|Weekend beach trip next for 49ers|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A chance to play two games this weekend near the Atlantic Ocean is next on the Charlotte women’s soccer team’s docket. The 49ers, who are the preseason Conference USA favorites, will open the two-match stretch in Conway, S.C., at 7 p.m. Friday against Coastal Carolina before making their way back inside the Tar Heel State for a 2 p.m. Sunday meeting at UNC Wilmington.
The Niners opened their campaign Friday with a 1-0 triumph at UNC Greensboro, as freshman Martha Thomas netted the game winner with just under 10 minutes remaining. She became the third freshmen in school history to start in a season opener and tally the game-winning goal, joining Jennifer Rogers at Liberty Sept. 3, 1994, and Tiffany Ross against Virginia Tech Aug. 25, 2000.
Thomas’ five shots led all players and were one-half of the Charlotte team total, helping it edge the Spartans 10-9 in overall attempts.
Redshirt junior Annika McHenry registered four saves in the shutout, the fourth of her career. She has slipped into a 10th-place tie in the program’s career record books with her four clean sheets, joining Kelly Sweetingham (1998-99) and Juli Black (2005-06, ’08).
McHenry’s efforts helped anchor a solid second period for the 49ers, in which the defense unit, led by co-captain and Preseason Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, limited UNCG to only two shots.
Friday’s meeting will mark the first in the series with Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers are 1-1 on the young season after dropping their first game at Jacksonville Friday before rebounding with a 2-0 home triumph over The Citadel Sunday.
Head coach Paul Hogan’s team was picked to place fourth in the Big South standings. Kacey Kelley has tallied two scores in the first two games, while Daniella Famili knocked in the game winner against the Bulldogs in the most recent outing.
The Niners and Seahawks will meet for the 10th time Sunday afternoon with Charlotte holding a 6-3 series lead. The two squads met last year at Transamerica Field with co-captain and preseason All-Conference USA selection Amanda Jones’ goal at 1:32 providing the only score in the Aug. 25 tilt.
The 49ers are 1-2 all-time in the series when the games have been played in Wilmington, including a 3-0 setback during the most recent road matchup in 2012.
The Seahawks have started the year 0-2 with losses at North Carolina State and in their home opener against Georgia Southern Friday and Sunday, respectively. UNCW will travel to Buies Creek to face Campbell before welcoming Charlotte to town.
Katrina Guillou was credited with UNC Wilmington’s lone score thus far this fall, scoring in the second half against the Wolfpack.
Live stats (HERE) and live video (HERE), courtesy of the Big South Network, are available for Friday’s matchup, while live stats (HERE) are available for Sunday’s contest.
Updates can also be found on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.