Matej Dekovic took advantage of a corner kick from Brandt Bronico, heading the ball past the Coastal Carolina goalie and giving Charlotte a 1-0 lead that they would possess for the remainder of the game. The 49ers (3-0-0) pushed past Coastal (1-3-1) with Elliot Panicco in the goal, whom has yet to allow a goal this season.
Redshirt sophomore Daniel Bruce led the aggressive charge for the Niners during the first half. Bruce took the first of three Charlotte shots on goal within the first five minutes of regulation. Callum Montgomery and Harrison Steadman also made attacks on the goal, however both fell short and retreated to the locker rooms tied at zero.
At 47:31, set up by a Bronico corner, Dekovic headed the ball to the net putting up the solo goal on the night. Head coach Kevin Langan liked the aggression he saw during Tuesday’s win and also in the two other games games played thus far.
“Phenomenal first half performance from us. We were really moving the ball well. Then the second half, we scored and they were really direct with loads of guys on our backline. That was a great college soccer win for us. We showed in the first few games that we can play some great attacking soccer and tonight we demonstrated to everyone that were tough, strong and anything you throw at us, we’ll come back straight at you. It was a really pleasing performance,” Langan said.
Redshirt Freshman Panicco has been effective in the box for the 49ers, keeping opponents scores at zero all season. He attributes his success to a solid defense in front of him.
“I thought we all played great. The defense was rock solid,” Panicco said.
Langan knows that his defense has prepared well during practice and will be able to stand the tests of upcoming foes.
“If teams want to whack balls at us, we’ll be fine,” Langan said.
This is the first 3-0 start for the program since 1998 when the 49ers started the season on 5-0 run. One quality this group of guys has is closeness. The bond they share off the field is shown when they lace up their cleats and play together.
“They’re just staying in the moment and really enjoying playing together. They’re probably the closest group of guy’s I’ve coached. They kick each other and then go hang out and have fun with each other,” Langan said.
The winning mentality is something the 49ers hope to carry with them as they enter conference play.
” It’s always great to win, who wants to lose? If we are on the right track every game and keep believing in ourselves I don’t think there are a lot of teams that can stop us,” Dekovic said.
Charlotte hits the road traveling to Norfolk, Va. to take on Old Dominion at 7 p..m..