Coastal Carolina – Four Star Recruiting Class – Few teams put the ball in the back of the net more than the Chanticleers. Last year Coastal Carolina netted a total of sixty-two goals in route to a 20-3-4 overall record and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in NCAA Tourney play. For the most part the Chanticleers were also very solid on the defensive side of the ball allowing a total of only twenty-two goals.
Shaun Docking who has guided Coastal Carolina into the upper echelon of college soccer will enter his sixteenth season as the Chanticleer head coach with seven returning starters and a super sized group of eighteen newcomers that includes two transfers who joined the team in the spring. Docking stated, "This class has depth of experience, including six players with youth national experience, which should pay immediate dividends at the collegiate level."
Under Docking, Coastal Carolina has rarely had a lack of capable athletes on the pitch. This will again be a talented team but no matter how you spin it, heading into the 2013 season Docking has some pretty significant shoes to fill on both sides of the ball and a ton of newcomers with diverse backgrounds to blend in with his returning players.
Forward Ashton Bennett (16g, 9a), the 2011 and 2012 Big South Attacking Player of the Year, will definitely be missed on the offensive side of the ball. Bennett finished his career at Coastal Carolina ranked sixth all-time with thirty-nine career goals. Replacing Bennett is no small feat but with First Team All-Big South selections junior forward Ricky Garbanzo (13g, 5a) and senior midfielders Pedro Ribeiro (5g, 10a) and Justin Portillo (4g, 10a) returning it is highly likely that this group will continue to light up the back of the net on a consistent basis. Sophomore forward Jakub Stourac (3g, 2a) and senior forward Matt Risher (3g, 2a) are among other returning players who will contribute to the attack.
Significant reloading will be required on the defensive side of the ball due to the departure of Kjartan Siqurdsson (1g, 1a) who was the 2012 Big South Defensive Player of the Year, and starting backs Henrik Robstad (2g, 4a) and Jhamie Hyde (1g, 1a). Junior center back Uchenna Uzo, a 2012 All-Big South Second Team member, and junior back Shawn McLaws (0g, 5a) are among returning defenders who Docking will likely build around.
The Chanticleers will be very talented and deep between the pipes. Junior Federico Bertele, a 2012 All-Big South Second Team selection who had a 0.76 goals against average last year returns along with senior Mark Petrus who saw action in seven contests. Newcomer sophomore Devin Cook who transfers in from SMU gives the Chanticleers a third highly regarded goalkeeper.
Forward Agust Arnarson who was an NAIA All-American at Auburn University Montgomery is among the newcomers who is likely to make an immediate contribution to the offense. Arnarson netted sixteen goals last year including six game winners. Midfielder Sergio Camargo who was a member of the Canadian U-17 World Cup team and defender Kai Morton who has played with the Canadian U-20 National Team are among other members of the recruiting class who are solid candidates to move into prominent roles. Sophomore transfer Simon Laugsand from Marist who joined the program in the spring is among other players who should compete for playing time from the get-go.
Coastal Carolina has not lost a regular season conference game for the past two seasons and until someone else proves otherwise will remain the team to beat in the Big South Conference. In many ways the only team that can beat Coastal Carolina in conference play is Coastal Carolina. However Radford, Campbell, Liberty, High Point and Winthrop are all legitimate contenders should the Chanticleers stumble. Winthrop reinforced that last year when they upset the top three seeds including the number one seeded Chanticleers 3-2 in the championship match of the Big South Conference Tournament.
Coastal Carolina will open the 2013 season with a challenging schedule that includes Wake Forest and North Carolina on the road. They then host Charlotte and South Carolina and then take to the road to face an always difficult UNC Greensboro team and a very talented VCU squad.
Those contests present the opportunity for Coastal Carolina to add some impressive wins to their resume but they also pose a degree of difficulty early on that could be hazardous to the win-loss record of a team that may require a little while to gel due to the gaps that they have to fill. Regardless, it's hard to imagine the Chanticleers being anything other than extremely competitive and a team that will grow stronger as the season progresses.
Simon Laugsand – Midfielder – Sortland, Norway – Sortland Videregaende Skole – Sophomore transfer from Marist where he was a starter last year. Played club soccer for Sortland FC in Norway.
Ridge Robinson – Defender – Littleton, Colorado – Colorado Virtual Academy- Junior transfer from Drexel where he played in six games last year. Played club with the Colorado Rush.
Agust Arnarson – Forward – Kopavogur, Iceland – Kopavogur Grammar School – Transfer from Auburn University Montgomery. NAIA All-America Second Team selection. SSAC All-Conference.
Birkir Bjornsson – Defender – Reykjavik, Iceland – Kvennaskolinn I Reykjavik – Scored five goals and added sixteen assists in leading the senior squad to the Reykjavikur Championship in 2013.
Sergio Camargo – Midfielder – Newmarket, Ontario – Bill Crothers Secondary School – Member of the Canadian U-17 World Cup team in 2011-2012.
Devin Cook – Goalkeeper – Round Rock, Texas – Stony Point High School – Played for USL's Austin Aztex. Transfer from SMU. Played club soccer for Lonestar SC. Region III and Texas ODP teams.
Frederik Frankman – Defender – Copenhagen Denmark – Falkonergardens Gymnasium – Member of the Danish Second Division Club Fremad Amager in 2012 and 2013. Member of the Danish National Team.
Ben Jacks – Forward – Darnestown, Maryland – Northwest High School – Netted thirty-five career goals in high school. Played for Sigonella High School in Sicily, Italy for two year. 94 ODP Region 1 team.
Tapiwa Kaseke – Forward – Bulawayo, Zimbabwe – Christian Brothers College – Netted sixty-seven goals for Christian Brothers College. Scored thirty-one goals as a senior. Played soccer and basketball.
Colin Marz – Defender – Crete, Illinois – Mt. Carmel High School – Sophomore transfer from UIC where he played in ten matches. IHSCAA All-State and All-Conference. Played for the Chicago Magic Academy.
Pierre Morin – Defender – France – Universite Pierre Mendes France Grenoble – Played with the reserves in the DH level where he scored seven goals and contributed eleven assists.
Kai Morton – Defender – Ottawa, Ontario – John McCrae Secondary School – Played with the 2012 Canadian U-20 National Team. Montreal Impact Academy U-21 team. Canadian U-17 National team.
Kennedy O'Shea – Forward – South Riding, Virginia – Paul VI Catholic High School – Member of D.C. United Academy U-16 and U-18 teams. All-State. Al-WCAC.
Michael Parado – Midfielder – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida – Ponte Vedra High School – Member Florida ODP team. Played club for Jacksonville Youth SC.
Joel Perez – Midfielder – Berea, South Carolina – Berea High School – Junior transfer from Spartanburg Methodist where he was named a NJCAA Third Team All-American in 2012. Played club with CESA.
Rik Ruddick – Defender – Titusville, Florida – Titusville High School – Sophomore transfer from Flagler College. All-Space Coast in high school. Played club for the Florida Rush U-19 team.
Drew Smith – Midfielder – Glen Burnie, Maryland – Mount Saint Joseph High School – Played club with the Baltimore Bays Academy and Pipeline Soccer. Captain of high school team.
Justin White – Defender – Summerville, South Carolina – Pinewood Prep – Junior transfer from Central Florida where he appeared in nineteen matches in two seasons. Played club for South Carolina Un