|Smith Scores As 49ers Tie #17 UAB|
Charlotte, NC- Donnie Smith scored a fantastic goal and the fifth-ranked Charlotte 49ers controlled the run of play but Charlotte was not able to score a go-ahead goal as they finished with a 1-1 double-overtime tie against #17 UAB at Transamerica Field.
"It was incredible how well we played the last hour of the game," Charlotte coach Kevin Langan said. "It was an unbelievable performance. I am very proud of the guys."
UAB scored the game's first goal when the Blazers countered a 49ers offensive attack with a long pass to Kofi Gyawu who beat a 49ers defender down the right side of the field. He put a low shot into the net that just went inside the far right post in the 39th minute.
Charlotte tied the score when Aidan Kirkbride passed the ball to Smith on the right side of the field about 20 yards out. Then, Smith bent a beautiful shot into the upper left corner of the goal tying the score at one in the 67th minute.
"Donnie has got one of the best left foot in college soccer," Langan said. "He bent the ball past a defender right into the corner of the goal. The goalkeeper did not have a chance. It was a fantastic goal."
The 49ers dominated play with a 26-9 advantage in shots including a 15-3 advantage in shots in the second half. Charlotte had a 14-1 advantage in corner kicks. UAB did not have a corner kick until the first overtime period. Smith led the 49ers with eight shots. Giuseppe Gentile added seven shots. Anthony Perez recorded three shots. Kirkbride, Jennings Rex and Will Mayhew added two shots apiece.
The 49ers offensive attack in the second half was relentless. Dominic Bonilla had a great scoring chance but his shot from 25 yards out in the 76th minute was punched over the bar by UAB's goalkeeper Raphael Ville. Kyle Parker had a great scoring chance off a Bonilla cross but his shot was stopped by UAB's Ville in the 77th minute. Kirkbride blasted a shot from about 10 yards out that was cleared away from the goal at the last second by a UAB defender in the 85th minute.
The 49ers defense this season has been strong as well as Charlotte behind the play of goalkeeper Klay Davis and defenders Nick Barnhorst, Biko Bradnock-Brennan, Anthony Perez and Thomas Allen has only allowed two goals and 20 shots in over 314 minutes of action this season.
Charlotte returns to action when they take to the road for the first time as they face Stony Brook and future Conference foe Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, September 7-9.