Fourth seed Charlotte (7-4-6) is making their way through the Conference USA tournament. The Niners beat fifth seed New Mexico (8-6-4) in the quarterfinals by way of a penalty kick from Callum Montgomery.
The lone goal was scored off of a penalty kick taken by Montgomery, but it was quite a play that would result in the opportunity.
Daniel Bruce would run the ball down the left side of the box and serve a rather nice cross over to the right side of the box where Fernando Garcia was making a run in to the meet to the pass for yet another attempt at the first goal of the game when a New Mexico defender would foul Garcia in the box to give Charlotte a penalty kick.
Montgomery’s goal was the third of the season and his second career game-winning goal.
Charlotte led the game with a 15-13 shot advantage. The two teams certainly battled offensively, but a good offense would be no good without a highly reliable defense behind them as well.
A very solid defensive effort by Mongomery, Patrick Hogan, Luke Johnson, Zhuvonte Wilson and Noah Seach as well as the consistently incredible goal keeping by Elliot Panicco meant Charlotte was able to get a win. The match was Panicco’s sixth shutout of the season, recording seven saves in the quarterfinal competition.
On top of the defensive efforts, Tommy Madden would lead the game in shots with four, Teddy Chaouche would take three and Bruce would have two.
Charlotte had several wonderful scoring opportunities in the first half, one by way of a free kick in the 19th minute from Chaouche from quite a ways out that would unfortunately be stopped by New Mexico goal keep Jason Beaulieu.
Another would come in the 31st minute when Bruce took a nice shot that was again saved by the keeper. Marco Sunol-Rojas would soon take another shot in the 36th minute, but his header would be stopped as well.
Madden would take two shots next, one in the 39th minute, that would be just tapped away by Beaulieu. His next would come in the 41st minute as his shot would be just a bit too high.
In the 67th minute, Bruce took a shot from fairly far out that would go right over the goal keeper’s head, but would ring off of the crossbar.
The Niners will continue their all around tremendous efforts on Friday, Nov. 10 at 4:30 p.m. in Norfolk, VA.