|Another soccer overtime, another draw for the Charlotte 49ers|
|Postseason hopes in 'must-win' territory|
|Published Friday, October 20, 2017 11:00 pm|
The Charlotte 49ers must play with a sense of urgency to make postseason play.
After a 1-1 double-overtime draw against South Carolina, Charlotte has three matches remaining before the Conference USA tournament in Virginia, which includes the league’s top seven teams.
“All these games are must-wins for us, because we’re on the brink of whether we’ll be in the tournament or not,” sophomore midfielder Ryan Spaulding said. “We just have to go out and give everything we have.”
Against South Carolina, No. 9 in C-USA, No. 5 Charlotte dominated the attacking third, taking the lead in the 30th minute when Spaulding scored his second goal of the season. Charlotte had two goals disallowed during regulation. South Carolina—which has yet to win a conference match or a match on the road—equalized in the 86th minute. Junior defender Peyton Ericson scored his first career goal for the Gamecocks.
“We’ve got a big game on Tuesday, and then two games after that,” 49ers coach Kevin Langan said. “We don’t have enough time at that moment between games to train. We’ve got guys resting their legs. For me, it was the mindset tonight. We didn’t start the game in the right fashion, and then we managed to turn it around, and then we didn’t finish the game in the right fashion. If you do that, your season will be over pretty quickly. We have to be the dominant team. We have to put everything into it. That’s our style. That’s what we do.”
The 49ers had nine of their 17 shots on target, but like previous nights, failed to convert the opportunities.
Charlotte’s scoring troubles have taken them to six overtime matches this season—nearly half their season. They’re 1-1-4 in OT.
“I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but we’re getting unbelievable looks,” Langan said. “We keep thinking, ‘next game it’s going to come.” We keep working on it in training. It’s just become a little bit mental for the guys as well.”
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