Are you ready for the 20th anniversary Charlotte 49ers women’s soccer team? They’re back in their old Conference USA stomping grounds in 2013. Here’s what you need to know, as well as a few storylines, as the team opens things up with an exhibition match at UNC Asheville today at 2pm before their regular season opener vs. Liberty at home on August 23.
–Last year the 49ers were 10-8-1 (4-4-1 A-10).
–Senior keeper Alex Kubrick is returning. She did have injuries last year, but still managed a 0.76 GAA with 12 starts in 12 games, three shutouts, and 66 saves. The A-10 Academic All-American is looking for a complete season this year. Also returning in goal are Annie McHenry (who started eight matches) and redshirt freshman Alex Weaver.
–Will Alex Meyers and Sara Trexler get more playing time? Despite only six starts between the two of them, they each had two-game winning goals. They’re clearly money.
–Are you ready for some defense? They say defense wins championships. Well, last year, the ladies had a 1.05 season GAA with five shutouts.
–Since this is the 20th season, the athletic department will interview a former player every week at charlotte49ers.com. Check it out to study up on your “futbol” history. This week’s interviewee is Danielle Mayeaux, who played from 2007-2010. Also, every Wednesday, they interview two current players; this week, they interviewed redshirt junior Taylor Dulaney and sophomore Monica Trickett.
–As far as C-USA, Colorado College, a women’s soccer-only member, were the co-champs in the regular season last year and is the early favorite to win. Rice, the other co-champion, was picked second. Conference newcomer North Texas has won back-to-back Sun Belt titles. Tulsa was in the C-USA Championship last year. Florida International, another newcomer, were co-champs in the Sun Belt regular season with North Texas and made the Sun Belt Tourney Finals. Tough pickings for the ladies to go through, but the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
–There are 16 teams in C-USA women’s soccer. The East division is made up of Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, East Carolina, Old Dominion, Marshall, UAB, and Middle Tennessee State. The West division is Colorado College, UTEP, Tulsa, Rice, Southern Miss, North Texas, Louisiana Tech, and UTSA. The top five in each division go to the C-USA tourney at Rice University from November 4-10.
–On the C-USA Players to Watch list, the 49ers have Amanda Jones, a junior midfielder/forward from Mahwah, NJ who had seven goals and five assists last year and was one of only three players to start all 20 games. She was on the A-10 All-Rookie team in 2011, and in the Top 20 of the A-10 in 2012 per TopDrawerSoccer.com.
–If you want to see the 49ers in action, they are at home on August 23 vs. Liberty, August 25 vs. UNC Wilmington, August 27 vs. Gardner-Webb, September 13 vs. James Madison, September 20 vs. College of Charleston, October 4 vs. UTSA, October 6 vs. Middle Tennessee State, October 18 vs. UAB, October 25 vs. Marshall, and October 27 vs. Florida Atlantic. If you want to make any close-by road trips, they are at UNC Asheville in an exhibition today, at Elon on September 1, at Virginia Tech on September 6, at Western Carolina on September 8, at Davidson on September 22, at East Carolina on September 29, and at Old Dominion on October 31.