CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Scoring their first goal just 29 seconds into the first half, the Charlotte 49ers women's soccer team downed the Rams of Rhode Island, 2-0 in Atlantic 10 play on Sunday. With the win, the Niners improve to 4-7-3 overall and 1-2 in the Atlantic 10. The Rams fall to 5-7-1 and 0-3 in conference play.
"We knew it was going be a battle from the first whistle to the last whistle, but we came out well and got an early goal, which was great," head coach John Cullen said after the game. "I'm proud of the girls because we needed that win, we needed some clean sheets, and we needed some goals."
Jonna Handra's goal, coming just after the start of the match, proved to be all the 49ers would need to earn their first victory in conference play this season. Macky Wingo had the first touch on the ball, sending a pass to teammate Carrie Dail in front of the net. Dail one-timed it to Handra, who barreled it past keeper Reilly Lindsay for her second goal of the season.
"Coach told us before the game that our season's on the line, so we came out on fire and scored really fast, which was great," Handra said of her quick marker.
The rest of the first half remained fairly even, with each squad getting 7 total shot opportunities in the frame.
Macky Wingo cushioned the Niners' lead in the 77th minute with a goal of her own to make it a 2-0 game. Taylor Rovito crossed the ball in from the far side of the field to Oni Bernard, who was stationed in front of the goal. Getting tangled up with a defender, Bernard managed to get a foot on the ball to set up Wingo, who ripped it past the Rhode Island keeper.
Wingo's goal, her fifth of the season and 20th of her career, moves her into a tie for 10th all-time in Charlotte history.
Just minutes before the second goal was scored, the Niners had another solid scoring opportunity. Dail, who was one-on-one with the goalie, lined up and took a shot that was blocked by a defender and almost trickled in before Lindsay got a finger on it to push it out of bounds for a 49ers corner.
Charlotte held a 13-12 edge in shots in the match, along with a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks. Handra led the offense with seven shots including the opening goal, while Dail contributed three of her own. Marisa Ammaturo paced Rhode Island with three shots, with three different Rams recording two shots apiece.
In goal, sophomore Alex Kubrick made nine saves, earning her third victory and third shutout of the season. Lindsay made seven stops in her effort for Rhode Island.
The 49ers continue Atlantic 10 play next weekend with a pair of away games. Charlotte faces St. Bonaventure on Friday at 3 p.m. and Duquesne on Sunday at 1 p.m.