|Unbeaten No. 17 Charlotte 49ers top No. 12 Coastal Carolina in 2 OT|
|Teddy Chaouche golden goal is margin of victory|
|Published Friday, September 6, 2019 11:50 pm|
|PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY|
|The Charlotte 49ers improved to 3-0 with a 2-1 double overtime win against Coastal Carolina Sept. 6 at Charlotte.|
The Charlotte 49ers string of nationally ranked opponents begins with a win
No. 17 ranked 49ers improved to 3-0 Friday by beating No. 12 Coastal Carolina (2-1) 2-1 in double overtime. Sophomore striker Preston Popp scored a late equalizer to force the extra session.
Senior midfielder Teddy Chaouche,who prides himself on being among the best in the nation when it comes to assists, delivered the game-winning golden goal, his second of the season.
“I already have two this year, so it’s better than last year,” said Chaouche, who led the 49ers with 10 assists last season. “My personal goal is to be the best in the country for assists, but I want to lead this team.”
Coach Kevin Langan has asked Chaouche pull the strings in the middle and attacking thirds as well as find the back of the net.
“Teddy is a quality player, so the challenge for us as a coaching staff is to get him into good goal scoring positions because he’s also probably our best at building with his range of passing,” Langan said. “Sometimes when you drop a midfielder in to show his range of passing it’s very hard for him then to get up in the attack as well. He asked me at halftime, ‘do you want me to be the one serving it, or should I try to get into the box?’ I said, ‘you’ve gotta do both, Teddy.’ I said, ‘just see what you play.’”
Chaouche found space near the top of the box, with freshman striker Kameron Lacey playing a ball in. Popp’s run toward the far post took a defender with him, creating space for Chaouche to send the ball into the back of the net.
“Kameron picked him out—incredible,” Langan said. “It was a beautiful ball in. Teddy does that all the time.”
Charlotte also has a different look up top with Popp, who scored five goals last year, replacing Daniel Bruce. Popp’s progression in the attacking is reflected in how he plays alongside newcomer Lacey, which became apparent by the run he made to create space for Chaouche.
“I think me and Kameron’s relationship on the field has a lot to do with our relationship off the field,” Popp said. “We’re really good friends. We just met each other, but our chemistry on the field is building, we’ve got a lot of pace, and a lot of skill to get in behind defenders. We’re just working on our partnership every day.”
Charlotte conceded their first regular season goal at home since Nov. 4, 2017 when they drew Conference USA rival Kentucky 1-1 in double overtime. They did not concede a regular season goal at home during the 2018 season.
The 49ers head to No. 24 West Virginia for their first road contest of the season on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. They return home on Sept. 15, hosting No. 9 Kentucky. The Wildcats were responsible for two of Charlotte’s five losses last season, one of which came during the C-USA final at Charlotte. They are also the only school to keep a clean sheet against the 49ers during the regular season.
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