By RU Sports Information Sunday, October 28 2012 00:00
Matt Janssen scored 2:53 into the match to give the Highlanders (8-4-4, 6-1-1 Big South) an early advantage, but Coastal (15-1-2, 9-0-0), the nation's top-scoring team, netted two before halftime and a pair in the second half to take control.
The win also gave Coastal Carolina the Big South regular season title – the Chanticleers have earned the top seed for the conference tournament, which begins Nov. 6.
“Coastal is well-deserving of their No. 9 ranking and a 4-1 win,” head coach Marc Reeves said. “They're exceptionally talented and well-coached, and we congratulate them on being league champions. We have to regroup and focus on our season, keeping it successful and working to finish in the top four in the standings to get a home game in the tournament.”
Ashton Bennett, the league's leading scorer, netted a pair (19', 79') to increase his total to 13 this season. Pedro Ribeiro (10') and Ricky Garbanzo (73') added the other scores for Coastal Carolina.
Janssen and the Highlanders jumped out quickly in the third minute, as he took a pass from Jannik Eckenrode in the middle and slipped a shot inside the far post from the near side, scoring his second goal of the season and giving Radford a short-lived lead.
Coastal found the equalizer less than seven minutes later. Janssen had to clear a Bennett shot from inside the goal box off the line, setting up a corner kick for the Chanticleers. Justin Portillo's service from the far side of the field found Ribeiro in the middle, and the 6-foot-3 midfielder cleanly headed the ball in to tie the match at 1-1.
Bennett finally got on the board in the 19th, as a give-and-go with Portillo just outside the penalty area set up the goal – Bennett created just enough space with traffic in front, and bent a shot into the upper far corner of the net for the game-winner.
In the second half, Coastal scored twice within a span of 7:52. Bennett sent a pass ahead through the middle of the field for Garbanzo, who in a one-on-one chance neatly touched it past a challenge from Ryan Taylor and into the net. Garbanzo set up the last goal, as he made a play to Ribeiro and then on to Bennett, who finished from inside the penalty area to cap the scoring.
Taylor made four saves for the Highlanders, including three in the first half to keep it at a one-goal deficit.
Coastal outshot Radford 17-11, including 10-6 in the first half. Federico Bertele made two saves for the Chanticleers.
Radford has a quick turnaround, hosting Liberty for a Tuesday night match at 6 p.m.
Photo courtesy of RU Sports Information
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