The 49ers took six shots on goal in the first half, but to no avail. Anna Shelden was a brick wall in the goal, holding the Eagles to zero going into the half.
Megan Greene and Martha Thomas each took two shots at the goal in the firs half, seniors Rebecca Beatty and Katie O’neill each contributing to the two other shots.The 49ers also took two corner kicks, one coming with just under a minute remaining in the first half, but they could not connect with two goose eggs heading to the locker rooms.
Martha Thomas stepped up to take the team’s first penalty kick of the season right at the 23rd minute mark. Thomas kept her cool and easily netted the ball, pushing the 49ers ahead 1-0.
While both teams continued to take shots, nothing else made it through and Charlotte won another one, 1-0.
The 1-0 victory for the 49ers was Shelden’s third consecutive shutout, fourth on the season.
“We’re super excited. As a team, it’s our clean sheet. It starts at the top and it’s an all-around team effort for our clean sheets – three in a row. Our team is coming together. I see our team dynamic improving game-by-game.”With this victory Charlotte is tied for second place in the conference,” Shelden said.
“All wins are big but this one was huge for us. We knew Southern Miss would be a good, gritty team and defensively sound behind the ball. We knew they needed points but both teams needed points for different reasons. Big win and a great way to finish off the weekend.”
After a slow first half, the 49ers came out of the halftime break with a renewed energy. Cullen attributes this to the early start time
“These Sunday games are hard. Especially at 1:00. It’s tough to get the body and mind going. I think we wanted to do the right thing but were a little tired in our decision making and movement of the ball. We tweaked the shape in the second half so we could retain the ball high up the field. We put a player alongside Martha and that helped. The intensity wasn’t very different but the decision making was better.”