Cooper Metts


Charlotte dominates Chattanooga

The 49ers defeated the Chattanooga Mocs 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-17) to claim their first victory of the Hokie Invitational. 

Late in the first set, the 49ers claimed an 18-17 lead. Despite the Mocs best efforts to tie or take the lead, the 49ers’ offensive attack, led by Sydney Rowan, maintained the lead and propelled Charlotte to the first set victory. 

The 49ers carried their momentum over into the second set, jumping out to an early 5-4 lead. However, the Mocs quickly took the lead from the 49ers and held on to it for most of the second set. The Mocs largest lead of the second set came off of a 3-0 run to give them an 18-15 lead, forcing Charlotte Head Coach Karen Weatherington to call a timeout. 

Out of the timeout, the 49ers offense began firing on all cylinders. The 49ers tied the score at 22-22 late in the set and sealed the victory with a 3-1 run. 

Charlotte closed the match out in dominant fashion, trailing only once. Early in the set with the score tied 6-6, the 49ers offense erupted, scoring six points to the Mocs one to give them a 12-7 advantage. From that point, the 49ers waltzed to a 25-17 set victory. 

Junior outside-hitter Rowan led the team with 13 kills while sophomore middle-hitter Lana Strejcek and senior middle-blocker Jocelyn Stoner each contributed eight kills. Additionally, freshman setter Annika Wettersom contributed to the 49ers’ dominant offensive performance with 29 assists. 

On defense, senior libero Yumi Garcia led the team with 24 digs while Nalani Lyde contributed four blocks. 

The 49ers play their final game of the Hokie Invitational Saturday, Sept. 21 against Virginia Tech at 3:30 p.m. 

Home is where the heart is

For Charlotte native Nafees Lyon, growing up a standout high school athlete and playing with his hometown Carolina Panthers on the popular football video game Madden NFL, Charlotte was a natural choice to continue his football and academic career. Now, he wants to lead his team to their first bowl game appearance. 

Lyon channeled his love for Madden, the Panthers and football into a successful high school athletic career at Mallard Creek High School. During his career at Mallard Creek, Lyon helped guide the Mavericks to consecutive 4AA State Championship victories and was named Top Defensive Back at Charlotte’s TVO Top 100 in 2014. 

When he wasn’t playing football, Lyon ran track for the Mavericks’ 4AA State Champion 4×2 relay team. He also found success in the classroom, making the A/B Honor in both 2013 and 2014. 

Lyon’s athleticism and achievements on and off the field did not go unnoticed by college football recruits. Lyon garnered 15 Division 1 college football offers coming out of high school, giving him a myriad of options. However, Lyon decided to stay close to home when he chose Charlotte over other colleges. Lyon cites being close to family and home as well as a sense of pride in his hometown as deciding factors that helped him choose Charlotte. 

“Charlotte’s home, so I felt comfortable here. And my parents are big supporter[s] of me, so being here allowed them to attend most of my games,” said Lyon. “It was very humbling and exciting [to get an offer from Charlotte]. Getting an offer from the home team and being part of the foundation [meant a lot].” 

In the fall of 2015, Lyon packed his belongings and made the short drive to Charlotte’s campus for his redshirt season. During that season, Lyon trained with the team and laid the foundation for many important, cherished relationships throughout his time at Charlotte. 

Lyon began to see playing time in 2016 following his redshirt season. When given the opportunity, Lyon flashed the big-time playmaking potential he exhibited in high school that caught the eye of many college scouts. In the 49ers’ 2016 home-opener versus Elon, he forced a fumble. Additionally, Lyon recorded two-plus tackles in five straight games during the 2016 season. 

Everything appeared to be going as planned as Lyon’s play indicated he was on the fast-track to earning a starting or significantly increased role in the upcoming 2017 season. However, Lyon’s progression up the 49er depth chart was suddenly derailed during the 2016-2017 offseason when he suffered a significant injury. The injury sidelined Lyon for the entirety of the 2017 season.

Through lots of hard work and recovery, Lyon was cleared to return to the field in the 2018 season. He credits his family, coaches and teammates for encouraging him and providing support during his recovery efforts. 

“I have a lot of people to thank, starting with my family,” said Lyon. “And then I got my friends, my coaches, my trainers and my teammates all in my corner with me while I was on my comeback; just being there for me, helping me and giving me whatever I need to get back on the field.” 

Lyon saw a significant increase in playing time during the 2018 season, after recovering from his injury. In 11 games, Lyon tallied seven starts, made 42 tackles, intercepted five passes, led the team with five passes broken up, and forced one fumble. 

After a successful 2018 campaign and solid offseason, Lyon earned one of two starting cornerback spots this season. As a senior, earning a starting position means a great deal to Lyon and reminds him of all his hard work down the long road to recovery. 

“Starting my senior year means a lot because before I wasn’t playing a lot, and then I had to miss the [2017] season. It was like I had to start all over,” said Lyon. “It’s basically showing me that all my hard work paid off and now I’m looking forward to having a successful season to end my [college] football career.”

Lyon plans on pursuing a career in either the NFL or the CFL. However, if his professional football career plans do not pan out, Lyon intends to pursue a job with his major in Africana Studies and minor in Public Health. 

“After graduation, I most definitely am trying to get an opportunity to get to play in the league, if not in the NFL, then the CFL. That is [my] number one goal,” said Lyon. “But if that happens not to work out, I’d just look to be able to find a good-paying job [to] get my life started and get ready for the future.”  

Lyon models his game after New England Patriots two-time Pro-Bowl selection and one-time All-Pro selection, cornerback Stephon Gilmore. 

“My favorite [NFL] corner is Stephon Gilmore,” said Lyon. “He is a great playmaker and a smart corner. That’s why I watch him [and] pick up things from him to try and make myself better.”  

Lyon’s professional football aspirations will have to wait until the end of the 49ers’ season because Lyon has big plans and goals set for his team.

“[As a team], most definitely [I want] to go to a bowl game, which hasn’t been done in program history,” said Lyon. “And [I want] to win a conference championship.”

The 49ers currently sit four games away from bowl eligibility with a 2-1 record on the season. Additionally, the 49ers are currently in a two-way tie for first place in the Conference USA East division. 

The road to accomplishing the goals Lyon has set for the 49ers is sure to be riddled with adversity with matchups against the No. 1 Clemson Tigers and last year’s Conference USA runner-up, Middle Tennessee State.  

But for the boy who grew up playing Madden as Carolina Panthers players he idolized and the man who overcame a gruesome, devastating injury in his sophomore season, adversity is nothing new. 

Behind Lyon’s leadership, resilience and deeply-rooted love for his hometown, the 49ers look to battle through adversity and make program history by bringing a winning season and bowl game appearance to Charlotte. 

“I’m looking forward to having a winning season and making a bowl game,” said Lyon. 

Greene earns C-USA Player of the Week honors

Senior forward Megan Greene earned C-USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors with Old Dominion’s senior forward Kyra Ricks. 

Greene was nearly automatic on Thursday, Sept. 12 against Campbell, shredding the Camels defense for three goals on four shots. 49ers’ Head Coach John Cullen had high praise for Greene after the 4-1 victory against Campbell.

“She’s a captain, she’s such a competitor, [and] she’s such a good player,” said Cullen. “I think she’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen her play.”

Against East Carolina, Greene was held to zero goals on seven shot attempts. However, she anchored the 49ers’ offense and played all 90 minutes during a hot noon matchup. 

The 49ers will look to Greene for more offensive production during their upcoming four-game road slate featuring matchups against conference opponents Rice, Florida International, Western Kentucky, and Marshall.

“We want to [continue] to get her close to the goal, and I think you can see why,” said Cullen.  

The 49ers next game is Sunday, Sept. 22 on the road against Rice at 1:30 p.m.

Batse garners C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors

49ers redshirt sophomore defender Delasi Batse earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors after helping lead Charlotte to an impressive week of defense. 

On Tuesday, Batse solidified a defense that held the No. 25 West Virginia Mountaineers to zero goals on sixteen shot attempts in a physical double-overtime matchup. This game marked the first time the Mountaineers were held scoreless at home since Oct. 2017.  

Batse carried over his strong performance in the West Virginia game into Sunday’s matchup against the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats. During the 49ers’ matchup against the Wildcats, Batse continued to anchor the 49er defense despite the high temperatures of the game, and helped hold the Wildcats to one goal on eight shot attempts. 

Batse is the third 49er to garner C-USA player of the week honors, and the second 49er to earn C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors this season. 

Batse and the 49ers look to continue their excellent defensive play on Saturday, Sept. 21 on the road against the UAB Blazers at 8 pm.  

49ers tie 1-1 with Wildcats in rematch of last season’s C-USA Championship

The No. 12 49ers tied 1-1 with the No. 17 Wildcats in a double-overtime defensive battle. This game marks the 49ers’ second tie of the week and the season.

“I was proud of us more today how we took on board the information against West Virginia. But, I thought we had the weapons, and we do have the weapons, to really hurt this team,” said 49ers Head Coach Kevin Langan.  

Early in the first half, both defenses suffocated the opposing team’s offense. Both defenses were able to hold the opposing offenses to zero shot attempts through the 25th minute of play.

“I thought we defended really well today,” said Langan.  

Midway through the first half, the 49ers offense orchestrated a drive deep into Wildcat territory that had legitimate scoring potential. As a result, a Wildcat defender committed a hard foul to prohibit the drive from going any further, resulting in a 49er penalty kick. 

Senior midfielder Teddy Chaouche easily scored off the penalty kick, giving the 49ers a one-point advantage. 

“Teddy has shown in practice he is the best we’ve got in PK’s,” said Langan. “He can go three or four different PK’s, so I just said [to him] know where you’re going before the game, [and] just trust yourself.”   

The 49ers’ defense held the Wildcats scoreless through the first half, giving them a 1-0 advantage going into the second half. 

The Charlotte roster, down several players due to injury and cramps from the high temperature of the game, led to many 49ers seeing their first minutes of action this season. Redshirt sophomore Hunter Omli was one of the players given that opportunity, and he quickly capitalized on it by weaving through the teeth of the Wildcat defense and taking a shot early in the second half. But Wildcats goalie Enrique Facusse made an acrobatic save to keep Omli’s shot out of the goal. 

“People had to fill in roles that they weren’t used to,” said Langan. “Players who have not played as much had to play in the heat which got to them a little bit. But we went really deep tonight, and I was really proud of the young ones who came in; I thought they played incredible.”  

Wildcats forward Kalil ElMedkhar caught the 49er defense off guard and placed a shot just out of the reach of Elliot Pannico and into the goal in the 59th minute of action. Both teams continued to conduct drives deep into the opposing team’s territory, but the physicality and discipline of the defenses held each time. As a result, the score at the end of regulation was tied 1-1. 

Early in the first overtime period, the 49ers offense got just past the Wildcat defense with a shot opportunity to seal the win, but the shot sailed over the crossbar. For the remainder of the first and second overtime periods, both offenses made great plays in the midfield but were stopped short of scoring by tenacious defense and goalkeeping.  

The 49ers continue conference play on Saturday, Sept. 21 in Birmingham, AL against the UAB Blazers at 8 p.m.


49ers conclude non-conference play with 1-0 loss to Pirates

Charlotte fell to the East Carolina Pirates in a low scoring 1-0 affair. The loss is the 49ers’ second of the season. 

“I’m a bit disappointed [with the loss], but it’s just a reminder that we’ve got a lot of work to do,” said 49ers Head Coach John Cullen.  

The Pirates quickly established an offensive rhythm in the first half. The lone goal of the game came in the 15th minute of action when Pirates midfielder Tori Riggs assisted forward Daria Draovitch. 

Despite not scoring, the 49ers also establishing a solid rhythm, taking 12 shot attempts in the first half.

“I don’t think we tested the goalkeepers, so we’ve got to do a lot more shooting [and] a lot more crossing and finishing,” said Cullen. “And at the same time, we have to be a little more poised when we get into those good areas that we can pick out a better pass or make a better choice.” 

In the second half, the 49ers and the Pirates struggled to put themselves in scoring position. Through the first 25 minutes of the second half, the 49ers and Pirates combined for only one shot. The 49ers first shot attempt of the second half would not come until the 72nd minute of action; however, Pirates goalie Melaine Stills made an acrobatic save to keep the 49ers off of the scoreboard. The 49ers would only shoot four more times in the second half.

The 49ers start their conference schedule on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

“Now we go on the road for conference,” said Cullen. “We’ve got four conference away games; it’s going to be difficult. But, that’s the challenge that’s ahead of us now. We’ve got to regroup […] and then get ready for a very important conference schedule.” 


49ers dominated by Greyhounds

Charlotte lost to the Loyola Maryland Greyhounds 3-0 (16-25, 16-25, 27-29) in their second match of the Charm City Invitational Tournament. 

The 49ers were able to stay within striking distance of the Greyhounds throughout the early stages of both the first and second set. However, led by Abby Hamilton and Ann Ernest, the Greyhounds were able to ward off any 49er comeback attempts by orchestrating an 8-3 run to end the first set and a 5-3 run to close the second. 

Early in the third set, the 49ers battled back and forth with the Greyhounds until claiming an 11-10 lead. Charlotte maintained the lead and extended it to 17-14. The 49ers’ late lead prompted Loyola-Maryland Head Coach Alija Pittenger to call a timeout. 

The Greyhounds came out of the timeout firing on all cylinders, scoring six unanswered points to claim a 19-17 lead. The 49ers fought tooth-and-nail with the Greyhounds throughout the remainder of the set, but Loyola-Maryland took the 3rd set 29-27 to claim the match. 

Nalani Lyde and Jocelyn Stoner led the 49ers in kills with seven and six respectively; while Yumi Garcia and Lyde led Charlotte in digs with 18 and 11 respectively. 

The 49ers conclude the Charm City Invitational Saturday, Sept. 14 against Canisius at 7 p.m. 

Chaouche, Hogan earn C-USA player of the week honors

Senior midfielder Teddy Chaouche earned Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week honors while junior defender Patrick Hogan earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors. 

Last week, Chaouche played quality minutes against High Point. Later in the week against then No. 12 Coastal Carolina, Chaouche assisted the game-tying goal with four minutes left in regulation and scored the golden goal in double overtime to seal the 49ers’ victory over the Chanticleers. 

Chaouche currently has two goals and one assist on the season. After recording ten assists last season, Chaouche set lofty goals for himself this season.

“Personally, my goal is to be the best in the country for assists,” said Chaouche.

Redshirt Junior Patrick Hogan

Hogan led a 49er defense that allowed only one goal against opposing offenses last week. Additionally, the 49er defense only allowed 17 shots on goal against the Panthers and the Chanticleers. Hogan and the Charlotte defense look to lead the 49ers to another top finish in the national rankings. 

Riley Orr garners C-USA player of the week honors

Senior defender Riley Orr garnered C-USA defensive player of the week after her performances against Appalachian State and Western Carolina.

During last week, Orr guided a defense that held the Western Carolina offense to zero goals on seven shot attempts, limiting Appalachian State to two goals on only nine shot attempts.   

Additionally, Orr scored a goal during the 49ers’ 3-2 victory over the Mountaineers and recorded an assist during Charlottes’ 5-0 rout of the Catamounts. 

Throughout last week’s games, Orr logged 167 minutes of playing time and played a pivotal role in leading the 49ers.   

Orr looks to build on her performance this week during matchups against Campbell and East Carolina. 

49ers end three-game skid with 3-1 victory against Butler

The 49ers concluded the Bowling Green Invitational with a 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-17, 25-23) victory against the Butler Bulldogs. 

The 49ers took the first set by capitalizing on the Bulldogs’ eight errors and by playing with aggression and discipline on offense. Charlotte only committed two errors during the first set, limiting opportunities for the Bulldogs. 

Charlotte continued to play with discipline and aggression in the second set, taking an early 6-2 lead. The 49ers continued to ward off any attempts Butler made to claim a lead until late in the second set when Butler took a decisive 19-18 lead. The 49ers would never lead the set again as Butler finished the set on a 6-4 scoring run.

In the third set, the 49ers returned to their first set form by claiming an early 4-3 lead. Charlotte then extended the lead by scoring three unanswered points. The four-point gap was too large for the Bulldogs to overcome as Charlotte took a 2-1 match lead with a 25-17 third set victory. 

Butler took an early 3-2 lead and remained in the driver’s seat for the majority of the fourth set. Each time the 49ers threatened to take the lead or tie the set, the Bulldogs pulled away. Late in the set, the 49ers tied the score 19-19 and then took a 20-19 lead. The Bulldogs stayed on the 49ers’ heels throughout the remainder of the set, but ultimately the 49ers held onto their lead to win the set 25-23. 

The 49ers travel to Columbia, SC on Tuesday, Sept. 10 to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks at 7 p.m. 

No. 17 Charlotte wins matchup 2-1 against No. 12 Coastal Carolina

The 49ers remained undefeated after defeating No. 12 Coastal Carolina in a top-20 matchup at 2-1 in a physical, thrilling double-overtime match.

“It was a good, physical college game,” said 49ers’ Head Coach Kevin Langan.   

In the first half, both teams struggled to initiate offense and get shots on goal against the opposing team’s defense. Both defenses held the opposing offenses to one shot on goal and one corner kick until the 35th minute of action. 

With two minutes remaining until halftime, Chanticleers’ forward DZ Harmon found midfielder Danny Cabera for an uncontested goal to give Coastal Carolina the advantage heading into halftime. 

“I think the first half was a really tight physical affair,” said Langan. “The challenge for us was to show courage to compete, courage to challenge for the first ball and courage to pick up the loose ball.” 

Strong defense played a vital role in the second half. Each time one team’s offense had the opportunity to score, the other team’s defense stepped up and made a play. As the game wore on, pent-up frustration boiled over several times, resulting in four yellow cards after the first half. 

In the last ten minutes, with the 49ers trailing 1-0, the Chanticleers’ forwards caught the 49ers’ defense off guard. With a chance to take a decisive 2-0 lead, Harmon took a lightly-contested shot from just inside the box that sailed over the crossbar. The missed shot kept the 49ers in the game. 

“We knew as the game went on and players got tired that the lanes would open up,” said Langan. “I thought [in the] second half it was one-way traffic, and we really did a great job with [moving the ball].”

Off of Elliot Panicco’s punt deep down the field, the 49ers’ garnered a corner kick in the 85th minute with an opportunity to tie the game. Senior midfielder Teddy Chaouche lofted the corner kick over the top of the Chaticellers’ defense to Cooper Nugent. Nugent headed the ball to Preston Popp for the game-tying goal. At the end of regulation, the score was tied 1-1. 

“Going into overtime, I just knew how strong [and] how fit our guys are,” said Langan. “I was really confident that we were going to get some really good looks, it was just whether we could take it or not.”  

The 49ers and Chanticellers fought back and forth during the first overtime session, with neither team being able to establish any offensive rhythm. The lone shot of the first overtime session came in the 98th minute off of a penalty kick. The shot appeared to be heading in until Chanticellers’ goalie Alberto Ciroi leaped up and caught the ball, keeping the game tied 1-1 and effectively sending the game into the second overtime session. 

The Chanticleers offense started the second overtime session aggressively, drawing a penalty kick in the 102nd minute. Panicco blocked the Chanticleers’ entry pass off of the penalty kick, keeping the 49ers’ upset bid alive. 

The 49ers’ quickly transitioned into their offense off of the saved penalty kick. Chaouche navigated his way through the Coastal Carolina defense enough to launch a deep, pin-point pass down the right sideline to freshman forward Cameron Lacey. Lacey surveyed the field and crossed the ball back to Chaouche at the top of the box. From just outside of the box, Chaouche scored the game-winning goal, sending a roar of excitement throughout Transamerica Field. 

“To go into overtime and to win, these are incredible experiences for our players to have and to learn,” said Langan.  

The 49ers’ look to remain undefeated in Morgantown, W. Va. on Tuesday, Sept. 10 against the No. 24 West Virginia Mountaineers in another top-20 matchup at 7 p.m.

49ers outlast Mountaineers’ comeback attempt in 3-2 overtime victory

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.”

49er Volleyball looks to defeat Duke in Weatherington’s Homecoming

The 49ers travel to Durham, NC today to take on a Duke Blue Devils team, hungry for a win after consecutive losses to Michigan State and the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal. 

“[Duke has] a really savvy setting game and offensive instruction,” said Weatherington. 

The Blue Devils boast a front-row headlined by 2018 ACC All-Freshman Team selection, 6’3 middle blocker Ade Oworkoniran that holds a slight height advantage over the 49ers front row. 

“[We need] to be ready to play big; it’s ACC ball. It’s going to go fast,” said 49ers’ Head Coach Karen Weatherington. 

The 49ers, however, have a C-USA All-Freshman Team selection on their roster, 6’1 middle blocker Tyra Galloway. The individual matchup in the middle between the Blue Devils’ Oworkoniran and the 49ers’ Galloway could prove to be a decisive factor in the match. 

To combat the Blue Devils’ height, Weatherington will instill a heavy emphasis on ball movement, defense and serving. 

“Defense is going to be key for us this week [as well as] passing the ball and winning the pass and serve game,” said Weatherington. “We probably have to serve a little tougher overall.” 

In the 49ers’ first three games of the season, they are averaging nine service errors per game. The Blue Devils committed only five service errors against the number-one ranked Stanford Cardinal in their previous matchup. Limiting self-inflicted errors on serving will play a key role in deciding the outcome of the match for the 49ers. Anticipate 49ers’ service ace leaders Sydney Rowan and Mackenzie Reaume to play an integral role as servers. 

Additionally, Reaume, along with Annika Wettersom, will need to continue to lead the team in assists and instigate ball movement to keep the Blue Devil’s tall front row off balance and create scoring opportunities.

Defensively, Yumi Garcia will need to build upon her Charlotte Invitational All-Tournament Team performance. Garcia is averaging 27.3 digs per game through the first three games of the season. 

The 49ers’ exhibition match early in the season against ACC foe Clemson should help the 49ers prepare for a similar opponent in Duke. 

“We saw Clemson in the exhibition and they are probably very similar [to Duke],” said Weatherington. 

The 49ers’ view the match against the Blue Devils as an opportunity to flex their muscles against an in-state ACC opponent. However, for Weatherington, this match is more meaningful than a simple intrastate rivalry; it’s a homecoming.   

“I’m looking forward to going in and playing in Cameron; it’s a little bit of a return home for me,” said Weatherington. “I had been an assistant there many years ago, so we’re going home and looking to steal a game from the Blue Devils.” 

The 49ers look to defeat in-state rival Duke in Weatherington’s return home today in Durham, NC at 6:30 p.m. 

49ers remain undefeated with hard fought victory over Panthers

The 49ers started their 1-0 victory over the High Point Panthers firing on all cylinders both offensively and defensively. 

In the first half, the 49ers continued to play stout defense, holding the Panthers to three first-half shots and zero shots until the 30th minute. 

“You saw today there was some really good penalty box defending,” said Head Coach Kevin Langan. “I don’t think Elliot made any of his breath-taking saves that he’s capable of, which speaks testament to all the guys in front of him.” 

On offense, the 49ers tallied six shots on goal in the first 20 minutes. However, the 49ers could not find the back of the net until Langan subbed Cooper Nugent into the game in the 43rd minute. One minute after being subbed in, Nugent scored the 49ers’ lone goal of the game off of a corner kick with one minute left in the half.

“I’m absolutely delighted and so proud of Cooper and I know everyone in our program is [proud of him],” said Langan. “He is a lesson to us all how he fought back from injuries. He just wouldn’t say no.”    

In the second quarter, despite orchestrating numerous drives with scoring potential, the 49ers offense did not score. Langan noted that it seemed the offense was operating well and putting themselves in scoring positions but kept looking for the extra pass as opposed to shooting. 

“We got into those great positions [to score], but for some reason, we are a bit gun-shy. We just wouldn’t take the shot. We were trying to find the extra pass,” said Langan. 

Late in the second half, the Panthers began to drive deep into 49er territory and threaten to tie the game. In the 83rd, 86th, 88th and 89th minute, the Panthers had opportunities to score off of corner kicks, penalty kicks and drives deep down the field, yet the 49ers defense prevailed each time, clinching the victory in the 89th minute when redshirt sophomore Delasi Batse stole the ball from a High Point forward attempting to create a last-minute scoring drive for the Panthers.   

The 49ers finished the game with eleven shots and eight corner kicks compared to nine shots and three corners for the Panthers.

Before the 49ers’ next matchup against Coastal Carolina, Langan wants the team to focus on recovery.

“To prepare for the next game, we have to rest,” said Langan. “The games come thick and fast now as they do in college soccer.”

Additionally, Langan believes that playing High Point, which plays a similar style to Coastal Carolina, will help them be more prepared for the Chanticleers. 

“We’ll get ready for Coastal, they’ll be another opponent [that will] play very similar to High Point,” said Langan. “It’ll help us a lot for Coastal.” 

Charlotte looks to continue their win streak against Coastal Carolina at home on Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.