The Charlotte 49ers lost 1-0 to Saint Louis on their home field Friday, Oct. 26, during Autism Awareness Night at Transamerica Field.
After returning home from a month on the road, the 49ers showed their determination as they took on the Billikens (5-8-4, 3-3-2 A-10). The 49ers (10-6-2, 4-3-1 A-10) worked hard to sustain a good ranking in the Atlantic-10 (A-10) Conference but lost force near the end of the game.
Charlotte players Monica Trickett, Amanda Jones and Sarah Ann Waugh started off the first half with great opportunities to score a goal but could not find the back of the net. The Billikens were not having much luck at that point either.
At one point the 49ers had a great opportunity with a corner kick shot by Jennifer Lee. However, the shot was deflected by Billiken player Kailey Pretzlaff and sent to the middle of the field.
As the Billikens maintained possession at the 15-minute mark, Lee sustained great defense with multiple deflections, while Trickett held down left field defense.
With one minute left in the first half, Trickett fed Alex Meyers, who took a left side shot that was deflected by a Billiken defender. Both teams played consistently diligent defense and ended the first half with the score tied 0-0.
In the second half, the 49ers tried to gain momentum with some help from the crowd cheering them on. As soon as the clock started, the Billikens were playing with an offensive fire and began taking all possible shots in 49er territory.
Saint Louis forward Jessie Jarret scored from right corner, giving the Billikens the lead in the middle of the second half. Immediately the energy of the 49ers deflated, but the fans in the stands kept pushing them on.
Lacey McGowan took a long right shot as goal keeper Walsh ran forward to catch it. Dakota Olson had another opportunity on the run that was also deflected. Sara Trexler and Carrie Dale also attempted shots.
After the game, Charlotte Head Coach John Cullen told the media, “We were up against a good goalkeeper tonight and we probably settled for too many shots from distance and we needed to get closer to the goal.”
The 49ers took several shots at the end of the half, but just could not seem to get a goal due to a great performance by Saint Louis goalkeeper Katie Walsh.
Overall, the 49ers held an 11-5 shot advantage over the Billikens. In the first half, Charlotte took a total of five shots and three corner kicks. Saint Louis took one shot and one corner kick.
“Sunday’s game is very, very important, and we have to bounce back immediately,” Cullen said.
Throughout the whole game, the 49ers fought a tough Billiken defense and kept their intensity high, unfortunately resulting in a loss.
The 49ers still have time to redeem their conference standing this Sunday at 1 p.m. when they take on A-10 newcomer Butler at Transamerica Field.