Charlotte's men's soccer team has had massive struggles starting games with momentum on their side this season. In all four games this season, the 49ers were scored against before getting on the board.
Charlotte could still bounce back from being down in most games, starting the season 2-1 but could not pull through on Friday, falling to 2-2 on the season. VCU took the win over Charlotte for the third straight time, winning 0-2.
"The difference is they scored when they were on top, and we couldn't find the back of the net when we were on top," said Head Coach Kevin Langan after the game. "Lots of huge lessons for us to learn. Very disappointed, I think the game was there for us if we approached it in the right way in the first half."
How it happened
The match started pretty quietly, and the first shot didn't come until nearly seven minutes into the game from Charlotte's Preston Popp, but VCU's keeper saved it. The 49ers were getting more shots off initially, but VCU started picking up the pace.
With ten minutes left in the first half, each team was putting up nearly identical stats. They were even in shots (3), shots on goal (2), goals (0), fouls (3), assists (0) and saves (2). The only leading stat was VCU's two corners to Charlotte's one. It was there that the game turned around for VCU, scoring the first goal just a minute and a half later.
Twenty-two minutes into the second half, we saw the game's second goal, again coming from VCU. The Niners were searching for the second straight game coming back from a 0-2 deficit, and they tried hard, even outshooting VCU. But, alas, none of these shots made it in the goal, and the 49ers fell 0-2. This is the first time they lost at home 0-2 since October of 1998 when they faced Clemson.
The Niners may have lost 0-2, but they still outshot VCU. They got off 16 shots to VCU's 13, but both teams had six shots on goal. "
We missed some really good chances, didn't we? We missed some very good looks at the goal we didn't take—lots of near misses. We had shots that just flashed by. For us we just have to keep going," said Langan.
While it was not a good game for Charlotte altogether, there were bright spots. The biggest bright spot being freshman defender Alessandro Negri. This was Negri's second game for Charlotte. He put up five of the Niner's 16 shots, more than anyone for either team. In addition, he was the only Niner defender to get a shot off at all. He is having a very impressive start to his college career. He now has eight shots, four shots on goal, and a shot-on-goal percentage of 50% in just two games.
Charlotte will be right back into the action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they hit the road for Willmington to face the familiar foe of UNCW. These two teams have faced off 15 times, 8 of which Charlotte won. The last match came just last year when Charlotte lost the close game 2-3.
With a record of 2-2, there is still plenty of time for Charlotte to get things turned around after a 6-3-2 in the Spring.