GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sergio Camargo’s 15th career goal proved to be a memorable one as the Colombia provided the only score to lift second-seeded Coastal Carolina over top-seeded Radford 1-0 for the 2014 Big South Tournament championship Sunday afternoon at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C.
The title match victory gives Coastal (15-5-1) the Big South automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. The Chanticleers will find out who and when they will play in the tournament Monday, Nov. 17, at 1 p.m. during the NCAA Selection Show. The NCAA Tournament appearance will be the Chants’ 12 overall and fifth straight. Coastal has advanced to the third round of the tournament each of the past two seasons.
Camargo, an honorable mention All-Big South selection, scored in the 51st minute of action on a superb goal to the left upper 90. The goal was his sixth of the season and Coastal’s NCAA-leading 46th of the year.
Center back Uchenna Uzo was named the Big South Tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Joining Uzo on the All-Tournament team was defender Shawn McLaws and forwards Camargo and Ricky Garbanzo.
The Chanticleers fielded a defensive lineup to start the match in an effort to keep Radford from continuing its trend of scoring the match’s first goal when the two sides meet. The coaching decision paid dividends as the stout Chanticleer defense, which entered the match having surrendered just 18 goals in 20 matches, held the Highlanders without a shot attempt in the opening half.
The Chanticleers tallied six shots in the first 45 minutes of play, including two each by target forward Jordan Tyler and Garbanzo, the 2014 Big South Attacking Player of the Year. With 18 minutes remaining, Coastal subbed in five attacking players and quickly produced a pair of corners that resulted in shots. The Chants had a final first-half scoring opportunity with 1:30 to play as Garbanzo received a long ball, beat a defender and ripped a shot that drifted just wife of the right post.
The second half opened the second half on the attack; however, Radford held fast and responded with a counter attack threat that yielded three corner kicks, but only one shot. Following the RU shot, Coastal played quickly out of the back and used a series of combination play down the center of the field. McLaws played a cross into Camargo, who had his back to the goal. Camargo shielded his defender, turned and produced a clinical finish into the far upper 90 from 13 yards out, giving Coastal the 1-nil lead in the 51st minute.
Following the goal, Coastal dropped off and absorbed Radford pressure. The Chanticleer defense, which had allowed just five goals to Big South opponents in 11 matches, showed it mettle and kept the Highlanders from finding the equalizing goal.
In the 65th minute Tyler found himself 1v1 with Radford’s Aitor Pouseu Blanco after beating his defender to a through ball on a counter attack. Tyler attempted a shot, but the first team All-Big South goalkeeper made an acrobatic save. Camargo then had a shot on the rebound, but Pouseu Blanco recovered to make his second save in a five second span.
Coastal won the bulk of the possession battle in the late stage of the contest as the Highlanders (13-5-2) were desperate to find a goal.
Coastal Carolina finished the contest with 12 shots, to Radford’ eight. Coastal’s Devin Cook-Perales turned away two Highlander shots to earn the shutout win, while Pouseu Blanco posted four saves.