|Charlotte unable to hold back Seahawks|
WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Charlotte women’s soccer team put home multiple scores for the first time this season, but a flurry of first-half goals by host UNC Wilmington carried the Seahawks to a 4-2 triumph Sunday afternoon in Wilmington, N.C.
The 49ers were able to continue their strong push offensively, placing 18 shots towards the UNCW net; however, they managed to split the posts just two times in dropping the match to their in-state opponent.
Charlotte (1-2) got things started at 6:35 when sophomore Shelby Hicks picked up her first career point by sending a pass to classmate Perri Bonner for a 1-0 lead. Bonner’s goal marked the fifth of her career and her second of the weekend, after she tallied the lone 49ers’ score in Friday’s setback at Coastal Carolina.
The Seahawks then responded in a hurry, finding the equalizer at 7:38, as Maddie McCormick beat Niners goalkeeper Annika McHenry to knot the score 1-1. UNCW (2-2) then jumped out in front for good at 19:05, as Mindy Farmer located Serenity Waters.
UNC Wilmington tacked on two more goals before the intermission. Morgan Leyble sent a pass to Katrina Guillou at 25:08 and Guillou paired with Lindsey Byrne on helpers for Allye Mertes’ score at 36:29, widening the margin to three, 4-1.
Charlotte made a late first-half push in an attempt to add another marker in its column. Redshirt senior Jennifer Lee’s corner kick resulted in a shot attempt from junior Loren Reilley, while freshmen Allye Reynolds and Virginia Lingo also had looks at the Seahawks cage but were turned away by netminder Carolyn Huddy. Reynolds’ attempt was the first of her collegiate career.
The deficit would be cut in half late in regulation when preseason All-Conference USA pick Amanda Jones connected with junior Alex Meyers at the 85:30 mark. Jones’ free kick was redirected by Meyers, using her head and bouncing the ball past Huddy.
Both Bonner’s and Meyers’ goals were the fifth of their respective careers.
The 49ers finished with an 18-to-13 shot advantage, including eight-to-six on goal, forcing Huddy into a half-dozen saves. McHenry finished with two stops for the Niners.
Jones once again led all players with five shots, placing three on goal, while freshman Martha Thomas added a trio of attempts. Guillou and McCormick topped UNCW with three shots apiece.
All in all, 22 different Charlotte field players saw action Sunday, including the first career minutes for rookies Shea Dwyer and Kyla Clark along with the 2014 debut for junior Caitlin Donovan. Dwyer joined Thomas and Justine Lockman as freshmen in the starting lineup.
Charlotte returns to action with a 4 p.m. Thursday meeting at Liberty in Lynchburg, Va. It will mark the fourth of a season-opening five-match road swing for the 49ers.