Oct. 23, 2009

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The No. 9 Charlotte 49ers men's soccer squad picked up their ninth win of the season by defeating La Salle 3-0 behind goals from Isaac Caughran, Adam Gross and Justin Tucker to stretch their unbeaten streak to 12 games. The shutout was Charlotte's fifth of the season as the 49ers have only allowed one goal in the last 500 minutes of play.

"Our back four are playing really well right now, but not only are they defending well they are also joining in on the attack which really helps us score more goals," stated head coach Jeremy Gunn of his defenders.

The game was thoroughly dominated by the 49ers as Charlotte outshot the Explorers 18-7 with 10 shots on net compared to La Salle's three shots on frame. Charlotte improved their Atlantic 10 record to 3-0-1 and their season record to 9-1-3, while La Salle dropped to 0-3-2 in league play and 4-8-3 on the year.

"La Salle really wanted to defend tight and try to frustrate us, but we were patient in trying to find attacking opportunities and we were successful early on in the game with them," Gunn mentioned.

Caughran's goal in the 29th minute was a rocket from 35 yards out and was perfectly placed into the lower right-hand corner to give Charlotte the early lead. The goal was his second of the season, while Justin Tucker was credited with the assist.

"It felt really good to the game-winning goal especially since it came against La Salle to give us a sense of revenge for last year's loss," stated Caughran.

The Niners piled onto their lead four minutes later coming from Adam Gross along the La Salle touchline. Gross straddled the touchline after dribbling past an Explorer defender and ripped a shot into the far post giving the senior from Austin, Texas his team-leading sixth goal of the season.

Coming out of halftime, Charlotte seemed rejuvenated from the 15 minute break and continued their high-octane offense. The Niners doubled their shots in the second half from 6 to 12 and had several goal-scoring opportunities barely miss the net early in the half.

Justin Tucker added Charlotte's final goal of the game in the 71st minute giving the redshirt-freshman his first goal of the season. Tucker took a well-placed pass from Kyle Griffin at the edge of the penalty area and curled the ball past La Salle's goalkeeper Kyle Quigley and into the right corner.

Charlotte goalkeeper David Martin was credited with the victory by registering three saves in the 84 minutes of play before he was replaced by backup keeper Patrick Eavenson. The win was Martin's 41st of his career and ninth of the season.

Next up for Charlotte is the Fordham Rams who are 4-0 in A-10 play and currently sit atop the conference standings. Last year, the 49ers defeated the Rams 2-1 on the road in mid-October. The match will be critical for both team's standings in conference play with both squads vying for a first-round bye in the A-10 Conference tournament on November 12th.

"We have been going into each game feeling that we need to send a message to the other team, whether the game is at home or on the road," Caughran said. "We gained a lot of national recognition with our No. 9 ranking and now we just have to continue to play well."