CONWAY, S.C.– Sophomore Danny Baraldi scored a pair of goals as the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team battled nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina to a 3-3 draw on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 9). The match, the final contest in the CCU Invitational, was held at the CCU Soccer Field.
Freshman Ryan James had the other goal for the Falcons, who are now 1-2-2 on the season. The Chanticleers, ranked No. 18 in the nation, are 3-1-2 this fall to date.
Baraldi and James both were named to the all-tournament team. Wofford claimed the tournament title with a 2-0-0 record on the weekend, after a 2-1 win over Florida Atlantic in Sunday's first contest. CCU took runner-up honors with a 1-0-1 mark, followed by the Falcons (0-1-1) and FAU (0-2-0).
On Sunday, the Falcons never trailed, but the host school had an answer for each BG goal. On two occasions, after the Chants had tied the match, it took the Falcons mere moments to regain the lead. However, the home team tied the match with only 18 seconds left in regulation, before the teams battled through a pair of scoreless overtime sessions.
Baraldi got the scoring started in the 12th minute of the match, launching a shot past CCU starting goalkeeper Scott Shewfelt on a BG counterattack. Baraldi's blast came from the top of the 18-yard box. Shewfelt and Federico Bertele would combine to make just one save in net for the hosts on the day. With 11:10 gone, the Falcons had a 1-0 lead.
The visitors took that lead into the halftime break, before the teams combined for five second-half goals. Coastal outshot the Falcons by a relatively narrow 9-6 margin in the first half, but CCU would enjoy a 27-5 lead in that category after halftime, including an 18-3 advantage in the second half of regulation.
The hosts equalized at the 56:35 mark, as Robby Joe Daniels headed home a free kick by teammate Henrik Robstad. But, it took only 25 seconds for the Falcons to answer.
Again, it was Baraldi who found the back of the net, taking a pass from James and giving BG the lead once again. After a long BG ball forward, junior Anthony Grant nearly beat CCU defender Uchenna Uzo. Uzo knocked the ball away from Grant approximately 30 yards out, but the ball went to the onrushing James. James took one touch, then poked the ball between two Chanticleer players to Baraldi.
Baraldi received the pass at the top of the 18-yard box, cut back to avoid Uzo, settled and fired a left-footed shot into the lower-right-hand corner of the net. James drew the lone assist on the goal, which came with exactly 57 minutes gone.
Sean McCormick knotted the match just under 10 minutes later, deflecting a short cross from Justin Portillo past BGSU 'keeper Michael Wiest. Again, however, the Falcons were quick to answer.
Just 2:22 after McCormick's goal, the visitors struck again. Sophomore Vlad Lekarev played a ball to James, who was 30 yards out with his back to the goal. With Lekarev continuing his run toward the left side of the penalty area, James faked a pass back to Lekarev. Instead, though, the Falcon freshman turned the other way, eluded his would-be defender and blasted a shot from 22 yards out that sailed just past the fingertips of a diving Bertele and nestled just inside the left goalpost, a few feet under the crossbar.
The hosts, however, had some 11th-hour heroics up their collective sleeve. With the clock ticking under the 30-second mark in regulation, Daniels took a long throw-in, with the ball sailing into the penalty area. Wiest, in traffic, punched the ball away from two CCU players, but it bounced directly to Jhamie Hyde at the top of the box. Hyde had enough space to time his shot, and he volleyed the ball into the back of the net to send the teams to extra time.
CCU had a 9-2 advantage in shot attempts in the overtime periods, including a 3-1 margin in shots on goal, but neither team could get a fourth goal on the day.
CCU had allowed a total of just two goals in five matches this season, prior to surrendering three to the Falcons on Sunday. The Chanticleers entered Sunday's match with an all-time record of 61-19-5 at the CCU Soccer Field.
Wiest made a career-high 10 saves for the Falcons, who now prepare for a Friday (Sept. 14) match at Cleveland State. BGSU's next home match will be against Detroit on Tuesday, Sept. 18.