The Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer team get their hands dirty in the A10 this weekend with games against the VCU Rams on Friday at 7 pm and the Richmond Spiders Sunday at 2:30 pm. Coming off yet another emotional come from behind victory, this time down in Central Florida, the boys in green hope to keep their momentum going headed deep into the state of lovers.
First, Charlotte will take on the new kid, a 4-1-3 VCU squad who have had a similar groove as the 49ers, just not the same results. The Rams have played 4 double overtime games so far this season, only unlike Charlotte, they’re 0-1-3 finishing them. They’ll be hungry to break that habit. Meanwhile, the Niners are 4-0-2 in their overtime games (all of which had two patties, not one).
VCU posts a shaky 1-1-2 home record coming off back to back home double OT games in which they lost to Virginia 1-0 and tied Northeastern 1-1. They are currently on a four game home stretch. Forward Jason Johnson leads the Rams with 6 goals and 1 assist and will be a constant threat as he’s posted 37 shots on the year.
VCU has 144 shots, 15 goals, 59 cornerkicks, and 18.0 shots per game
Charlotte has 148 shots, 14 goals, 73 cornerkicks, and 16.4 shots per game
On paper, this match-up looks to be a stellar defensive battle as both teams carry great numbers on their back end. VCU has only given up 6 goals in 792 minutes and Charlotte 8 goals in 904 minutes, but with each team averaging over 16 boots a contest, this one should be a doozy, folks!
To finish the 5 game road stretch, the Niners have a date with the Spiders of Richmond. Although their record (4-5-0) may not show it, the Spiders are hot and lookin’ to bite. They’ve won 3 games in a row and are 2-0-0 at home. While Charlotte battles VCU, Richmond will begin their conference slate as well against George Washington on Friday. Both teams will be hoping to come into Sunday’s match brooms at hand ready to sweep the weekend.
Houston Oldham will look to push Richmond, as he tops the Spiders with 4 goals, 1 assist, and like Jason Johnson, likes to take some whacks with 25 shots on the year. Charlotte will look to jump on the Spiders early (ironically) as the 1st half has given Richmond problems, being outscored 10 to 4.
Players to Watch for Charlotte: Reigning Freshman of the Year Giuseppe Gentile, otherwise known as “Giussi,” is catching fire after his slow statistical start and has 3 goals, 1 assist and 34 shots, while Jennings Rex has 3 goals and 1 assist with 19 shots . Donnie Smith will be looking to capitalize on his scoring opportunities as he has 30 shots this season.
After Sunday’s contest, the Charlotte 49ers will head back to the Queen City for a 4 game home stretch featuring games against Fordham, La Salle, UMass, and Rhode Island. The beginning of the end for the 49ers, as they will look to raise that A10 Championship trophy in front of their home fans before they move to CUSA in 2013.