No. 17 Charlotte wins matchup 2-1 against No. 12 Coastal Carolina

The 49ers remained undefeated after defeating No. 12 Coastal Carolina in a top-20 matchup at 2-1 in a physical, thrilling double-overtime match.

“It was a good, physical college game,” said 49ers’ Head Coach Kevin Langan.   

In the first half, both teams struggled to initiate offense and get shots on goal against the opposing team’s defense. Both defenses held the opposing offenses to one shot on goal and one corner kick until the 35th minute of action. 

With two minutes remaining until halftime, Chanticleers’ forward DZ Harmon found midfielder Danny Cabera for an uncontested goal to give Coastal Carolina the advantage heading into halftime. 

“I think the first half was a really tight, physical affair,” said Langan. “The challenge for us was to show courage to compete, courage to challenge for the first ball and courage to pick up the loose ball.” 

Strong defense played a vital role in the second half. Each time one team’s offense had the opportunity to score, the other team’s defense stepped up and made a play. As the game wore on, pent-up frustration boiled over several times, resulting in four yellow cards after the first half. 

In the last ten minutes, with the 49ers trailing 1-0, the Chanticleers’ forwards caught the 49ers’ defense off guard. With a chance to take a decisive 2-0 lead, Harmon took a lightly-contested shot from just inside the box that sailed over the crossbar. The missed shot kept the 49ers in the game. 

“We knew as the game went on and players got tired that the lanes would open up,” said Langan. “I thought [in the] second half it was one-way traffic, and we really did a great job with that (moving the ball).”

Off of Elliot Panicco’s  punt deep down the field, the 49ers’ garnered a corner kick in the 85th minute with an opportunity to tie the game. Senior midfielder Teddy Chaouche lofted the corner kick over the top of the Chaticellers’ defense to Cooper Nugent. Nugent headed the ball to Preston Popp for the game-tying goal. At the end of regulation, the score was tied 1-1. 

“Going into overtime, I just knew how strong [and] how fit our guys are,” said Langan. “I was really confident that we were going to get some really good looks; it was just whether we could take it or not.”  

 The 49ers and Chanticellers fought back and forth during the first overtime session, with neither team being able to establish any offensive rhythm. The lone shot of the first overtime session came in the 98th minute off of a penalty kick. The shot appeared to be heading in until Chanticellers’ goalie Alberto Ciroi leaped up and caught the ball, keeping the game tied 1-1 and effectively sending the game into the second overtime session. 

The Chanticleers offense started the second overtime session aggressively, drawing a penalty kick in the 102nd minute. Panicco blocked the Chanticleers’ entry pass off of the penalty kick, keeping the 49ers’ upset bid alive. 

The 49ers’ quickly transitioned into their offense off of the saved penalty kick. Chaouche navigated his way through the Coastal Carolina defense enough to launch a deep, pin-point pass down the right sideline to freshman forward Cameron Lacey. Lacey surveyed the field and crossed the ball back to Chaouche at the top of the box. From just outside of the box, Chaouche scored the game-winning goal, sending a roar of excitement throughout Transamerica Field. 

“To go into overtime and to win, these are incredible experiences for our players to have and to learn,” said Langan.  

The 49ers’ look to remain undefeated in Morgantown, W. Va. on Tuesday, Sept. 10 against the No. 24 West Virginia Mountaineers in another top-20 matchup at 7 p.m.

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