Oct. 25, 2009

Courtesy of Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The ninth-ranked Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer squad tied the Fordham Rams 2-2 in double overtime in a clash between the top two teams in the Atlantic 10 conference. A late goal prevented the Niners from the victory with Charlotte holding a 2-1 lead with only three minutes to play.

The game also served as Senior Day for the 49ers with five Charlotte seniors being honored prior to the game; Josh Norwood, Nathan Mathers, Adam Gross, Luke Exley and David Martin. The five-some have been a part of 42 victories in their careers, which is the largest amount by a senior class since the 2003 season.

“Overall, I thought we came out and fought hard and played aggressive and I was really pleased by the way the boys played today we were just unable to come away with that final goal,” said senior captain Gross.

The tie was Charlotte’s fourth of the season and moved Charlotte’s record to 9-1-4 on the year and 3-0-2 in conference play. Fordham now stands at 7-6-2 on the year and 4-1-1 in the A-10.

The Rams opened up the scoring early in the game behind a goal from Tim Richardson in the 5th minute. Richardson was set up by a one-two pass from Matt Courtenay and John Niyonsaba to give Fordham the 1-0 lead.

Charlotte answered back twelve minutes later with an unassisted Adam Gross goal. The senior from Austin, Texas stripped the ball from a Fordham midfielder and dribbled towards the Rams’ defense before ripping a shot into the far left corner to knot the game at one apiece. The goal was Gross’ team leading seventh of the season, while he has scored in each of Charlotte’s previous three games.

The game remained tied going into halftime with Charlotte holding an 8-2 shot advantage on a breezy day at Transamerica Field.

Charles Rodriguez gave Charlotte the lead in the 61st minute off a header from a senior Luke Exley cross. Exley centered the ball from the right side of the pitch and the tall sophomore defender went up and headed the ball into the right side of the net to give Charlotte the lead, 2-1.

For the remainder of the second half, Charlotte kept up the offensive pressure by outshooting the visiting Rams, 11-5, in the second stanza. However, Fordham made the most of its opportunities by tying the match at two with three minutes to go in the game.

Alex Brunbauer tied the match with a goal from eight yards out on the left side of the penalty area from a pass by Mike McTigue. The goal sent the game into overtime, where both teams had chances to win the game, but neither were successful with the game ending in a 2-2 tie.

“I thought we outplayed Fordham from start to finish despite their goals early and late in the game,” stated head coach Jeremy Gunn. “We came out and battered them in the second half, but were unable to put away some of our chances.”

Charlotte ends the season on the road with four straight road games before the conference tournament. The 49ers will play at Dayton and Xavier next week before capping the season with matches at Saint Joseph’s and Temple.