The Charlotte 49ers women’s soccer team dominated from start to finish against a solid Louisiana Tech team Friday night, winning 4-0 behind a hat trick from senior Katie O’Neill on senior night at Transamerica Field.
O’Neill wasted no time putting the 49ers (8-5-1, 4-1-1 C-USA) on top, scoring the fastest goal in Charlotte history just 21 seconds into the match, while also scoring her first goal of the season. But it wouldn’t be her last.
Almost 15 minutes later, senior Kaitlin Walker found Megan Green at the far corner, centering in to star-studded Martha Thomas, who flicked it from the near post over the keeper’s head, giving Charlotte a 2-0 lead over a 10-4-1, 2-3 C-USA Lady Techster team.
The back-line for Charlotte, consisting of Riley Orr, senior Shelby Hicks, Walker and Abby Taylor, dominated all first half, taming Kathryn Sloan and the Lady Techster offense to just five shots, with none of those being on-goal.
Leading 2-0 coming out of halftime, the 49ers kept their momentum going into the second half, but couldn’t find that third goal until the 70th minute. With 20 minutes left, O’Neill tacked on her second goal of the night, capitalizing on a rebound off the post from Julia Grainda, giving the 49ers a 3-0 lead.
Just three minutes later, O’Neill received the ball from 30 yards out, eyeing down the keeper Carolotta Cartelli, and sending it over her head and to the back of the net, capping off her senior night with a hat trick.
The 49ers were out-shot 7-to-8, but made the most of their opportunities, moving up to third in the Conference USA standings.
Charlotte will play their last home game this Sunday at 1 p.m. against Southern Miss, before heading to Texas for two games to finish off the season.