CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte women’s soccer team fell behind early as Florida Atlantic took advantage of its scoring opportunities to pull out a 3-1 victory over the 49ers Sunday afternoon in the final regular-season home match of the campaign for the Niners. Charlotte locks up a spot in the upcoming Conference USA Championships even though it dropped the decision Sunday.
Also, despite the setback, the Niners are in a second-place tie in the league’s East Division with UAB. Both schools own 14 points; however, the 49ers would have the slight edge in seeding for the Conference USA Tournament based upon their 1-0 head-to-head win Oct. 18 if the bracket was released at this point.
Charlotte (9-6-2, 4-3-2), who has been a second-half team for much of the year, tallied its lone goal during the second 45 minutes again Sunday early in the frame. Senior Brooke Mulloy slipped a cross over the top of the Owls defense, locating junior Amanda Jones who was racing down the left side. Jones redirected the pass with a soft touch just inside the left post past Florida Atlantic goalkeeper Courtney Zwetsch at 48:40.
However, it would be the only time the 49ers would find the back of the net despite holding a 14-to-6 shot advantage. FAU utilized its half-dozen shots by scoring on one-half of them, including its first three attempts.
Claire Emslie netted the Owls’ first goal at 12:59 when she was on the receiving end of a Danelle Nguyen right-side cross. Emslie redirected the pass to the left post behind Charlotte netminder Alex Kubrick.
It would be nearly 11 minutes later before Florida Atlantic (4-10-4, 2-4-3 C-USA) would have another shot, but again, it converted. This time it was Taylor Sorrels racing down the right side. She stopped just before the end line and sent a pass to the top of the six-yard box, which found the head of Amanda Odato high above the Niners backline to extend the margin to a pair at 23:39.
Lastly, the Owls pushed their lead to 3-0 when Sorrels and Emslie teamed to put the ball between the pipes at 25:38. Sorrels crossed her pass to Emslie, who chipped it over Kubrick’s head before the ball took a weird bounce into the net.
Sunday’s contest marked the 100th in the Charlotte coaching career for John Cullen and was the first meeting between the two schools.
Jones led all players with six shots, including three on-goal, while Emslie topped Florida Atlantic with her four attempts.
The 49ers will conclude the regular season with a 7 p.m. Thursday meeting with Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va.