CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte
49ers women's soccer team welcomed its highest-ranked opponent in program
history to town Sunday afternoon but could not come away with a win, as No. 5/7
Wake Forest used a goal in each half for a 2-0 victory at Transamerica Field.
"They are an excellent side," head coach John Cullen said. "First of all, I'm
very pleased we were able to get that quality of an opponent to come here. We
weren't satisfied with just playing them, we wanted to play well.
"I thought for large portions of the game we were comfortable with our
defensive organization and decent at our ball possession. They are an excellent
side and took great pride on putting away two of their chances. It's a good
game for us to learn with our young team. These are the types of teams and
games that will make us a lot better."
Wake Forest (2-1-1) got the match's first tally in the 30th minute,
as it was able to convert off a corner kick. Ally Berry's swing kick landed at
the feet of Jackie McSally, who redirected it past 49er keeper Annika McHenry
at 29:54. McHenry, a redshirt freshman, was making her first start in the cage
for Charlotte. Despite being out-shot 12-3 during the opening 45 minutes, it
would be the lone tally the 49ers would surrender in the first period.
Unfortunately for Charlotte (2-1), it was not able to get a decent look at the
goal in the second half, as the Demon Deacons registered an 8-0 shot margin after
the intermission. Wake Forest had a couple good opportunities early to put
another marker on the board; however, McHenry and her defense stood tall to
keep it a one-goal difference.
Finally, with under 10 minutes remaining, in the 84th minute, WFU was
able to break free again as Kristen Meier and Alisha Woodson set up Taylor
Waters on an attempt near the front of the goal mouth to decide the final
outcome at 83:33.
McHenry finished with seven saves in her season debut, while Demon Deacon
goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe only needed one stop in the shutout.
"I thought she (McHenry) was excellent. She's been biding her time and working
hard in practice. We have two good goalkeepers here (along with Alex Kubrick)
fighting for that No. 1 spot. She made some fantastic saves and grew in
confidence. I wanted to see what she would do against a fantastic side."
The 49ers will look to regroup as they head out on the road for a pair of
in-state matches next weekend, starting at 7 p.m. Friday at UNC Wilmington in
Wilmington, N.C., before traveling to Greenville, N.C., for a 2 p.m. Sunday
tilt against future Conference USA foe East Carolina.