Charlotte, N.C. - Behind two goals by Owen Darby and Giuseppe Gentile and another stellar defensive effort, the 18th-ranked Charlotte 49ers (9-2-3, A-10: 3-1-1) recorded their fourth straight shutout with a 4-0 win over Massachusetts (4-7-2, A-10: 1-3) at Transamerica Field. The 49ers wore pink jerseys for Breast Cancer awareness. The jersey will be auctioned off.
"Our play was exceptional tonight," Charlotte coach Kevin Langan said. "We dominated play for large spells. We came out with a hunger and sense of urgency to score goals."
The 49ers first goal came after Will Mayhew passed the ball to Isaac Caughran down the right side of the field. Caughran passed the ball to Darby who put the ball into the back of the net from 10 yards out in the 28th minute.
The 49ers second goal began after a beautiful heel pass from Donnie Smith to Gentile who ran toward the left post. Gentile crossed the ball back across the box to Darby who put the ball into the net from five yards out in the 71st minute. Darby now has two goals on the season and four for his career.
"Owen has been joking around with me during training that he was going to score some goals," Langan said. "He works so hard. He exemplifies Charlotte soccer. He never takes a day off, the team loves him and he works his socks off. Tonight, he got his just reward with two goals."
Charlotte's third goal came when Aaron Weldon sent a beautiful pass from about 40 yards out toward the center of the goal. Gentile headed in the Weldon pass from eight yards out in the 74th minute.
Charlotte's final goal came when Jeremy Dennis sent a beautiful long pass from midfield to a streaking Gentile who broke through two defenders and putting the ball past UMASS goalkeeper Kellen Rauch into the net with just 26 seconds left in regulation.
"Giussi has been threatening to do this all year," Langan said. "Hopefully, he will go on a great goal scoring run like he did last year."
Charlotte finished the game with a 22-2 advantage in shots. Tyler Gibson led the 49ers with four shots. Caughran and Gentile each tallied two shots apiece. Darby, Mayhew, Smith, Anthony Perez and Jennings Rex recorded two shots apiece.
Charlotte's defense behind the play of goalkeepers Klay Davis and Austin Pack and defenders Weldon, Perez, Thomas Allen, Biko Bradnock-Brennan, David Mayer and Nick Barnhorst recorded their fourth straight shutout and their seventh shutout of the season.
Charlotte concludes their four-game home stand when they play Rhode Island at Transamerica Field, Sunday, October 21 at 1 pm.