Aug 25, 2012

Longwood Shutout by No. 17 Coastal Carolina to begin season


CONWAY, S.C. -- The Longwood University men’s soccer team was defeated by #17 Coastal Carolina University, 4-0, in the Lancers’ 2012 season opener and first-ever Big South Conference matchup at CCU Soccer Field in Conway, S.C. on Friday evening. The Chanticleers (1-0) outshot the Lancers (0-1), 24-2, en route to earning the victory in what turned out to be a very physical outing. Longwood returns to action on Tuesday, August 28 at 5 p.m. when the squad travels to Presbyterian College for its second of three-straight conference contests beginning at 5 p.m.

“We came up against a seasoned team tonight and while we didn’t back down, we just couldn’t match their quality,” said head coach Jon Atkinson. “It would have been nice to not have gifted their opening goals, as we felt the longer the game wore on, the better our chances would have been, but we give Coastal their credit. We saw a caliber team this evening and last year’s Big South Conference champs and it has showed our team the level they must achieve to become a player at this level. We will regroup and prepare for what will be a quick turnaround and a good opportunity to bounce back on Tuesday at Presbyterian.”

The teams battled through 27 minutes of scoreless play before Coastal Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the 28thminute of play, as Justin Portillo received a pass from Ashton Bennett and made two touches to beat sophomore goalkeeper Paul Hegedus|Ashburn (Broad Run) to the right post.

Just over a minute later, Coastal sent a cross in front of the net that was deflected off the head of a Longwood defender for an own goal, making it a 2-0 game.  

Bennett sealed the victory for the Chanticleers with two goals in the second half. His first came in the 74th minute of play, when he dribbled to the left side of the box and fired a shot hard and low past freshman goalkeeper Carl Carpenter|Charlottesville (St. Anne’s Belfield). Less than ten minutes later, Bennett struck again, this time finding the back of the net off a pass from Shawn McClaws.

Vinnie Llana|Raleigh, N.C. (Broughton) and Anthony Ugorji|Washington, D.C. (Archbishop Carroll) tallied one shot apiece for the Lancers. Ugorji notched Longwood’s lone shot on goal of the outing. Bennett led all players with a game-high seven shots, including four on goal.

Carpenter registered eight saves in his collegiate debut, seeing 53:42 minutes of action after coming off the bench in the first half. Hegedus notched one save in 36:18 minutes in front of the net.

Friday’s match marked the second meeting all-time between Longwood and Coastal Carolina, with the Chanticleers tying the series at one a side.