Louis Stephens dribbles the ball. Photo by Chimena Ihebuzor

The Charlotte 49ers took on the Rice Owls Sunday evening in their final home regular season match of the year. Though forward Megan Greene collected six shots overall with three on goal, the 49ers (9-7-1) lost 1-0 to Rice (12-2-1).

Charlotte, led by Greene, would come out strong in the first half, attacking Rice’s backfield hard and often. The first portion of the half proved too much for the Owl’s. Struggling to contain players like Greene and mid-fielder Martha Thomas, the Owl’s keeper, Maya Hoyer, would be forced to lock in. As the half continued on, fatigue would begin to rear its nagging head among the Charlotte offense, allowing Rice to gain momentum.

With this new second wind, Rice Mid-fielders Lianne Mananquil and Annie Walker would seize the opportunity. In the last three minutes of the half, Rice would show aggression not seen beforehand. The Owls would reap the fruits of their labor at the 2:26 mark by the hands of Walker, connecting on her first and only shot on goal to close the half.

Rice would ride this wave entering the second half, showing energy on both sides of play, and showing the 49ers the same aggression shown them. The 49ers would refuse to just lay down and watch this happen. Collecting seven fouls in the second half, the 49er backfield would show a level of physicality not often displayed.

In the end, the 49er offense would not be able overcome Rice’s momentum, and would close out the game without a goal despite having 15 shots overall. Charlotte would finish the game with six shots on goal, and four corner kicks. Highlight players of the game would include Greene with six shots overall, with three being on goal and Midfielder Thomas with four shots overall with one on goal.

The 49ers will take on the ODU Lions in Norfolk, Virginia this Friday in their final match of the regular season.

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