#18 Coastal Carolina Men's Soccer 2013 Preview

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Overall Rank: #18
Conference Rank: #1 Big South
#18 Coastal Carolina Men's Soccer 2013 Preview
Coastal Carolina Team Page


After a trip to the final sixteen, Coastal Carolina will try and keep the good times rolling without star striker Ashton Bennett. Last year Bennett netted 16 goals and added nine assists. He led the Chanticleers past Elon and Wake Forest in the NCAA Tournament. He also netted the team’s lone goal in their tournament loss to Maryland. This group will be quite different without Bennett, but there is plenty of talent returning. Coastal Carolina may not go 10-0-0 in Big South play again, yet they will not be too far from perfection.

2012 Record: 20-3-2, 10-0-0
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Shaun Docking

Only Maryland scored more goals than Coastal Carolina during the 2012 season. Of course Bennett was a huge part of that, but Coach Shaun Docking is not lacking in scoring options. Ricky Garbanzo found the back of the net 13 times as a sophomore. He is ready to take over. Justin Portillo and Pedro Ribeiro are two of the best midfielders in the Big South. Portillo scored four goals and dished out ten assists. Ribeiro added five goals and ten assists. With those two setting up Garbanzo, not to mention finishing themselves, the Chanticleers offense will be almost as potent as they were last season. Jakub Stourac showed potential as a freshman and newcomers Agust Arnarson and Jai Nascimento will bring some more experience to the table.

The Chanticleers only allowed 22 goals in 25 games, but when facing tougher opponents, this team was susceptible on defense. Ending the season with a 5-1 loss to the Terrapins has had Coastal Carolina fans mulling over that point since November. Uchenna Uzo and Shawn McLaws are quality defenders who can be effective coming up in the attack. However, the rest of the defense will have to be filled by newcomers. There are some experienced options. Ridge Robinson is a transfer from Drexel, while Colin Marz joins Coastal Carolina from Illinois-Chicago and Justin White from UCF. Uzo and McLaws are fine duo to build around, yet without any other returning players to fill in the holes, there are some serious questions on defense. But there are not any issues between the posts. Federico Bertele started a majority of the games in goal. The junior recorded six shutouts in 19 games. Senior Mark Petrus is a larger presence in the goal and will fight for quality minutes.

Final Projection:
It will be difficult for Coastal Carolina to match last year’s success. Bennett’s leadership and efficient goal scoring has to be missed even if this team can score nearly as much without him. Winning the conference will almost certainly happen, but tying or losing a game along the way will probably happen too. But once this group gets to the tournament, they will have the confidence to win a game or two. Early tests against Wake Forest, North Carolina, Charlotte, South Carolina and VCU will be a good indicator of how far the defense has progressed and if Coastal Carolina has the potential to contain quality offenses come tournament time.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Ricky Garbanzo, Junior, F, 13
Assists: Justin Portillo, Senior, M, 10; Pedro Ribeiro, Senior, M, 10
Shots: Ricky Garbanzo, Junior, F, 55; Pedro Ribeiro, Senior, M, 55
Saves: Federico Bertele, Junior, GK, 47


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