After a 14-5-2 season (11-1-1 at home) and hard-fought battles in the postseason, four Charlotte 49er seniors have reached the end of their collegiate careers, helping their team finish as the No. 14 team in the country.

“Those four have been unbelievable seniors,” said head coach, Kevin Langan. “Tommy Madden has had an unbelievable career here and will go down as one of our best ever midfielders. Callum Montgomery, a four-year starter for us, is another player that is going to be a benchmark for the centerbacks who come through the program. Daniel Bruce, who unfortunately couldn’t play tonight, is just a wonderful example of perseverance and playing hard every day. And Dean Rutherford stuck with it and really worked hard.”

Defense proved to be an incredible factor in yet another game for the Niners as the first half ended scoreless and with the Hokies taking only one shot and the 49ers taking just two. After just over 21 minutes, Virginia Tech goalkeeper Mathijs Swaneveld had to make his first save of the game when Joe Brito fired a shot toward the goal.

Kristo Strickler scored the first and only goal of the game for the Hokies. Up next, Maclean Holbrook, Madden and Montgomery each had good opportunities to score that would still go without a Niner goal.

By the end of the match, the Niners led in shots 9-7 and Brito and Patrick Hogan each tabbed two shots while Holbrook, Montgomery, Madden, Teddy Chaouche and Luke Vallone also added one shot each.

“We are absolutely devastated,” said Langan. “We thought we did enough to win the game. We opened them up four or five times in the second half and I am proud of the guys for sticking to the game plan. It’s one of those games where we feel like we didn’t lose the game, we just ran out of time.”

Photo by Chris Crews

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