Charlotte defeated Appalachian State 3-2 in overtime to claim their first home win of the season.
“We were very determined, especially coming off of the loss from Wake Forest. We wanted to get a home win,” said senior Julia Grainda.
The 49ers started the game strong as Jamie Fankhauser scored off of a pinpoint pass through the teeth of the Mountaineers’ defense from Brianna Morris.
“We’re always a first-half team; we always get our goals quick,” said Grainda.
The 49ers continued to find ways through the Mountaineers’ defense, but untimely errant passes just out of reach, missed shots or offsides violations prematurely ended the 49er drives. The 49ers swarming defense suffocated the Mountaineers’ forwards, prohibiting them from taking a shot until the 20th minute and holding them to only three shots in the first half. With five minutes remaining before halftime, Riley Orr lofted a penalty kick to the opposite post, just out of the reach of the Mountaineers’ goalie, and into the goal. The 49ers outshot the Mountaineers 12-3 in the first half and led 2-0 going into the halftime break.
In the second half, the Mountaineers got off to a quick start, feeding the ball into the box and forcing the 49ers’ goalie Abby Stapleton to kick the ball out. The Mountaineers first corner attempt went out of bounds off of the 49ers. On the second corner, Kristin Brown assisted Ava Dawson to tie the game 2-2.
With the score tied in the 85th minute, Charlotte drove down the field and got three shots on goal. All three shots were blocked by either the Mountaineers’ goalie or a defender. Regulation time ended with the score tied 2-2.
“I never felt like two [scores] was going to be enough [to win],” said Head Coach John Cullen. “Full credit to App; they came back [and] I knew they would. They are a hardworking team.”
The 49ers started the overtime session by aggressively pushing the ball into Appalachian State territory and garnering a corner kick. In the 91st minute, Michaella Arteta found Grainda on the far post for the easy golden goal to seal the 49ers’ victory.
“We started the overtime perfectly. Riley made a fantastic run down the line to win us a corner. We get great delivery from our setter, and Julia Grainda steps up to get an important header to win it,” said Cullen.
The 49ers next match is against the Western Carolina Catamounts on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.
“We can’t look too much into this win; we have to treat it like it’s just another game,” said Grainda. “With Western Carolina, we have to be a second half-team as well.”