|Charlotte 49ers improve to 5-3, roll Florida International 5-1|
|Megan Greene tallies first career hat trick|
|Published Thursday, September 20, 2018 9:25 pm|
The Charlotte 49ers opened Conference USA play in historic fashion.
Thursday’s 5-1 win against Florida International puts the 49ers at 5-3, while ending Charlotte’s 11-day break due to Hurricane Florence. The Panthers fell to 0-10.
“We were very excited to play,” coach John Cullen said. “We hadn’t played because of the hurricane. We talked about our energy coming out of the door, wanting to get a good tempo. Wanting to get the ball moving quickly. We knew FIU had a difficult season with results, and we wanted to see if we could get into a situation where we pushed them back, took our goals, and put ourselves in a commanding position before halftime and sort out the game well in the second half.”
Charlotte had a 3-0 lead at halftime. Junior striker Megan Greene completed her first career hat trick by converting a penalty in the second half. Junior midfielder Jamie Fankhauser scored her third goal of the season in the first half and junior striker Julia Grainda scored her first of the season to complete the night.
Greene, who leads the 49ers with five goals, stands 10th in Charlotte history in scoring, 22 off Martha Thomas’ program record of 47.
“She’s such a brave player,” Cullen said. “She’s such a competitive player. She gets the kind of goals that most strikers wouldn’t dream of going in for. She puts her body on the line. She’s the kind of player that when the ball goes in the box, I have great confidence in her trying to get on the end of things. Some strikers, they look for the pretty goals. Megan will take any type of goal.”
Said Greene: “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve taken more chances. As a freshman, you just don’t want to do anything wrong. As I’ve gotten older, I’m more inclined to try and do things.”
Five goals mark a season-high for the 49ers; the most they have scored at home since their 2016 season opening 5-1 win against Western Carolina. They have not produced that many goals in a conference contest since their 7-0 win at Temple in 2010.
Charlotte heads to Old Dominion (3-3-2) on Sept. 24 for a Conference USA game. They have one win on the road, and historically struggle away from home.
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