|Jersey retirement highlights busy alumni weekend|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The second jersey retirement in Charlotte women’s soccer history highlights an exciting, busy alumni weekend for the program October 4-6. Hailey Beam, class of 2010, will join her sister, Lindsey Beam Ozimek, as the only two former 49ers women’s soccer standouts to have their jerseys retired and Charlotte will continue its year-long 20th anniversary celebration with a variety of events for returning alums.
“When I was notified, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and appreciation,” Beam said. “I was honored to be part of such a prestigious Division I athletics program. Judy Rose, Kim Whitestone and the rest of the athletic department have put together a winning environment established in such a manner to insure success for the student-athlete.
“Everything I was able to accomplish on and off the field was a direct result of the support of my incredible teammates and the coaching staff. To have left a small imprint on Charlotte’s soccer program, and to be recognized for such, is and will continue to be one of the greatest honors of my life.
“I look forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary of the women’s soccer program with the past and present 49ers players in commemoration of all that we have collectively accomplished.”
Beam concluded her four-year career (2006-09) as one of the most prolific players in school history, helping the Niners earn a 63-17-6 (.767) record during her tenure, including a remarkable 37-2-3 (.917) Atlantic 10 mark. Charlotte advanced to the 2007 and 2008 NCAA Tournaments after winning the Atlantic 10 Tournament titles both years, while capturing league regular-season crowns in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
A modest beginning as a freshman with an Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honor, she followed up the next year by being selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the Atlantic 10 Championships.
“I’m absolutely delighted for Haley to get her jersey retired,” current 49ers head coach John Cullen, who coached her during her senior campaign of 2009, said. “It’s a well-deserved and great honor. She is a wonderful teammate, player, leader, captain. She epitomizes everything you want in a student-athlete. She did everything well in the classroom, having a fantastic GPA and with the honors list, Chancellor’s List, Dean’s List, etc.
“Then, as a soccer player, she led by example. She was always very strong in the fitness testing. She is a winner and always wanted to win games and was very competitive. She always led from the front and I am delighted on the impact she has had on the program. I feel blessed to be able to coach her for a year and was involved in some capacity of her playing career here.
“It’s a true honor and she still follows the program extensively, staying in touch with us, and I’m really pleased for her and her family. She should be very proud.”
It was her junior season of 2008 during which she exploded onto the national scene. She became the program’s first consensus All-American, collecting second-team accolades from Soccer America and Soccer Buzz, while the NSCAA and TopDrawerSoccer.com recognized her on their respective third teams.
She was again the Atlantic 10 Championships Most Outstanding Player and was picked as the conference’s student-athlete of the year and midfielder of the year after leading the league in goals, assists and points. Beam garnered seven national team of the week selections from various outlets on her way to receiving team MVP plaudits.
Not limiting herself to just the field, she was picked as an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American and an NSCAA/adidas First Team Scholar All-American. Her season highlight may have come at St. Bonaventure when she netted a hat trick and added two assists, a school-record tying eight points, in an 8-2 victory. She also tallied the team’s lone goal in a season-opening loss at No. 2 North Carolina.
Expectations were high for the Cornelius, N.C., native entering her senior season but she did not disappoint. She was named to the Hermann Award Watch List and as a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. She again earned an All-American honor from TopDrawerSoccer.com following the campaign and collected another first team academic all-district honor from ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA.
Beam added her second-straight Atlantic 10 Student-Athlete of the Year and Midfielder of the Year accolades, while also being chosen as the conference’s overall Scholar-Athlete of the Year to encompass all sports. The two-time team MVP also was Charlotte’s nominee for the 2010 NCAA Woman of the Year.
Overall, she ranks among the 49ers’ best with 36 goals (tied for second in school history), 31 assists (second) and 103 points (second). Her nine game-winning goals are tied for third, while her 157 shots are eighth among all-time Niners. She is one of 10 players to record a hat trick and she started 66 of the 81 matches in which she played, including every one after her freshman season.
Beam is one of six student-athletes in school history to earn both academic and athletic All-American plaudits. She graduated magna cum laude with a 3.81 GPA as a double major in finance and marketing.
Beam’s jersey retirement will take place prior to the start of the October 4 match against UTSA, which marks the first home Conference USA game this season. The on-field ceremony will include Beam, members of her family and the current Charlotte women’s soccer family.
She will be recognized again at halftime of the 49ers football game the next day, Saturday October 5, against Gardner-Webb. A special video tribute to her career will be shown on the Jerry Richardson Stadium scoreboard.
The women’s soccer program is expecting a large contingent of former players back for the weekend, as part of the 20th anniversary celebration season. A pre-game reception will be held in the hospitality room at the Irwin Belk Track & Field Center prior to the game Friday night.
An alumni match will be held Saturday night, starting around 6, following the Charlotte versus Gardner-Webb football game at Noon. Unlike past years when it was alums against current players, this year, the plan is for alums to square off against fellow alums, if numbers allow.
The weekend concludes with the current 49ers squad returning to action at 1 p.m. Sunday against Middle Tennessee, also a new member of Conference USA.
For further details about alumni weekend and events, contact assistant coach Kim Crowley at email@example.com or (704) 687-0737.