Augusta Free Press

George Mason upsets No. 19 Coastal Carolina in 2-1 season-opening win

Henning Dirks scored the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute on an assist from freshman goalkeeper Corey Chambers, who notched a win in his first collegiate start as George Mason upset No. 19 Coastal Carolina for a 2-1 victory in the season opener on Friday night.

The Patriots (1-0) defeated a ranked opponent for the first time since 2014 to kickstart their 50th season as a program. Tied 1-1 at the half, Mason pulled ahead when Chambers, a freshman from Wexford, Ireland, booted a long pass more than halfway down the field. Dirks, a senior captain from Munster, Germany, gathered the ball at his feet, took a couple strides and then launched a rocket from 15 yards out into the middle of the net.

Mason took an early lead in the seventh minute. Junior Graydon Hester delivered a crossed to the right side of the box. Sophomore Tunde Akinlosotu, an Atlantic 10 All-Rookie selection from Bowie, Md., caught up to the pass and buried a goal into the bottom left corner. Coastal Carolina (0-1), which made the NCAA Tournament for the seventh consecutive time last year and won both the Sun Belt Conference regular-season and tournament championships, responded late in the first half. Yazeed Matthews knocked in a goal off a deflection to tie the game in the 37th minute.

Chambers made four saves in his collegiate debut as the Chanticleers fired off 20 shots, including 13 in the first half. The Patriots had just six shots but scored twice on four shots on goal.

Mason returns to action at 7 p.m. on Sunday when it welcomes crosstown foe and defending Patriot League champ American to George Mason Stadium.



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