|Niners Defeat High Point in Front of Home Crowd|
Charlotte, N.C. - On goals from four different players, the Charlotte 49ers women's soccer team defeated the High Point Panthers, 4-0 at home on Friday night. With the victory, the Niners improve to 3-5-3 on the season, while the Panthers fall to 2-7-1.
Junior midfielder Carrie Dail had a hand in the first three goals Charlotte scored on the night, tallying the home team's first goal in the 17th minute, her first of the season, and assisting on the next two markers.
"It was a really good night for our confidence, for us to finally get a win," Dail said after the game. "We played really well as a team tonight in front of our home crowd."
After a tough four-game road swing where the 49ers faced three nationally-ranked teams, the 49ers got their confidence back with tonight's victory. "From the first whistle to the last whistle, we wanted to get forward, we wanted to score and we looked dangerous going forward," head coach John Cullen said of his team's performance. "We may have turned the corner. The last few practices and games we've been getting better. I think what's been holding us back is the frustration level of just not seeing the ball hit the back of the net. Hitting the back of the net four times tonight, hopefully that's a good moment going forward."
Dail gave the 49ers an early lead in the 17th minute, burying the ball in the back right corner of the net. Defender Lacey McGowan started the play, bringing the ball up past midfield and passing to freshman Amanda Jones. Jones then tried to find Oni Bernard in the box but missed and found Dail instead, who buried it for the 1-0 lead.
It was Jones who tallied Charlotte's second goal, in the 22nd minute, collecting a cross from Dail and sneaking the ball into the back right corner from 20 yards out.
Just three minutes later, High Point got on the board, when Danielle Schepler scored off a free kick from Brooke Lisson, catching Charlotte keeper Natalie LaVigne off guard. The Panthers trailed 2-1 heading into halftime.
The Niners opened the second half strong, with Jonna Handra restoring the two-goal lead in the 54th minute. Dail and Rovito were credited with the assists on the play.
Macky Wingo put Charlotte up 4-1 less than two minutes later, taking a shot from the top of the 18 yard box that banked in off the crossbar in the 56th minute.
The Panthers drew within 4-2 on a header goal by Becca Hemby, her third of the season, in the 59th minute, but the Niners would hold on for the victory.
Charlotte held a commanding 26-7 advantage in shots on the evening, splitting their chances evenly with 13 shots in each half. The 49ers also held a 7-0 edge in corners. Handra led the squad in shots, with five, while Wingo and Dail each recorded four. For High Point, Melissa Sweredowski and Schepler each tallied two shots.
In net, senior Natalie Lavigne made two saves. Andrea Ritchie made five saves for the Panthers while allowing four goals, before giving way to sophomore keeper Jesse May, who made three saves in the last 31:07.
"It's a good team win and good morale boost for us going into the conference play," Cullen said.
Charlotte begins conference play next weekend, facing St. Louis on the road on Saturday, October 1st at 8 p.m.