville, Texas, lined up his shot and sent a low-lying blast into the left corner of the net.
The second half unfolded just as the first. Coastal dominated possession and the pace of the match, but the Blue Hose compact defense held strong, keeping the Chants from finding the back of the net.
Melchor produced his second of the game with 6:01 showing in regulation. A give-and-go on the right side of the box between Kevin Le Bras and Joel Perez set up the play. After receiving the ball back from Le Bras, Perez slid an easy pass to the center of the six-yard box that Melchor slotted home for his third goal of the season.
The Chanticleers finished the match with a 16-1 advantage in the shot category and a 7-1 edge in corner kicks. Garbanzo paced CCU with five shot attempts, including three on goal, while Jonathan Turnley recorded PC’s only shot attempt.
Senior goal keeper Mark Petrus was untested in earning the win to improve to 2-0-0 on the season. PC’s Archer was credited with the loss despite a six-save effort.
Coastal continues its two-game home stand Saturday at 1 p.m., hosting UNC Asheville. Coastal owns a 28-6-1 lead in the all-times series. However, the Bulldogs pulled off a monumental upset of the then-fifth-ranked Chanticleers last season in Asheville, winning by a slim 1-0 score.