Conference USA Tournament Day 1 Recap: Charlotte 49ers, Tulsa, Kentucky move on

The Charlotte 49ers walked off the field two wins away from a Conference USA title.  The UAB Blazers walked off with yet another loss at Transamerica Field.

Giuseppe Gentile scored twice as the Charlotte 49ers survived an own goal to pick up a 2-1 victory over UAB in the first round of the C-USA tournament.  It was the Niners’ second straight win over the Blazers at Transamerica (2012 NCAA Tournament being the last) and the fifth straight non-losing result against their rival (3-0-2).

Gentile had his markers in the 21st and 37th minutes to give his team a 2-0 lead at the break.  But an own goal surrendered by the Niners made it 2-1 early in the 48th minute.  Meanwhile, both sides had a chance to find the net, but Charlotte held on for the victory to set up a date with 7th seeded Kentucky Friday night at 7:30.  Gentile’s pair gives him 27 and puts him in the program’s top-10 in goals scored.  Klay Davis only needed to make three stops in the game en route to a win, while Raphael Ville made seven saves in what could have been a much higher-scoring affair.

(5) Tulsa 3, (4) South Carolina 1
Despite the Gamecocks taking an early 1-0 lead, the Golden Hurricane fought back with three second half goals to pick up the first round win and advance to Friday’s semifinals. A 49th minute own goal by South Carolina knotted things at 1; over five minutes later, Abe Matamoros would give the Hurricane a lead they would never relinquish. Akeil Barrett added late insurance in the 89th minute.

Tulsa moves on to play top-seed New Mexico on Friday afternoon.

(7) Kentucky 1, (2) Old Dominion 0 (OT)
In the shocker of the day, an overtime goal by Justin Laird sent the Wildcats to a emotional first round win and saw them through to the next round to play Charlotte on Friday, a team they lost to in the regular season thanks to an own goal.

The Wildcats gave themselves a chance to win behind the heroics of keeper Callum Irving. The first-team all-conference pick made six saves, none bigger than a 62nd minute robbery of Ivan Militar on a penalty to keep the game scoreless. Sean Stowe made a pair of saves in the loss. The Monarchs’ Tim Hopkinson had eleven shots, but couldn’t find the net on either one.

Tags: Charlotte 49ers Charlotte 49ers Men's Soccer Conference USA

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