In an evenly played Big South men's soccer contest, the No. 5 ranked Coastal Carolina Chanticleers used a first half goal to defeat the Liberty Flames, 1-0, Friday afternoon at CCU Soccer Field.
Liberty drops to 3-4 in the Big South play and 7-7 overall. The loss snaps a two-game conference winning streak for the Flames. Coastal Carolina moves to 7-0 in the conference and 12-2 overall on the year.
The Chanticleers are the highest ranked team Liberty has faced in soccer since a 2-0 setback to No. 2 North Carolina on Oct. 12, 2010 at Osborne Stadium.
After back-to-back shot attempts by visiting Flames midfielder Blessing Tahuouna and Sachem Wilson during the 11th minute, Liberty showed strong defense by weathering three shots and two corner kicks from Coastal Carolina during the next three minutes.
During the span, Flames goalkeeper Jeremy Lee turned away two shots, deflecting one over the crossbar during the 12th minute and corralling a shot from the left top corner of the 18-yard box during the 16th minute.
Liberty may have had its best scoring opportunity of the half during the 18th minute. Countering, Flames defender Murphy Short pushed a pass ahead for forward Kyle Breitmeyer, who broke into the clear and drew multiple Coastal Carolina defenders. At the top of the box, Breitmeyer dropped a pass to the left side for Tahuona, who lifted a shot towards the far post. However, Chanticleer goalkeeper Devin Cook was able to collect the shot to keep the contest scoreless.
During 21st minute, Liberty midfielder Juan Nino ranged back from his defensive position to clear a header by Chanticleers Kai Morton away the goal line off a corner kick.
At 31:35, Coastal Carolina's Perdo Reibeiro scored the game's only goal. Reibeiro settled a crossing pass from Sergio Carmargo at the top of the box and netted his seventh goal of the year for a 1-0 advantage.
Breitmeyer closed the half with a shot, which Cook kept out of the net, during the final minute of the period.
Shots were even in the opening 45 minutes at seven apiece. Coastal Carolina held a 3-1 edge over Liberty in corner kicks.
Looking for the equalizer early in the second half, Breitmeyer fired a shot off the post two minutes into the period. However, Coastal Carolina was able to clear the ensuing corner kick.
Later in the half, midfielder Tanner Wilcox and Sachem Wilson each forced saves by Cook during the 62nd minute.
Liberty pressure during the 79th minute resulted in its final scoring opportunity. Brietmeyer headed a crossing pass to the left post towards the right side of the goal, but Cook jumped up and snatched it away to preserving what proved to be the final of 1-0.
Coastal Carolina held a 13-12 edge in shots in the contest. Corner kicks were even at three apiece.
Lee recorded four saves for the Flames. Cook made six saves for Chanticleers.
Liberty returns home to host the Longwood Lancers for a Big South contest, Tuesday evening at Osborne Stadium. Match time is scheduled for 6 p.m.