A sign of a good team is one that can battle back after facing much adversity. On Wednesday, the Charlotte 49ers did just that.
The 12th-ranked 49ers (6-1-2) defeated the UCF Knights (2-3-2), 2-1, in double overtime. Wednesday night’s finish marked the sixth double overtime match of the season for the 49ers, winning four of the six games which featured extra soccer.
Last season, Charlotte played nine overtime games, six of which went into double overtime. However, the 49ers sixth double overtime game did not come until the College Cup semifinals against Creighton.
“It was an incredible game,” Charlotte coach Kevin Langan said in a press release. “I am so proud of our guys to fight back after being down with just over 30 minutes left in regulation. I am really proud of our team’s effort and determination tonight. We played 17 guys so it was a total team win.”
The first tally of the game came off a Deshorn Brown shot from about 15 yards out, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute.
“We are so close to push it over the top. We just haven’t done it. It is close. We played well. We created chances, but we gave up two soft goals,” said UCF coach Bryan Cunningham on their official athletic website.
The 49ers bounced back in the 73rd minute, when Giuseppe Gentile headed in an Isaac Caughran pass. This would become Gentile’s third goal of the season and the 13th of his career.
Tyler Gibson, Charlotte midfielder, passed the ball to Thomas Allen who headed it to Will Mayhew for the game-winner in the 103rd minute.
Mayhew’s goal was his first of the season and fifth of his career.
The Knights outshot the 49ers 17-15 and also held a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Gibson and Gentile led the 49ers with three shots apiece, while Owen Darby and Mayhew each recorded two shots apiece.
The 49ers will now enjoy a nine-day break before opening Atlantic 10 play with new conference foe VCU in Richmond, Va. The match is slated for Friday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.
Friday’s match will be the final time Charlotte opens their conference play in the Atlantic 10 before making the switch to Conference USA next season, 2013.