The eighth-ranked Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer team defeated the Florida Atlantic Owls 4-0 Saturday night at Transamerica Field on senior night, as the five seniors led the way on offense and defense, dominating in front of their home crowd for one of the last times. Before the game, Charlotte honored seniors Brandt Bronico, Mark Sloan, Luke Waechter, Maxi Rodriguez and Matej Dekovic.
“We started the game incredibly well and we pushed for a goal that didn’t come,” head coach Kevin Langan said. “We kept going and were relentless tonight. In the start of the second half, some of the goals were fantastic. I was very impressed and to keep a clean sheet when you have more chances requires concentration.”
The 49ers controlled the ball early, firing off eight shots within 10 minutes of action, led by the attack of Bronico. Charlotte finally struck gold when Maclean Holbrook found the back of the net after catching his own rebound just six yards away from Phillip Hitpass, the keeper for FAU. Holbrook corralled the rebound and sent it to the back of the net in the 41st minute, marking his second goal of the season.
With beautiful weather and no clouds in the sky, it started to pour at Transamerica Field coming out of halftime; pour goals.
In the 57th minute, Zhuvonte Wilson got tripped up in the box, resulting in a penalty kick for Bronico. With already five PK goals this season, the senior captain sent the ball into the upper left hand corner of the net, giving the 49ers a 2-0 lead.
Just four minutes later, Tommy Madden scooted by the Owls defense, finding an open Wilson on the opposing side of the net. Wilson only needed one touch to find the net, capturing his second goal of the season.
In the 62nd minute, Charlotte finished off FAU with their fourth goal of the night, as senior Rodriguez was able to score his second goal of the season in as many games. Bronico and Wilson linked up with each other on a give-and-go, setting up a wide-open lane for Rodriguez just inside the 18-yard box. Rodriguez sent it right by the keeper, giving Charlotte a 4-0 lead.
Elliot Panicoo, the 49ers keeper, stayed perfect as usual in front of his home crowd, pitching his ninth clean sheet of the season.
Charlotte will finish off their home slate with a game at Transamerica Field on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. against Appalchian State.