Coastal Carolina women’s soccer is in Foley, Alabama, playing in the Sun Belt Tournament this week.
The Chanticleers were able to nab the fourth seed in the Sun Belt tournament. Coastal opens the tournament with Georgia State, a team that CCU defeated earlier in the regular season. Tournament play began Wednesday.
“We are fine-tuning things ahead our match, seeing what matchups we like,” CCU women’s soccer head coach Paul Hogan said.
It was the late show the last time the Panthers and the Chanticleers met on Oct. 11. After going scoreless for 75 minutes, the Chanticleers broke the deadlock in the 77th minute thanks to Sunny Sigurvinsdottir and Hannah tacked on an insurance goal four minutes later for the 2-0 win.
“We need to keep that high intensity and energy that we had the last time we played them,” said senior midfielder Heston Neal. “They’re going to want to beat us for revenge for this season so we have to be ready for everything they throw at us.”
While the Panthers will be looking to avenge their loss to CCU earlier this season, the Chanticleers have some revenge of their own. It was Georgia State that ended the Chants season last year in the Sun Belt Tournament, scoring in the 82nd minute to send the game to overtime where they’d eventually nab the winner just four minutes into OT.
It has been an up and down season for the Chanticleers. The team started the year 0-4, only scoring one goal and allowing 13.
Then Hurricane Dorian happened. With matches moved to Rock Hill, SC and Buies Creek, NC, the Chanticleers found a way not only to score goals, but also win. After their 0-4 start, the Chants would go 4-1-2, scoring 12 goals.
“We became a lot closer during Dorian and have been getting closer ever since,” Neal said. “It’s tough being in season because there is so much to balance and that actually plays a role in us getting closer since we are all helping each other out. I definitely saw that this season.”
After a good run in the middle of the season, the Chants hit a bump in the road, going 1-3-1 before the final weekend of play.
Coastal regrouped and picked up back-to-back wins to close out the year, thanks to late goals. In fact, late goals have been the makeup of this Chanticleer team — whether they are game-winners or game sealers.
Eight of the team’s 21 goals this year have come in the final 15 minutes of the game.
“We are most confident in our kid’s mentality,” Hogan said. “While the soccer part is important, the mentality part is important as well. Are you willing to go that extra step, put in that extra work when you’re tired so you help your team get that goal? I believe our kids have that.”
The Chanticleers (7-8-2) take on Georgia State (8-8-2) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Foley, Alabama. The game can be viewed on ESPN+.