The Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team did not have the best start to the 2019 season, losing their first four games and being outscored 13-1.
But following a 1-0 win over Appalachian State at home on Thursday, the Chanticleers are now 4-1-1 in their last six games. They have outscored opponents by a margin of 12-7.
“We have finally settled down and have those freshmen that are seeing lots of playing time understand their roles,” head coach Paul Hogan said. “Also, we are kind of revamping and seeing how we are doing without the injured players. It truly has been a work in progress.”
Senior forward Hannah Miller scored the lone goal for the Chanticleers Thursday night, her third of the season.
Hogan talked about Miller’s ability to find the back of the net, despite battling injury all season long.
“She’s a poacher,” Hogan said. “She scores goals. She takes chances. She is somebody that, as we progress, she is going to get better as the season goes. I’m excited to see what she can do in the last part of the year.”
All season long, Hogan has talked about the youth he has had on his team. In Thursday’s game, the Chanticleers had four freshmen in the starting 11. In fact, in every game this season the Chanticleers have started at least three or more freshmen.
One freshman who stood out on Thursday was goalkeeper Ky Hudson. She recorded her first career shutout in only her second career start.
“We did really well [against App State],” Hudson said. “The defense held it down and we had Gabby Smychynsky come in as a sub and her impact was huge. The midfield did their job as well when it came to pressing and holding App State to getting off as few shots as possible.”
Hudson only had one save on the evening, despite App State recording nine shots. Hudson is now 2-0 in her young career, after helping her team to a 2-1 win on Sep. 22 versus Troy.
“[Thursday] was less of a scrappy game,” Hudson said. “I feel like as a team, we connected better on our passes."
The Chanticleers are currently second in the Sun Belt standings, ahead of three teams that were picked to finish ahead of them in the preseason poll, including preseason favorite Texas State and defending champion Little-Rock.
The standings most likely will change since the Chanticleers are the only Sun Belt team to not play on Sunday. However, with two wins in their first three matches, the Chants will stay in the top half of the standings, regardless of results.
Coastal will return to the pitch on the road Oct. 4 to take on Little-Rock at 8:30 p.m.
The Chanticleers return to the CCU Soccer Stadium Oct. 11 to take on Georgia State, the team that knocked the Chanticleers out of the Sun Belt Conference tournament last year.