ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Rylie Johnson scored what would prove to be the game-winner 46 seconds into the match as the Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team outlasted UNC Asheville to earn a hard fought 1-0 win at the Bulldogs’ Greenwood Soccer Field on Thursday afternoon.
Coastal has now won its past two games via shutout to improve to 2-11-1 (2-3-0, Big South) on the year. The loss is the second consecutive for the Bulldogs as they drop to 3-11-0 this season and 2-3-0 in Big South play.
Johnson’s goal came in the Chanticleers’ first possession. Hannah Brown initiated the scoring play with a nice pass to the foot of Johnson. The freshman then took one touch and unloaded a blast from 10-yards out to give Coastal the lead for good at 1-0. The goal was the first of Johnson’s collegiate career, while the assist was the second for Brown.
Johnson had a chance to score her second goal of the match in the ninth minute, but a diving stop by UNC Asheville’s Heather Muller nullified the scoring opportunity. Brown almost netted a goal of her own in the 20th minute of play; however, Muller was up to the task again as she picked up the second of her six saves.
Asheville’s offensive attack came alive in the final 20 minutes of play in the first half forcing Coastal’s Saundra Baron to convert four saves.
After the intermission, Asheville launched two shots that missed the goal by mere inches as one rang off the crossbar and another off the goalpost.
Freshman Kacey Kelley nearly provided the Chanticleers with an insurance goal late in the second half as she broke free behind the Bulldog defense; however, Muller smothered the opportunity to preserve the 1-nil score.
Over the final 35 minutes of regulation Coastal’s defense held the Asheville attack without a shot.
“This was a good win for us,” said head coach Paul Hogan. “The team fought hard for the full 90 minutes and was able to gut out the victory.
Baron recorded six saves on the afternoon as she posted the first clean sheet of her career. Coastal finished with a 7-6 advantage in shots on goal as both teams attempted six corner kicks.
The Chanticleers return to the pitch on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Presbyterian. Coastal defeated the Blue Hose 1-0 in last season’s meeting.