The Conference USA champion Charlotte women’s soccer will finish off their season at 11-9-2 after falling to No. 14-ranked Duke 3-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Koskinen Stadium. This was Charlotte’s fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.
The Blue Devils got on the board early at the 10:06 mark, with an 18-yard goal scored by freshman Forward Ella Stevens. Olivia Erlbeck and Toni Payne were credited with an assist.
Charlotte’s Martha Thomas was awarded a penalty kick at 28:04, but could not capitalize as the ball bounced off of the right post, the 49ers first chance at a goal.
The second opportunity for Charlotte in the first half came when Senior Perri Bonner got open down the left side, but goalie EJ Proctor blocked the attempt. Proctor finished the game with two saves.
In the second half, Duke was able to strike quickly with a 10-yard score at 49:12 by Toni Payne. Ella Stevens and Morgan Reid got the assist on the score.
The third and final score for Duke was at the 68:36 mark when Payne and Stevens found Forward Mia Gyau, who was able to split two defenders and grab the permanent 3-0 lead.
Charlotte accounted for one attempt in the second half. Freshman Kelley Suggs, who was a member of All-Conference USA Tournament Team, was responsible for the shot.
This was the final contest in the remarkable career of five Charlotte seniors: Rebecca Beatty, Perri Bonner, Shelby Hicks, Katie O’Neill and Kaitlin Walker. They will forever be remembered for helping return the program to NCAA prominence over the years.