McLaws, Garbanzo fittingly finishing careers in NCAA tournament

Senior defender Shawn McLaws says he knew he was joining a successful soccer program with perennially high expectations when he first arrived at Coastal Carolina, so in that regard, no, these last four years haven’t exceeded his hopes in any way.

But that standard has certainly been an ever-present driving force for him during his time with the Chanticleers.

“We take huge pride in it,” McLaws said this week while preparing to play in his fourth NCAA tournament in four years. “We’ve talked about it all year. From the beginning of the year, we talked about leaving our legacy not just as seniors, but as a team. We want the team to do well because our seniors did that for us and we just want to keep that legacy going for everybody, for the program.”

McLaws and senior forward Ricky Garbanzo will both be playing in their fourth-straight NCAA tournament when the Chants (15-5-1) host Florida Gulf Coast (8-6-5) in a first-round matchup on campus Thursday night.

They have been key contributors to Coastal Carolina’s rise these last several years and steadying forces this fall while assimilating yet another group of new pieces into a cohesive roster ready to challenge on the national stage.