BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – For 82 minutes it looked as though the 10th-ranked Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team would be saddled with its third draw of the season; however, MAC Hermann Trophy Candidate Pedro Ribeiro had other ideas of how the night would end as he netted the game-winner at the 82:06 mark to lift the Chants over Gardner-Webb, 1-0.
Ribeiro was in the right place at the right time to score his first goal of the season. Jakub Stourac fired an initial shot that was saved by Gardner-Webb’s Scott Krotee. But Krotee was unable to hang on to the well-struck shot, allowing the ball to trickle into free space in front of the net. Ribeiro, who had made a run through the center of the field in support of Stourac, easily hammed the ball home to provide the Chants with their NCAA-leading 40th goal of the season.
The Chants were able to hold possession through the majority of the remainder of regulation to secure the victory.
The 1-0 win, the team’s second in as many outings, pushes the Chants to 13-1-2 overall and 8-0-0 in the Big South. Coastal has now won each of its last 10 games and improves it school-record setting Big South regular season winning streak to 17 games. With the loss Gardner-Web falls to 2-3-1 in conference play and 3-11-1 overall.
“I’m very pleased with how we responded in the second half after being tied at the half,” said Coastal Carolina head coach Shaun Docking. “It was great to see our guys continue to work hard and come away with a positive result against a good Gardner-Webb team.”
For the second straight game the Chanticleers played a scoreless first half. However, this game saw the Chants’ chances for shots and goals limited by both the play of the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ defensive unit and the exceptionally tight game called by the officials. Coastal was limited to only five shots with none on goal. The Gardner-Webb attack produced six shots, including two on goal.
After the break Coastal come out on the offensive. Ashton Bennett recorded a pair of shots that resulted in Gardner-Webb saves in the opening three minutes of the half. Coastal would continue to press forward and stay on the ball for the next 15 minutes of play, but was unable to find the goal.
Gardner-Webb would find opportunities on the counter attack, but the stellar Coastal defensive unit turned away the Runnin’ Bulldogs time and time again.
The Chants finished with a16-10 advantage in shots, including 11 in the second half. Coastal also held 6-5 edge in corners. The teams combined for 40 fouls, with 24 of those coming in the first half.
Chanticleer keeper Federico Bertele picked up his second straight clean sheet, improving his season tally to 5.2.
Coastal Carolina steps out of conference play on Wednesday, Oct. 24 for a 7 p.m. kickoff against in-state rival South Carolina. The Chanticleers are 4-2-1 all-time against the Gamecocks on the pitch, including 2-1-0 in the NCAA Tournament. Coastal defeated South Carolina 3-2 in the sides’ last meeting at the Aaron Olitsky Memorial Soccer Classic on Nov. 5, 2004.
Chanticleer fans can hear the voice of Chanticleer soccer Ryan Borawski describe all the action from Stone Stadium throughout the Grand Strand as the game will be carried on 100.3 FM ESPN “The Team.”
Gardner-Webb returns to play on Nov. 24 at Winthrop.