|Charlotte squares off with familiar foe UAB|
Charlotte, N.C.- The Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer team finds themselves in a familiar place with postseason play. Charlotte draws the sixth seed in the tournament and will play host to the third seeded UAB.
Charlotte and UAB are also familiar with each other with the meeting in the first round of the 2013 Conference USA Championships being the 29th meeting. “We know them very well, they know us very well. So the team that executes on the night tends to be successful,” said Coach Kevin Langan. The first meeting between these programs dates back to 1979. Charlotte leads the series 15-9-4 with nine consecutive wins to open the series.
Charlotte played the Blazers earlier in the season, when the 49ers traveled to Birmingham, Ala. playing in the UAB Soccer for a Cure tournament. The 49ers played the majority of the match down two men. The 49ers and Blazers played 110 minutes without putting the ball in the back of the net and ending in a 0-0 double overtime draw. “UAB is a fantastic team that has been ranked all year.” UAB was ranked # 8 in the early season match-up.
The 49ers and the Blazers have met the past two years during the NCAA tournament with the 49ers taking both matches 3-1 and 3-2 respectively. Charlotte is 7-3-2 at home against UAB during the series. Charlotte is riding a five game winning streak heading into the 2013 Conference USA Men’s Soccer Championship. “We are doing a great job defending our goal.” The 49ers net-minder Klay Davis and the rest of the 49ers defensive unit has allowed one goal during that span with the lone goal coming during the 3-1 victory over non-conference foe Clemson.
Charlotte has the stingiest defenses in the league allowing only 14 goals this season. C-USA regular season champion, New Mexico is second with 15 goals allowed. Charlotte has posted nine shutouts with six of those being against C-USA opponents. Charlotte is first in the league with an average of 1,618 fans at home matches during conference play.
Charlotte is currently ranked #23 in the NCAA RPI poll.
Charlotte and UAB features a number of the top goal scorers in the league. 2013 Golden Boot recipients Kyle Parker and UAB’s Alex Clay have seven goals in conference play. Parker is tied atop the league in goals scored with 11. UAB’s Freddy Ruiz is tied with Parker with 11 goals as well. UAB’s Clay sits in fifth with eight goals on the season. Giuseppe Gentile and UAB’s Diego Navarrete sits tied for ninth with six goals on the season. “It will be a great game against two top college teams. But these matches usually result in a low-scoring affair.”
Charlotte will play under the lights at 8 pm against the third seeded UAB at Transamerica Field. All-session tickets are available for $20. Single session tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth (17-under). Charlotte and other C-USA student’s admission are free with valid University ID. For more ticket information, call the Charlotte 49ers Ticket Office at 704-687-4949.