CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina women’s lacrosse team took the “Surf Turf” inside Brooks Stadium on Saturday afternoon for their first home game in 667 days and used a second-half offensive onslaught to record a 15-7 win over the Kennesaw State Owls.
The Chanticleers notched 12 second-half goals and held Kennesaw State to just three goals over the final 30 minutes of play to run away with the home win.
The win pushes CCU to 3-0 to start the season, the program’s best start since the first year under head coach Kristen Selvage in 2017.
Newcomer Kayla Downey led the offense with a match-high four goals, two scores in each half, while veteran Samantha Courtemanche finished with a double hat-trick with three goals and five assists all in the second half in the win.
Fellow CCU attackers Lauren Cremen and Monica Manley each tallied two goals of their own on the day, while fourth other Chants registered a goal in the win. Avery Snider joined Manley in scoring their first career goals at CCU.
After allowing a quick three goals to start the contest, goalkeeper Claire Martell settled in to record nine saves, including stopping seven KSU shots in the second half of play to help shut down the Owls’ offense and move to 3-0 on the season.
Matching Martell with a team-high three ground balls was defender Anya McSorley, who also caused one turnover and won one draw control. Fellow defenders Sarah Trupp (2 ground balls, 1 caused turnover), Haley Wells (2 ground balls, 1 caused turnover), and Emily D’Orsaneo (2 ground balls, 1 caused turnover) combined to scoop six ground balls and cause three turnovers, while midfielder Hannah Close added one ground ball, two caused turnovers, and one draw control win.
KSU’s Gore sisters in Marissa and Siena combined to score six of the Owls’ seven goals for the match, while Chesslyn added a goal of her own in the second half.
The Owls’ goalkeeper Julia Weiss made eight saves on the match, all in the first half, but couldn’t stop the Chants’ offensive attack in the second half in the loss.
The visiting Kennesaw State Owls jumped out to an early 1-0 lead less than a minute into the game, as Marissa Gore found the back of the net at the 29:22 mark of the opening half.
Coastal quickly answered with a free position goal from Downey (28:42) less than a minute later to tie the game up at 1-1 with just under 29 minutes left in the first half.
The back-and-forth scoring continued minutes later, as Siena Gore (27:19) put the Owls back in front with a free position goal only to see CCU’s Downey notch her second goal of the first half at the 24:19 mark to knot the game back up at 2-2.
The two teams finally settled in before the Owls got a second goal from Siena Gore (20:21) with just over 20 minutes left on the game clock to pull back in front of the home team at 3-2.
Coastal again had an answer as Snyder notched her first career goal as a Chant off an assist from Abbey Buchanan (1 goal, 1 assist) at the 14:29 mark of the opening half to again tie the game up at 3-3.
However, it was the Owls’ turn to score, as Marissa Gore put KSU in front once more at 4-3 on a goal at the 9:16 mark to put the visitors in front once more.
Despite the defense playing well and the offense outshooting the Owls 16-9 in the first half, including 11 shots on goal, the Chants trailed going into the halftime break by one at 4-3.
The Chants opened the second period on a mission, as Buchanan started the scoring off an assist from Megan Busch at the 24:01 mark to tie the game back up at 4-4.
After Kennesaw State’s Lamar gave the lead back to the Owls at 22:56 on an assist from Emily Napierala, the Chanticleers’ scored nine-straight goals to roll out to a 13-5 lead.
Manley tallied her first career goal off an assist from Courtemanche at the 21:15 mark of the second half to knot the score at 5-5.
CCU did not look back, as Courtemanche (18:42, 16:29) recorded back-to-back unassisted goals to give the Chants their first lead of the game and then assisted on the next three Coastal goals from Cremen (15:12, 14:30) and Downey (11:49) to double up the Owls at 10-5.
Busch added an unassisted goal at the 11:15 mark, which was followed by another Manley goal and Courtemanche assist at the 10:38 mark to put the score at 12-5 in favor of the home team.
The final 10 minutes of play would see the Chants add to their lead with the fourth goal of the match from Downey (9:07) and then trade goals with the Owls down the stretch with Abi George’s first goal of the season off an assist from Busch capping the scoring in the 15-7 win.
Coastal (3-0) will hit the road for its first conference match as a Southern Conference member on Friday, March 5, as the Chanticleers will take on Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C. The game is set for a 3 p.m. ET start.