CCU men's soccer silent powerhouse on campus

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A large part of the Conway community of course is Coastal Carolina University. While many Saturdays in the fall are spent at the football stadium, there is another program from the school just across the street that has calmly made a name for itself over the past decade.

When it comes to the Chanticleer sporting world, a lot of attention has gone to head football coach Joe Moglia as he tries to re-establish the program. But right here during the fall, the men's soccer program has been garnering attention at the national level for some time, but there is no sign of these chants slowing down.

He keeps a low profile during the season, but you can't exactly blame Head Coach Shaun Docking for doing so. The soccer skipper is entering his 15th season with Chanticleer soccer, and the determination to turn this program into a powerhouse has never been greater.

"I think you try and do the best you can, recruit to bring in players that are appreciative of what CCU is giving them, and appreciative of the experience. You hope it transfers onto the field as well," explains Docking.

There's no need to question the results. The Chants have turned in a combination of 12 regular season and postseason Big South Championships, along with seven NCAA tournament appearances. CCU only made two other appearances before Docking's arrival.

"It's been lots of improvement; I wanted to be a part of a growing soccer program," claims senior midfielder Ashton Bennett.

Sophomore defender Justin Portillo adds, "We got a great team. A lot of these guys play at a high level. We definitely have a big chance to get far."

The current momentum has treated the team well. It has been a mainstay in the national rankings, and made its first back to back national tournament appearances since 2004 and 2005. But both Docking and his players agree that a job well done for now is still far from complete.

"These guys are grounded. They don't look at national ranks," clarifies Coach Docking. "You try to improve every game and it takes care of itself. They know they have a long way to go still."

"We're getting there. I see it growing. There's always room for improvement. It's a system; we've got new players to keep it going," foresees Bennett.

The Chants are currently ranked 19th in the country, and have just opened up conference play as the hunt begins for another Big South regular season title.

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