The Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team saw its remarkable 2019 campaign come to an end last week in a 1-0 loss in double overtime to No. 5 Southern Methodist in Dallas.
SMU’s Garrett McLaughlin tucked home the game-winner following a shot that rebounded off of CCU goalkeeper Alberto Ciroi in the 107th minute, sending the Mustangs to the third round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
The Nov. 24 game was the third consecutive double overtime contest for the Chanticleers, following their Sun Belt Championship game versus Georgia State that went into penalty kicks and their 3-2 double overtime win over North Carolina State in Raleigh in the first round of the NCAA tournament Nov. 21.
In the first round match against the Wolfpack, the Chanticleers fell behind in the 22nd minute but equalized just before the halftime break, thanks to a free kick from Emile Rzepecki. The Chants would take the lead in the 64th minute, thanks to a header by freshman defender Kasper Skraep. However, the Wolfpack answered less than 10 minutes later with a goal that would eventually force overtime. With nothing doing in the first overtime, the Chants found their breakthrough with Tyrone Mondi. Mondi picked up the loose ball at midfield and then went the defense, sealing the win with a clinical finish.
That victory sent the Chants to Dallas, where they were matched up against a stellar SMU team. The Mustangs were the American Athletic Conference champion, going 16-1-1, scoring 58 goals and never being shutout all season.
The Chanticleers pushed the Mustangs to their limit. Coastal had numerous chances throughout the match, seeing their shots go just wide or a little too high.
Ciroi was superb in goal, registering five saves on the night. Despite being outshot 26 to 14 by SMU, the Coastal Carolina defense stood tall up until Knut Ahlander’s shot bounced off Ciroi and to the feet of McLaughlin in the 107th minute.
The loss ended the Chanticleers’ season at 10-8-3. This was the 10th consecutive season where Coastal won 10-plus games and the Sun Belt championship win was their third title since joining the conference in 2016.
The Chanticleers will return in 2020 with a talented defensive line as none of the main starting four defenders are seniors and the Chants will also have 2019 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year Sam Snaith returning for his sophomore campaign.