Soccer sweeps superlatives

After their season's finished, 49ers are still earning national recognition

| November 29, 2016
Coach Kevin Langan and Luke Waechter share an embrace. Photo by Austin Chaney

Coach Kevin Langan and Luke Waechter share an embrace. Photo by Austin Chaney

Even after their jerseys are hung up after the conclusion of the season, both men’s and women’s soccer teams still shine in post-season awards.

Callum Montgomery became the fifth Charlotte player to be named an Academic All-American, as voted by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).  The Biology major currently sports a 4.0 GPA while touting  three goals this season on six shots on goal.

Montgomery isn’t the only player on the men’s team to be earning recognition this season.  For the first time in the 22 years C-USA has been awarding their post-season superlatives, all seven awards went to the same team: the Charlotte 49ers.

Becoming the head coach of Charlotte in the 2012 season, Kevin Langan’s hard work was recognized after being awarded C-USA’s Coach of the Year.  Under his leadership this season the 49ers held a 12-4-2 record and made an appearance in the NCAA tournament.

During his first season in action, Elliot Panicco made his presence known.  The 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman did not allow a goal through the first four games of the season.  Through the 18 games played this season, Panicco allowed only 18 goals.  The goalie was given the Golden Glove award and named Freshman of the Year.

Two seniors, Brandt Bronico and Luke Waechter, made their final seasons in the green and white striped jerseys a memorable one.

Bronico took home three of the seven awards: Offensive MVP, Golden Boot and Player of the Year.  The 5-foot-8 senior scored a career-high nine goals this season after taking 49 shots, 24 shots on goal.

Waechter, a redshirt senior, was named the conference Defender of the Year.

Martha Thomas looking at the ref for a call in the box. Photo by Ben Coon.

Martha Thomas looking at the ref for a call in the box. Photo by Ben Coon.

The women’s team posted a record-setting seven players on the All North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) team.  Previously the Niners had placed a maximum of four players on either the first or second NCCSIA team.

Four of the seven players were named to the NCCSIA First Team.  C-USA Freshman of the Year Megan Greene was included in those four.  Greene, a 5-foot-8 forward out of Fuquay-Varina, N.C., totaled 10 goals during her first collegiate season.

In her second season with the 49ers, Katie O’Neill was also named to the First Team.  The senior midfielder has tallied four goals paired with four assists on the season.

Also on the first team is freshman defender Riley Orr.  Orr and Greene pair together to be the only two freshmen featured on the NCCSIA First Team.

Rounding out the 49ers featured on the first team is junior Martha Thomas. This will mark the third consecutive year that Thomas has been featured an NCCSIA team.  Thomas tied with Greene for a team-high 10 goals on the season.

Earning a spot on the NCCSIA Second Team are Julia Grainda, Shelby Hicks and Anna Sheldon.

Both teams advanced to the NCAA tournament and after being eliminated now enjoy a winter hiatus in preparation of the 2017 season.

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Category:Men's Soccer, Sports, Women's Soccer

Kathleen Cook Kathleen Cook is the sports editor of the Niner Times and from Wake Forest, North Carolina. When the junior communication major/journalism minor isn't covering the 49ers, she enjoys spending time with her family, friend, and dog. Kathleen can also be found cheering on the Panthers every Sunday and rooting for the Washington Nationals.

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Kathleen Cook Kathleen Cook is the sports editor of the Niner Times and from Wake Forest, North Carolina. When the junior communication major/journalism minor isn't covering the 49ers, she enjoys spending time with her family, friend, and dog. Kathleen can also be found cheering on the Panthers every Sunday and rooting for the Washington Nationals.

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