|Niners close regular season with two home matches|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte 49ers women's soccer team will return home for the only time in October to close out regular-season action when it plays host to a pair of crucial Atlantic 10 matches at Transamerica Field this weekend. The Niners will begin the Autism Awareness Weekend slate by welcoming to town long-time foe Saint Louis at 7 p.m. Friday and then conference newcomer Butler at 1 p.m. Sunday for Senior Day.
"It's a long time overdue, coming back home," head coach John Cullen said. "We have missed this place and playing in front of our fans. It's fantastic to finish the conference season at home in front of our crowds."
Prior to the start of Sunday's contest, the Charlotte 49ers athletic department will take a moment to recognize the on and off the field accomplishments of this year's senior class. A trio of 49ers comprises the group, including Carrie Dail, Lacey McGowan and Lena Suarez.
"Each one has had a different journey since they've been here but one thing I've always appreciated about those girls is they have always done the right thing. They are all role models for our younger players. The reality is that I appreciate them always doing the right thing."
It is also Autism Awareness Weekend and more information can be found at the marketing table at Transamerica Field.
Charlotte looks to snap its current skid, which has dropped it to fourth place in the conference race. The 49ers own a 4-2-1 league ledger for 13 points but can finish as high as second depending on results from other A-10 matches. Charlotte also brings a 10-5-2 overall mark into Friday's contest, its third double-digit win campaign in Cullen's four seasons.
Amanda Jones and Dail continue to pace the squad with 19 and 17 points, respectively. The pair has combined for 13 of the team's 27 goals this fall, although Alex Meyers, Taylor Rovito and Sara Trexler have tallied two game winners apiece.
The goalkeeping tandem of Alex Kubrick and Annika McHenry sparks the backline and solid defensive unit which has allowed multiple goals only five times all season. The pair have accumulated five shutouts with 99 total saves and a 1.02 goals-against average.
The Niners and Saint Louis have played 17 times over the years with Charlotte holding a 9-5-3 series advantage. The 17 contests are one shy of the most by any opponent in 49ers history, currently held by Marquette.
The Billikens are 4-8-4 overall and 2-3-2 in the A-10 entering Friday's action. Their eight points in conference play slot them 12th in the 16-team race but still within reach of making the eight-team Atlantic 10 Championships next week.
Head coach Kat Mertz is in her first season at the helm of the SLU program. Saint Louis is coming off a weekend in which it tied Saint Joseph's and won against Temple to close its home slate and pick up four critical points in the league standings.
Although low scoring, Jenny Hummert sets the tone for the team with seven points. Maddie Gebauer and Jamei Borges have each registered three goals to lead the squad.
Butler, who is currently one point shy of the Niners in the conference standings, will begin its weekend with a Washington, D.C., trip to face George Washington Friday. The Bulldogs are 9-4-4 overall and 3-1-3 in the A-10 heading into their tilt with the Colonials.
Butler is tied with Saint Joseph's for fifth place and both schools can finish no higher than third, depending on how things shake out over the course of the weekend.
Head coach Tari St. John is in her seventh year at the Indianapolis-based school is guided by Sophia Maccagnone's 22 points and 10 goals. BU is 7-0 when she tallies a score this fall and she has coverted one-half of her goals into match winners.
Live subscription -based video is available for both matches on Charlotte49ers.com as well as live stats and in-game Twitter updates @49erGameDay.