The Portland Pilots ended their first weekend of the season without a win, dropping game two of 2019 1-0 against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
The first half was evenly matched, with both teams ending the half with only three shots. The game was played mostly in the middle of the field while both teams’ defenses fended off pushes from the opposition.
Senior Francesco Tiozzo and redshirt junior Brian O’Hara consistently controlled the defense as Coastal Carolina tried to find room on both sides of the field with no success.
The Pilots’ offense tried to get something going but were met with serious opposition before getting into scoring position. Portland tried to work the ball in the middle of the field but struggled to find room to get a good shot off.
“We got three really clean chances,” Pilot head coach Nick Carlin-Voigt said. “We are in behind, the keeper makes a good save and we don’t finish. They played five in the back and clogged space.”
The second half saw more action. Portland would more than double the amount of shots they had in the first half by the time the 60th minute rolled around. However, Coastal Carolina stood tough and again presented Portland with few good opportunities to score.
Portland saw its scariest moment of the match in the 55th minute as a handball in the penalty box by senior midfielder Gio Magana-Rivera gave Coastal Carolina a penalty shot and a chance to take the lead. Portland goalkeeper, junior Nico Campuzano, guessed right and made a dive that deflected the ball away for the improbable save.
“I saw his run up and I tried to fake the dive to the right side,” Campuzano said. “I went left and hold the dive. I reacted quick.”
Coastal Carolina would strike first late in the game to take the lead. In the 75th minute, a free-kick from the right side of the field found the head of freshman Chanticleer midfielder Emile Rzepecki who sent it flying into the left side of the goal.
Portland will take this week to gather themselves and prepare to host George Washington University on Friday, Sept. 6 at Merlo Field.
Jamison White is a sports reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.