The Charlotte 49ers (8-5, 4-2 C-USA) took on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (8-3-1, 3-1-1 C-USA) this Sunday, Oct. 7th, in a tough loss in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The Charlotte 49ers were led by junior forward Julia Grainda, who was also named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, with three shots on goal and one shot, which would lead to the 49ers’ one and only point of the game.
Grainda and the Charlotte 49er offense would walk into the first half matching the energy of the Blue Raiders. The first part of the half would be a lot of back and forth between the two teams, with Charlotte’s midfielders and backs remaining active against the harassment of the Blue Raiders. Around the 24th minute mark, Grainda, after a succession of beautiful footwork including a vicious “stutter-step”, would penetrate through the Blue Raider fullbacks and create a strong shot on goal which would lead to the 49ers first and only score of the night.
The Blue raiders would respond quickly though, with Middle Tennessee’s Amber Hoot capitalizing on a 49er penalty, and shooting a 30-yard free kick to put them on the board. The rest of the half would prove to be unproductive for both teams, as each team’s respective keepers, specifically Abby Stapleton, would have the goalie box on lockdown.
The 49ers would come into the second half aiming to make right what Hoot made wrong. They would attempt to use a corner kick by junior forward Megan Greene, to take the lead once again. The shot, which looked to be good, was taken care of by the Middle Tennessee defense. Hoot would again be the catalyst for another Blue Raider goal, assisting the play by having her free kick knocked to her teammate, Sydney Navarro, who then scored, putting the 49ers down one.
The rest of the half would be defined by strong attacks from the 49ers that would not be able to pan out. At the end of the day, the Blue Raiders would come out over Charlotte 2-1 in a game where the rainy weather proved to do no favors.
“Both sides created chances, but this weekend, we were not quite as productive as we have been in recent games in front of the goal. We need to spend more time in training on that aspect, too. Congratulations to Middle Tennessee,” said women’s head coach, John Cullen.
The 49ers will take on UAB this Thursday, Oct. 11 for Senior Night, 7 p.m. at Transamerica Stadium.