ATLANTA – The Coastal Carolina and Georgia State men’s soccer teams battled through regulation and two overtime periods with neither team finding the back of the net to have the Sun Belt match decided on penalty kicks which the Chanticleers won 4-3 Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.
The two teams battled back-and-forth for 110 minutes with CCU (6-1-1) taking 18 shots and GSU (9-2-2) taking 16. However, it was the play of the two best goalies in the conference that kept the match scoreless as CCU’s Tor Saunders recorded six saves and GSU’s Paul Tyson recorded five in keeping the game level heading into penalty kick action.
Emile Rzepecki, Claudio Repetto, and Estaban Leiva made CCU’s first three penalty kicks, while GSU missed their third. Going into the fourth round of penalty kicks, the Chants left the door open for the Panthers by missing their fourth attempt high and over the goal. GSU made their fourth to even it at three.
Senior DZ Harmon had the fifth penalty kick for the Chants which he made. GSU’s fifth penalty kick was unsuccessful which gave the Chants the 4-3 win and the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Soccer Championship.
GSU played the final 37 minutes of regulation and both overtime periods down one player as a red card was issued to a Panther player. The Panthers played tremendous defense to keep the match scoreless and sent it into penalty kicks.
Marcelo Lage and Rzepecki led the Chants on offense with three shots each. Four other Chanticleers recorded two shots.
The match mirrored last season’s championship match between the same two teams which went into penalty kicks with the score even at one. CCU also won that championship as well on PK’s at 6-5.
Sunday’s match was the fourth time since CCU joined the conference in 2016 that the Chants have faced Georgia State for the tournament title, and have been successful in all four attempts.
Following the match, CCU’s Saunders, who picked up two shutouts in the championship tournament, was named the Championship’s Most Outstanding Player.
Joining Saunders on the all-tournament team were teammates Lage, Leiva, and Marcello Jones.
The tournament title is the fourth in five years for the Chants as members of the Sun Belt Conference and their 16th tournament title overall.