CONWAY, S.C. – Junior Bryce Follensbee registered a goal and an assist in the first half to lead No. 24 Coastal Carolina past Winthrop by a 2-0 count in Big South men’s soccer action Wednesday at the CCU Soccer Stadium.
The Chanticleers improved to 11-4-0 overall and 6-0-0 in Big South play with the victory, while the loss dropped Winthrop to 10-4-1 (4-2-1 Big South). In addition, the conference victory was Coastal's 34th in its last 35 regular season matches.
Coastal started the game with a quick attack down the right side that forced Winthrop’s Guilherme Avelar to make a pair of outstanding saves. Bryce Follensbee centered a cross from the just outside the 18-yard box that was met by a shot from Arnar Geirsson. The shot deflected off the chest of Avelar and back into the field of play. Jordan Tyler tried to touch the ball past Avelar, but the netminder was there to make the save and keep the early goal off the board.
Winthrop settled and deployed its high-pressure counter attack to some avail; however, the Chanticleers adapted and began to control the match’s possession battle, spending significant time inside the Eagle’s defensive third and 18-yard box.
Coastal scored the first goal of the match at the 15:47 mark of the first half. Ridge Robinson created the scoring opportunity by beating a pair of Winthrop defenders through the left side of the 18-yard box. Robinson sent a rolling cross with pace through the goal mouth where it was redirected into the far side netting by Follensbee. The goal marked Follensbee’s fourth of the season and 16th of his collegiate career.
After the goal, the Chanticleers continued to hold the majority of possession as they piled up 10 shots to Winthrop’s three. Coastal’s final shot of the half, occurring with 31 seconds before the intermission, went for a goal as Ricky Garbanzo recorded his fourth of the season. Follensbee played a through ball ahead to Garbanzo who beat Winthrop’s charging Avelar to the ball before knocking his shot down the center of the net. The scoring strike was Garbanzo’s 36th of his career, moving his career points total to 90.
The second half featured Coastal on the attack for the majority of the 45 minutes, but the Winthrop backline held strong and refused to concede a third goal. The Eagle attack had moments of intrigue during the stanza, producing seven shot attempts and forcing a Chanticleer save on a shot by Max Hasenstab.
The Chanticleers ended the match with a 15-10 advantage in shots, including a 7-2 margin in shot on frame. Coastal also outgained the Eagles in corner kicks 11-3.
Coastal's Devin Cook-Perales recorded three saves and the win in goal to improve to 8-4-0 on the season, while Asheville's Avelar (5-3-1) made four saves in the losing effort.
The Chanticleers take to the road Saturday for its final regular season contest away from the CCU Soccer Stadium. The Chanticleers travel to Radford, Va., for a showdown with the Highlanders, who are unbeaten in Big South Conference play at 7-0-0). Coastal is 18-12-3 all-time against Radford, including wins in each of the last four matches.