Women’s soccer matched up with No. 4 seed Louisiana Tech on Friday morning at 11 a.m. for the second game in the Conference-USA championship tournament in Boca Raton, Florida. The game came down to a single point scored by none other than senior Martha Thomas in the last half of the game, resulting in another 1-0 victory for the Niners.
Charlotte took the lead offensively with a total of eight shots in the first half, leaving Louisiana Tech with only four. Despite the efforts, neither team was able to plaster a point up on the scoreboard before halftime hit.
However, it was not long into the second half before Thomas, C-USA Offensive Player of the year, worked her magic and registered a goal for Charlotte with 59:25 on the clock. Thomas launched the ball from 30-yards away on the free kick, and sent it sailing right past the Lady Techsters’ goal keeper Courtney Tompkins. For the second game in a row, Thomas was able to preform under pressure and execute the game-winning goal.
Thomas entered the game with 81 shots thus far this season, but bumped that total up to 88 following the win against Louisiana Tech. She is now trailing her sophomore record of 92 shots in a single season by only four, with one game left in the Championship tournament.
The Niners rounded out the game with a total of 13 shots on goal, and the Lady Techsters were not far behind with 11. Abby Stapleton had two impressive saves in the net this game for the Niners, while Tompkins was put to work by the 49ers offense to achieve six good saves.
Stapleton’s saves awarded Charlotte their second shutout in a row, which made her the first ever freshman goalie in the team’s history to have back to back shut outs in the Championship tournament. The Niners are now the only team in C-USA Championship history to enter the final game ranked as low as the No. 8-seed.
This win in the semifinals secured a spot for the 49ers in the final game on Sunday, where they will face North Texas, and fight for their second straight championship title in a row. This final game in Florida will be broadcast on ESPN 3 at 11 a.m.