Charlotte, NC. – Behind two Giuseppe Gentile goals and a solid defensive effort, the sixth-seeded Charlotte 49ers (10-5-3) defeated third-seed UAB (12-5-1), 2-1, in the Conference USA Tournament Quarterfinals at Transamerica Field. With the victory, the 49ers have now won six straight games.
“The first half was incredible,” Charlotte coach Kevin Langan said. “We were very dynamic and purposeful. In the second half, we got knocked back on our heels a bit. We gave them a soft goal. I was happy with the mentality as we saw the game through. As the temperatures dropped, the game became a more shields up mentality on defense. We needed to protect our lead and protect our goal.”
Charlotte scored the game’s first goal when Will Mayhew passed to Nick Barnhorst down the right side of the field. Barnhorst found Gentile inside the box. Gentile then blasted a shot from 15 yards out just inside the far post into the back of the net in the 21st minute. Gentile’s goal was his seventh of the season.
Charlotte increased their lead to 2-0 when Aidan Kirkbride passed to a streaking Gentile down the right side of the field. Gentile then blasted the ball into the back of the net just inside the far post in the 37th minute. Gentile’s goal was his second of the game and his eighth of the season. Gentile’s goal was his 27th career goal which moved him into a tie for 10th place in school history.
Charlotte had their lead cut in half when a defensive miscue led to an own goal in the 48th minute.
“As a team, we preformed the way we wanted too,” Gentile said. “Moving forward we were really dangerous. I think we are a fantastic attacking team but also a fantastic defensive team.”
Charlotte’s defense limited UAB to only four shots on goal. Charlotte goalkeeper Klay Davis recorded three saves en route to his school-record tying 43rd career victory in goal for the 49ers.
With the victory, Charlotte advances to the Conference USA Tournament semifinals where the 49ers will play seventh-seed Kentucky, Friday, November 15 at 7:30 pm at Transamerica Field.