|Offense explodes to conclude non-conference slate|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte women's soccer team poured home a season-best six goals, splitting the half dozen into the two periods, as it closed the non-conference schedule with a 6-0 triumph over Francis Marion Tuesday night at Transamerica Field in Charlotte, N.C. It marked the program's most goals in a game since Oct. 31, 2010, at Temple in a 7-0 victory.
"I think we looked very excited to play tonight," head coach John Cullen said. "We looked fresh and enthusiastic. It was a fantastic performance and puts us in good position heading into conference. For the most part, there's a lot of pluses and positives out of this tonight."
The 49ers jumped out in front with three strikes before the intermission, as some of the team's leading scorers got in the action.
The barrage in front of the Patriot net started at 8:58 when Amanda Jones sent a cross into the six-yard box, which found the head of Taylor Rovito to give Charlotte the 1-0 lead. The pair combined for the previous 49er tally in the last match the same way, a 2-1 road overtime win at James Madison Sept. 16.
Charlotte (6-3-1) continued to get chances at the Francis Marion cage and Carrie Dail made it a two-goal difference just over seven minutes later. She ripped home a blast from the top of the 18-yard box, skimming the underside of the crossbar at 15:43 to raise the score to 2-0.
The final goal of the stanza came at 31:00, as Jennifer Lee sent a long pass to the feet of Amanda Jones, who redirected it home from 10 yards out past Patriot keeper Taylor O'Berry for a 3-0 49er edge. Charlotte concluded the period with a 14-2 shot advantage and 7-1 lead in the corner kicks category.
The 49ers began the second half by playing most of their reserves despite only holding the three-goal cushion. Meanwhile, Francis Marion (5-5-1) was able to get more looks at the cage against Charlotte netminder Annika McHenry, who entered the game in the sixth minute as a substitution for starter Alex Kubrick.
McHenry, however, stood tall and finished with four saves, including a first-half stop by punching the ball over the crossbar on a Yasmin Bunter attempt.
With most of the reserves on the field, the 49ers controlled possession and were unable to place the ball between the pipes again until most of the starters returned to action. Two of the team's three scores in the frame were tallied by freshmen, their first collegiate goals.
Starting the surge was Maddie Kiebel, recording her initial score. Fellow rookie Monica Trickett fed the ball to Kiebel, who then sent a hard shot to the lower left corner uncontested at 78:27 to push the Charlotte advantage to 4-0.
Just over a minute later, Kiebel was on the helping end. Standing near the 49er bench, she sent a pass to Dail, who one-timed it into the net from 35 yards out high over O'Berry's hands for a 5-0 score at 79:40.
It didn't take long for Charlotte to put a cap on its scoring, as at 80:19, Trickett started a run towards the middle of the field before turning and knocking in a 30-yarder to decide the final outcome.
Twenty-four total 49ers saw action Tuesday night, including the first collegiate playing time for Trickett, Rebecca Forcellini, Caitlin Donovan and Katie Thomas.
Charlotte will return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when it opens the Atlantic 10 schedule by playing host to league newcomer VCU at Transamerica Field. It will be Youth Club Night, with free admission to youth 17 and under.
Also, an end zone tailgate for youth and their families with hot dogs and hamburgers will be grilled pre-game and available while supplies last. Water bottles, with the 49ers logo, will be distributed at the gates on a first-come, first-serve basis, while supplies last.
It's also Alumni Weekend and all alumnae will be recognized prior to the game. The University is also sponsoring Family Weekend with students and families participating attending the action.