The seniors gathering together before senior night. Photo by Chris Crews.
The seniors gathering together before senior night. Photo by Chris Crews.

The Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer team made the NCAA tournament, this time as the tenth seed in the nation. The 49ers will have the benefit of a first-round bye and will await the winner of Virginia Tech and ETSU to see who their first opponent will be in the postseason.

The men’s program has been a staple of excellence during the decade, making the College Cup Finals back in 2011 and garnering a national seed in postseason play three of the last four years. With a record of 12-3-2, the 49ers added to their decorated decade as a team and individually.

Charlotte won the Conference USA regular-season title this year and was ranked as high as fifth in the nation at one point. The 49ers have been a juggernaut on both sides of the ball, ranking sixth in the nation with 2.06 goals per game and a 0.51 goals against that ranks them fourth.

Looking at those stats, it’s no surprise why Charlotte had a clean sweep with the conference player awards. Senior Brandt Bronico won the Conference USA Player of the Year with eight goals and five assists. The defense was led by Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, fellow senior Luke Waechter. Another vital piece to the defense was goalkeeper Elliot Panicco, who won C-USA Freshman of the Year. Rounding out the major awards, Kevin Langan won the C-USA Coach of the Year.

“We knew with our body of work this season that we would make the NCAA Tournament,” Langan said. “We had a wonderful regular-season and we are very excited about being in the NCAA Tournament.”

The first match-up of the tournament for Charlotte will come Nov. 20 at Transamerica Field. The 49ers are unbeaten at home this season with a 7-0-1 record in front of Niner Nation. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Andy Gustafson is the Sports Writer for the Niner Times. This is his first year involved with the Times. He is majoring in mass media communications and minoring in journalism. He is from Asheville, North Carolina.