|Cuero Scores Two Goals, 49ers Down Hawks|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte men's soccer squad utterly dominated Saint Joseph's on Friday night at Transamerica field, winning 3-0 behind a season-high 30 shots and seven corner kicks, while staying undefeated in conference play.
The 49ers (11-4, 6-0 A-10) out-shot Saint Joseph's (2-12, 1-5) 30-2, and defensively controlled the entire match. The Hawks did not register their first shot until the 85th minute and never recorded a shot on goal. Charlotte notched 15 shots on goal and seven corner kicks, continually putting pressure on Hawk goalkeeper Michael Moulton, who tallied 12 saves.
"It was a good professional performance all the way around," head coach Jeremy Gunn said. "Evan scored a great goal in the first half to go up 1-0, and obviously the game was put to bed in the second half with Andres' two goals. It was another great performance, and we kept another clean sheet. It was just a great performance all the way around."
The Niners got on the scoreboard first in the 34th minute, with a beautiful strike from junior Evan James. James received a ball at the top of the box from sophomore Kyle Griffin, dribbled to his right briefly and then bended a ball from 25 yards out inside the far post to put Charlotte up 1-0. Griffin claimed the assist on the play.
Even though Charlotte completely controlled the match, they only went into the locker room up one, but senior Andres Cuero made sure there would be no comeback from the Hawks on the evening.
Seven minutes into the second half, freshman Paul Willoughby earned a ball on the right side of the field just outside of the opponent box, and delivered a great cross. Cuero located the ball and headed it in from close range. Willoughby received the assist on the play.
"It was a great running play," Cuero said. "We just kept it, swerved it around and then Paul just put a great cross in there."
Just over a minute later Cuero scored another close-range goal. Junior Charles Rodriguez earned a free kick near the top of the box and shot a bullet, but it was knocked away by Moulton. Cuero again proved to be in perfect position. The Austin, Texas native collected the rebound and dumped the ball back in for his second goal within two minutes to put Charlotte up 3-0. Rodriguez got the assist.
"You always talk about coming out strong and then trying to close the game," Cuero said. "Especially when you are only up 1-0, you want to come out [of halftime] strong and put that next goal in right away so you get confidence."
Twenty-two different Niners saw action in the matchup, and 13 recorded a shot. Junior Evan James led the way with seven shots, including five on goal, while Cuero notched five and freshman Aidan Kirkbride managed four.
Charlotte returns to the pitch on Sunday for an afternoon bout with Temple at 1 p.m., at Transamerica Field. Live results will be available at charlotte49ers.com.