The Niners open up play–and their C-USA schedule–at the Soccer for a Cure Classic in Birmingham, Alabama tonight at 8pm Eastern Time. Their first opponent: the #8 UAB Blazers, who Charlotte has beaten in the last two NCAA tournaments.
For #21 Charlotte (2-1), it’s a chance to carry the momentum over from a much-needed win at #12 Coastal Carolina–one that came after a disappointing home loss to UNC Greensboro last Tuesday. Aidan Kirkbride put away the game-winner in the 73rd minute of that one to give the Niners a 2-1 victory.
But UAB (3-0) is sure to be looking for a measure or revenge this time around. They’ve been bounced from the tournament by Charlotte in back-to-back seasons: 3-1 in 2011’s third round in Birmingham and 3-2 last season at Transamerica Field. But so far this year, they’ve picked up some solid wins–beating VCU and High Point in the VCU classic before an overtime win versus defending College Cup champions Indiana, at home–with the victory over the Hoosiers vaulting them from 18th to 8th in the national rankings.
Now, with the teams in the same league, the heat is set to be turned up a bit more.
UAB is led in scoring by Diego Navarrete (four goals, nine points) and Freddy Ruiz (three goals). In net, Raphael Ville has started all three contests–but this year has redshirt freshman Joe Kuzminsky behind him in case things go wrong.
The women’s soccer team (4-1) is back home after a two-game road trip, taking on James Madison tonight at 7pm and College of Charleston next Friday at the same time. Amanda Jones (two goals) leads the Niners’ scoring charge, while SarahAnn Waugh, Sarah Trexler and Jessica Ryan have a goal each. Alex Kubrick has played every minute in goal thus far, keeping three clean sheets and recording a 0.58 goals against average.