The No. 6-seed Charlotte 49ers women’s soccer team defeated the No. 7-seed UTEP Minors, 1-0, behind a goal from senior captain Rebecca Beatty, sending the 49ers to the 2016 Conference USA Championship game Sunday morning at 11 a.m. on ESPN3 against the Florida Atlantic Owls.
After upsetting the No. 3-seed WKU Lady Toppers in penalty kicks Wednesday night in front of their home crowd at Transamerica Field, Charlotte used that momentum to come out hot against the Minors Friday night.
Freshman Riley Orr found the Conference USA Player of the Year Martha Thomas in the 36th minute just outside the box with a throw in, as Thomas flicked the ball on to Beatty, standing 25 yards out. Using just one touch, Beatty sent the pass from Thomas firing by the diving UTEP keeper, Alyssa Palacios, proving to be the winner for Charlotte.
Throughout the first period, both Anna Sheldon and Palacios had their defenses in full effect, keeping a clean slate for over 30 minutes. With Beatty’s goal in the 36th minute, the 49ers gained an edge over a physical UTEP team going into halftime, simply attempting to hold off the Minors for 45 minutes to go to the championship Sunday morning.
After plenty of chances for both teams in the second half, neither team found any more success on the offensive side of the ball, giving Charlotte a 1-0 victory over UTEP, making for a long trip back to El Paso.
The 49ers and Minors both fired off 15 shots, with Charlotte having five of their shots on goal, compared to four for UTEP. C-USA Freshman of the Year Megan Greene compiled five shots as Riley Orr played an integral role in setting up a lot of chances throughout the night for Charlotte.
Charlotte will welcome the No. 4-seed FAU Owls to Transamerica Field Sunday at 11 a.m. on ESPN3 for the C-USA Championship game, with a NCAA tournament bid on the line as well.