|Niners control play but squeak past Bulldogs|
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Charlotte women’s soccer team used a second half goal by junior Jessica Ryan to pick up a 1-0 exhibition victory over UNC Asheville Saturday afternoon at Greenwood Field in Asheville, N.C.
“It was a quality way for us to end the preseason,” head coach John Cullen said. “Everybody that was healthy was able to get some minutes and that was important as we head into the season. We’ve spent the majority of the preseason working on our defense and the defensive side of the ball. Because of our solid effort there today, we were able to create 25 chances on offense and give ourselves some good looks. We will focus now on putting more of those chances away. Overall, I’m very pleased with our effort as it was a good way to end the preseason.”
The 49ers dominated much of the offensive attack, especially in the second half, holding a 25-6 overall shot advantage but only were able to manage the one score when Ryan fired her shot past Bulldogs goalkeeper Suzie Zigante at 65:04. Freshman Kaitlin Walker put an initial attempt on net, but after Zigante stonewalled it, Ryan ran onto the loose ball rebound and knocked it between the pipes from six feet away.
Charlotte started the match with the opening six shots, including a trio by junior Sara Trexler. Her first attempt, along with a shot by sophomore Tori Fubara, forced goalkeeper Heather Muller into a pair of early saves. Muller also stopped Trexler’s final attempt of her three, at 19:15, as the 49ers put six shots on the board before Paige Trent provided UNCA with its first offensive threat 23 seconds later.
The three other shots for the Bulldogs during the opening frame were all saved by Niners goalie Alex Kubrick. Charlotte entered the half ahead, 9-4, on shots.
The 49ers continued the offensive onslaught early in the second frame, placing seven shots and three corner kicks at the UNC Asheville cage during the opening 11 minutes. The first corner kick situation of the half, taken by redshirt freshman Nicole Anderson, just missed.
The overall dominance in the attacking third featured a 13-4 edge in shots in goal. Trexler finished as the game leader in shots with her four, followed by three apiece from senior SarahAnn Waugh and Ryan. Trent paced the Bulldogs with two attempts.
Kubrick played the full 90 minutes between the pipes, registering four saves. Twenty-two Charlotte players saw the field, including 11 field substitutions, and the first collegiate action for Walker, Rebecca Beatty, Perri Bonner, Shelby Hicks and Anna Dedmon.
Charlotte will open its regular season with a 7 p.m. Friday start against Liberty at Transamerica Field. It marks the first of three home matches in a five-day stretch to start the campaign. The 49ers and Flames last met in the Niners’ first-ever contest, in 1994, and square off to open Charlotte’s 20th season in 2013.
Tickets for Friday’s contest, as well as all other 49ers home events, can be purchased at Charlotte49ers.com or by calling (704) 687-4949.