Sunny Sigurvinsdottir’s goal in the 105th minute lifted the Lady Chanticleers to victory over five-time defending champion South Alabama on Friday, Sep. 21. The win was the first ever victory over the Lady Jaguars in program history.
For the past two seasons, South Alabama has been a thorn in the side of the Chanticleers for the past two seasons. The Chanticleers have fallen to South Alabama in the Sun Belt Championship game the last two years. Coastal has also fallen in both regular season matchups, losing in heartbreaking fashion last year at home in overtime.
Friday night was a different story.
South Alabama was the more aggressive of the two teams on the offensive side of the ball throughout the game. It was the Chanticleers that made more of the opportunities, though.
The Jaguars outshot the Chanticleers 12 to 5 in the first half but it was the play from sophomore goalkeeper Rylee Atteberry that was the difference maker not just in the first half but throughout the whole game.
Atteberry recorded a career-high 11 saves on the night, good enough to be tied for fourth in the Coastal Carolina record books for most saves in a single match.
Atteberry talked about her performance and the importance of the long-awaited win.
“South Alabama is that team that just gets on your nerves,” said Atteberry. “I think that motivated me to have that ‘we can’t let them win’ type of mindset. I got a text right before the game from my father saying ‘you do it for you and your girls and no one else’ and that was the biggest encouragement that I could have had. Knowing that I was out there with my best friends and playing for them, that is what pushed me today.”
The Chanticleers win over the Jaguars is proving to be a source of inspiration after Hurricane Florence devastated the area and now record-flooding is on the horizon. Atteberry talked about how sports can help bring people together in a time of crisis.
“A university is like a communal place for people,” said Atteberry. “Everyone comes together on campus, hangs out and feels at home. For me, when I go out and play, I know that I am going out there and representing Conway, South Carolina. We ultimately depend on the city of Conway. Those are the people who donate, those are the people who come to our games, cheer us on and make posters for us. Knowing that those people are going through a difficult time is a huge drive for us. Conway is a community of loving people and they are important to us.”
The win puts the Chanticleers tied for first placed in the Sun Belt conference and a record of 3-4-1. The Chanticleers have a quick turnaround as they go and play Troy on Sunday, Sep. 23. That kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET.