#33 Coastal Carolina Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Overall Rank: #33
Conference Rank: #1 Big South
Coastal Carolina Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Coastal Carolina Team Page


Coastal Carolina came extremely close to turning the entire NCAA Tournament on its head in 2011. The Chanticleers knocked off Elon in the first round and then took the lead twice on North Carolina, the eventual national champions, before succumbing to the Tar Heels by a score of 3-2. This is another group that has the potential to make a big run in the tournament. The return of Coach Shaun Docking is huge and so is the return of superstar striker Ashton Bennett.

2011 Record: 18-4-0, 9-0-0
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Shaun Docking

Bennett is the leader of the most potent offense in college soccer. In 2011 the Chanticleers ranked first in the nation in scoring offense with a smooth three goals per game and first in total goals with 66. Bennett ranked first in the country in total points with 53 and goals with 23. With Bennett, a 5-9 striker, back for his senior year, CCU’s offense will be just as potent. The scary thing is that the scoring prowess is not all about Bennett. Ricky Garbanzo is a fine secondary striker who netted six goals last year. Midfielder Pedro Ribeiro added nine, along with a team high eight assists. But the man pulling the strings is junior Justin Portillo. Portillo’s four goals and four assists hardly stand out on this team, but the offense works through him. Add in players like Shawn McLaws, who dished out six assists and defensive midfielder Luis Faz and Coastal Carolina will look to add to their three goals per game average.

It is hard to call the defense a weakness, since they actually gave up less than a goal per game. Even more promising for the defense is that Henrik Robstad and Kjartan Sigurdsson were just freshmen last year and should only be better with that year of experience under their belt. But when the going gets tough, it is the defense that will feel the strain.” As seen in the NCAA Tournament, the offense can compete with anybody, but the defense has to buckle down and stop teams like Elon and even North Carolina from scoring three goals against them. The loss of keeper Scott Angevine leaves a lot of questions between the posts. Coach Shaun Docking does have some talented options, including some with a little experience outside of Coastal Carolina, but the overall lack of experience in goal will be an issue early in the season.

Final Projection:
However, Coastal Carolina has time to fill their holes. With Bennett, Ribeiro, Garbanzo and Portillo leading the way, this team can get by while the rest of the pieces fall into place. Nobody in the Big South can come close to catching the Chanticleers and that means they can make mistakes early in the year and still reach the NCAA Tournament. And those mistakes will be made and Coach Docking will have to find the right combination of players to make things work, but he will by November. And by then this will be a team that can beat anybody, including North Carolina.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Ashton Bennett, Senior, F, 23
Assists: Pedro Ribeiro, Junior, M, 8
Shots: Ashton Bennett, Senior, F, 78
Saves: None

Madness 2013 MLS Draft Rankings:
#14 Ashton Bennet