The Charlotte 49ers women’s soccer team stayed perfect at home in their Conference USA opener with a 2-1 victory over the Old Dominion Monarchs Sunday afternoon, getting a goal from their star Martha Thomas and rising-star Megan Greene.
“We’re delighted to get the first conference win of the season,” said coach John Cullen. “I thought today we had a good game plan and worked hard leading into the game. The girls executed the game play and we stifled them, not allowing many shots on goal. We’re thoroughly delighted to come out with the win.”
Throughout the afternoon, the 49ers (5-4, 1-0 C-USA) controlled the pace of the match with their stellar frontline, compiling 19 shots, while allowing 10 shots on goal.
It didn’t take much time for Charlotte to tally their first goal, scoring at the 3:27 mark with beautiful ball movement. First, Kaite O’Neill passed to the near sideline where Emily Truelove was set up, already knowing what move she was going to make.
Truelove quickly lofted the ball behind the Monarch defense, finding junior Thomas. With only two goals on the season so far, Thomas one-touched the ball directly by the Old Dominion goalie, giving Charlotte a lead, just under five minutes into the game.
Charlotte went into halftime feeling good with a one-goal advantage, but wondering if Thomas would return from a left foot injury that took place midway through the first half.
“A lot of what we do on offense evolves around Martha so we just did the best as we could to fill in for that,” said freshman Megan Greene. “During halftime, coach just said to keep our foot on the peddle and try and finish the game off.
Old Dominion (2-6, 0-1 C-USA) were the aggressors coming out of the break, looking for that equalizer sooner rather than later. At the 59:44 mark, Charlotte’s Riley Orr took a free kick from the right side near the corner, looking to set her teammates up in the box for an opportunity to increase their one-goal lead.
Greene stood tall in the box towards the back post, awaiting the ball from Orr, just nicking it with her shoulder and by the ODU goalie to give the 49ers a two-goal lead.
Just seconds before the 70th minute, Kathryn Hill of ODU sent an absolute rocket to the upper left 90 by the diving Anna Sheldon, cutting the lead in half in style.
The 49ers held off the Monarchs for the remaining 20 minutes to pick up their C-USA victory, staying over .500 on the season.
Charlotte will take the long journey down to Miami to take on Florida International this Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.