It wasn’t always a pretty one, but in the end, the Boys in Green got the job done. Behind a late goal by Giuseppe Gentile, the Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer team won the Atlantic 10 regular season title with a 2-1 win over upset minded George Washington on Senior Day at Transamerica Field. The Niners (13-2-3, 7-1-1 A-10) got some help from Richmond a night prior, which tied VCU 3-3 to set things up for Charlotte.
The Green and White looked as if they might put this one away early, as Thomas Allen collected a Tyler Gibson shot off of the post and found the back of the net late in the game’s fifth minute to give his side a 1-0 lead. But after Aidan Kirkbride were whistled for a foul in the box, GW was awarded a penalty, successfully taken by Seth Rudolph in the 19th minute to knot things up. A few close calls toward the end of the half couldn’t put the home team up before the whistle.
In the 85th minute, the game was finally won on a very pretty goal. It started when Kirkbride fed senior Isaac Caughran with a nice pass on the right side of the box. Caughran then hit Gentile with a gorgeous one-time feed–Giussi did the rest for his eighth of the year to make it 2-1.
The game wouldn’t be as close as the score indicated as Charlotte held VCU to four shots (all in the first half) while attempting 22 of their own (nine on goal). The Niners also led in corners, 10-1. It was a chippy affair as five yellow cards were assessed (three on GW).
All that’s left is the final seedings for the tournament. The Niners know two things–that they’re the one seed, and that they’re playing at 8pm on Thursday at Transamerica Field. What they don’t know is who their opponent will be, and that could be one of at least four teams. One thing’s for sure: the place will be loud.