|Teddy Chaouche PK earns Charlotte 49ers a 1-1 draw vs. Kentucky|
|C-USA opener a battle of top 20 sides|
|Published Sunday, September 15, 2019 9:43 pm|
|PHOTO | SAM ROBERTS|
|Teddy Chaouche (right) scored Charlotte's first goal against Kentucky since 2017 in a 1-1 draw Sunday at Transamerica Field.|
The Charlotte 49ers remain undefeated at home.
A 1-1 double overtime draw against No. 17 Kentucky (2-0-2) opened Conference USA play for the No. 12 49ers (3-0-2) in a battle of nationally ranked league foes. Charlotte missed senior defender Noah Seach and stalwart junior center back Patrick Hogan—a fixture in the starting lineup—due to red cards from their 0-0 double overtime draw against West Virginia.
“We stepped up,” coach Kevin Langan said. “People had to fill in roles that they were not used to. Players who have not played as much had to come and play, and the heat obviously got to them a little bit, which is tough, because they’ve not played as much, so they don’t have the distance in their legs.”
Langan applauded the efforts of freshman midfielder Bryce Gilbert and sophomore defender Sean Suber, who were asked to step in as the 49ers dug deeper into their bench. They played 51minutes and 38 minutes, respectively.
“We went really deep tonight, and I was really proud of the young ones who came in,” Langan said. “Sean Suber and Bryce Gilbert, I thought they had really strong games. There’s a few others as well.”
Charlotte scored against the Wildcats for the first time since 2017 when freshman striker Kameron Lacey was brought down in the box and senior midfielder Teddy Chaouche converted the penalty for his third goal of the season. The Wildcats had held Charlotte scoreless during the 2018 regular season and conference tournament final.
While Chaouche pulls the strings in the center of the park for Charlotte, Langan did not have a doubt in his mind about Chaouche stepping up to send the ball home. Langan has asked the creative midfielder—who scored one goal last season, but was nationally ranked in assists—to do more this year, not only distributing the ball for his teammates, but putting a few away himself.
“Teddy has shown in practice he’s the best we’ve got for penalties,” Langan said. “He can go three or four different PKs. We said, ‘just know where you’re going to go before the game. Just trust yourself.’”
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