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The Voice of the Black Community
Charlotte 49ers women's soccer earn first win of season
Coach John Cullen notches 200th victory
Published Monday, August 21, 2017 9:37 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

Charlotte midfielder scored the lone goal in the 49ers' 1-0 win against UNC Greensboro Monday.

The Charlotte 49ers are back in business.

With a 1-0 win in the home opener against UNC Greensboro (0-2), the 49ers (1-1) rebounded quickly from Friday’s season opening 3-2 double-overtime loss at South Florida. It also coach John Cullen’s 200th career victory.

“Miracles do happen,” he said.

Senior midfielder Martha Thomas put the 49ers up 1-0 in the eighth minute.

“It was really important to get a goal tonight early,” she said.

Charlotte created 19 chances to the Spartans’ seven, but put only six shots on target in juxtaposition to Greensboro’s four.

“We had so many opportunities going forward,” Thomas said. “It could have easily have been 4-0 in the first half, but getting the goal and getting the shutout was really important for us—1-0 wins show a lot of character. We were really strong defensively—put the game away, and I’m really proud of the performance.”

Freshman goalkeeper Abby Stapleton kept things contained in the back after conceding three goals in Florida.

“It obviously feels good to come out and get a win after a loss like that,” Stapleton said. “A clean sheet is always a good one to start off with at home. The second half got a bit choppy, but we held strong.”

While Stapleton has the spot at present, freshman Alivia McKelvy and junior Abby Coffey continue to challenge for that position.

“She’s been playing very, very well,” Cullen said. “It’s important [to get that clean sheet]. It gives her confidence. We’ve got three outstanding goalkeepers really competing for that spot. Abby knows performances are important. She stepped up big tonight—played well. A clean sheet will do her a world of good, but it’s an ongoing battle between those three. It was a really good test in preseason. I know Abby has played very well, but she’s also got Abby Coffey and Alivia McKelvy right behind her pushing her. We’re very excited where we are goalkeeping wise.”

Said Stapleton: “It is confusing having [multiple] Abbys on the team. I usually just add a last name as well—Abby Taylor, Abby Coffey. It works out in the end.”



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