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Charlotte 49ers battle, but fall to No. 5 Louisville in overtime
Cardinals score in 96th minute for 1-0 win
 
Published Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:34 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

The Charlotte 49ers made the No. 5 Louisville Cardinals look average.

In a 1-0 overtime loss at home, the 49ers tore apart one of the highest-ranked teams in the nation, but couldn’t capitalize on their 12 chances. However, freshman midfielder Liam Bennet hit a shot from the top of the 18-yard box to clinch the winner the 96th minute—the substitute’s first goal of the season.

“It’s the result we had [planned], but we made them look like an average team with our pressure,” senior midfielder Zhuvonte Wilson. “Now we have to look forward to South Carolina on Friday.”

Against the Cardinals (10-1-3), coach Kevin Langan had the 49ers press high, particularly on the flanks. It required key minutes from sophomore midfielders Myles Brown and Ryan Spaulding, as well as Wilson.

“We knew Louisville was going to be a tough opponent,” midfielder Myles Brown said. “They’re ranked top 10. We had a good game plan coming in—high pressing. Make sure they can’t get into their flow and pass. It’s an unfortunate result. We had a lot of chances in the second half. Unfortunately we couldn’t put some of them away, but we’re onto our next game.”

Said Langan: “The way they set up, they play a very narrow formation, and it needed big performances from our wide guys tonight. Zhuvonte really broke lines and had a go at them tonight. Myles came in—he’s still finding his feet out there, but he gave everything and worked hard, and connected some nice paces. Z had his best game of the season tonight, and Ryan also.

“Just trying to get around the sides of them, because of their narrow formation, they clog up the middle. It was important for us to get down there, and we got into some nice situations and positions. Perhaps a cross too rushed, too hard. We’re still working on guys playing quickly, and just maintaining that composure in the final third.”

Charlotte (5-4-3) hosts South Carolina on Friday for senior night.

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