|Olson leads Charlotte rally for draw at UTEP|
EL PASO, Texas – Charlotte senior Dakota Olson scored twice in the second half, erasing a halftime deficit and guiding the 49ers to a 2-2 tie at UTEP Friday night in Conference USA women’s soccer action in El Paso, Texas.
The Niners, making their longest road trip of the campaign, were faced with adversity early when starting goalkeeper Annika McHenry exited the contest in the ninth minute due to an injury. She would not return and her setback gave way to untested netminder, redshirt freshman Alex Weaver, who made her collegiate debut against the Miners after a lengthy delay.
The scoring started when Olson, who entered the contest with one career goal in her three-plus years in a Charlotte uniform, put both of her tally marks between the pipes within a four-minute stretch to mount the comeback. Overall as a team this season, the 49ers have outscored their opponents 16-to-3 during the second 45 minutes.
Olson’s first goal came at 53:59 when classmate Brooke Mulloy sent her a pass down the left side. Olson then settled the ball at her feet before placing it to a high corner, out of the reach of UTEP goalkeeper Sarah Dilling from 30 yards away.
On the Niners’ very next shot, Olson recorded the equalizer when she again went high, this time to the upper right corner, past Dilling on a Maddie Kiebel assist at 57:16. The assist for Kiebel extended her team-leading total to four.
Weaver performed admirably in her first collegiate appearance; however, Kenah Linger’s long distance shot found its way through the Charlotte (7-4-2, 2-1-2 C-USA) defense at 19:46 to give the home team its first score. Weaver finished with six saves in playing the final 101:31 in relief.
At 33:43, UTEP (9-3-3, 2-1-2 C-USA) found its way back into the scoring column when Azia Nicholson registered her eighth of the campaign to make it a two-goal difference. She fired home a shot, again deflecting off the Niners backline, following a throw-in by Aleah Davis.
Neither team was able to tickle the twine again with the 49ers holding off a 6-2 shot advantage for the Miners during the extra periods. Both of Charlotte’s attempts came during the second 10-minute sudden-victory frame, including another effort by Olson to find the upper corner only to be turned away by Dilling.
The 49ers will stay in the Lone Star State for a 2 p.m. EST Sunday match in Denton, Texas, against North Texas. The Mean Green tallied a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes to edge UTSA at home Friday, 4-2. Live stats and video are available for Sunday’s contest through Charlotte49ers.com, while updates will also be provided on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.