Coastal Carolina scored two goals late in the first half to propel the Chanticleers to a 4-0 Sun Belt Conference men's soccer victory over visiting Georgia Southern on Saturday evening in Conway, S.C.
The loss means the Eagles (7-8-2, 2-3 SBC) will be in action on Wednesday's first round of the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Championships in Boone, N.C. Georgia Southern's first-round opponent will be determined by the Sun Belt later Saturday.
The Eagles and the Chanticleers were locked in a defensive struggle through most of the first half, with Georgia Southern's Jarvian Wigfall testing Coastal Carolina goalkeeper Alberto Ciroi with a shot in the 16th minute as the only clear scoring chance in the early going.
Coastal Carolina's second shot of the match would be the first goal of the evening as Tyrone Mondi's strike in the 40th minute put the home team up by one goal. Less than three minutes later, the Chants would double their lead on a goal by Sam Snaith to take a 2-0 lead into halftime. CCU would have the lead even though the Eagles enjoyed a 4-3 edge in shots in the first half.
The Chanticleers put the match away just four minutes into the second half as Mondi tallied his second goal of the night at the 49:04 mark to make the lead 3-0. Snaith capped the scoring with a goal in the 88th minute for the final 4-0 tally.
"It just shows there's still areas of growth with our group with regards to managing those key moments," Georgia Southern Head Men's Soccer Coach John Murphy said about the sequence at the end of the first half. "Those were huge momentum swings. We had the better of play and had some good looks at goal when it was nil-nil. You're disappointed you don't get your rewards when you're on top, and then we just make it hard for ourselves when we fall behind."
Coastal Carolina finished the match with a 13-7 edge in shots. Each team had five corner kicks on the evening, and Georgia Southern was whistled for seven fouls, compared to five for the Chants. Coastal Carolina was offsides three times on the night.
"We rotated our squad today, and got some players some significant minutes in the second half," Murphy said. "That will come in handy when you have to play three games in five days. I believe we have the depth to be able to do that, and that's what we're going to focus on these next couple of days heading into the Sun Belt tournament."