Preview notes for Charlotte’s first round NCAA Tournament match:
The Charlotte 49ers (14-3-3) will take on Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) (10-7-2), in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament at Transamerica Field Thursday night.
Charlotte will make their eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and third appearance in the last four years.
Last season, Charlotte advanced to the College Cup Final for the first time in school history. The 49ers have been to the College Cup once before, 1996.
In the NCAA Tournament, Charlotte is 6-5-4 all-time. The winner of Thursday’s match will advance to the second round of tournament play, where third-seed Georgetown will be waiting.
The second round match is slated for a 1 p.m. start time on Sunday, Nov. 18.
Jennings Rex, who scored a goal against Duquesne in the Atlantic 10 Tournament last Thursday, currently leads the team with nine goals for the season. Giuseppe Gentile has scored eight goals, while Donnie Smith, who was named A-10 Midfielder of the Year, is third on the team with four goals.
Gentile leads the team with seven assists, while Isaac Caughran has six for the season. Tyler Gibson, who was named first-team All-Atlantic 10 for the third straight year, is third on the team with five assists.
Gibson has also scored three goals this season, including the game-winning goal against Duquesne last week.
Charlotte’s defense has been stellar this season, recording nine shutouts and limiting 17 opponents to a goal or less this season.
Thursday’s match against UAB will mark the third meeting between the two programs in less than a year.
The last time both teams faced each other was earlier this season, featuring a double overtime draw at Transamerica Field, 1-1, on Aug. 31. Smith scored the equalizing goal in the 66th minute of regulation. Aidan Kirkbride was credited with the assist.
Last season, Charlotte defeated UAB, 3-1, on the road in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 20.
Currently, the 49ers lead the all-time series with UAB, 12-9-3.