49ers Defeat UMASS, 2-1, In Double Overtime In A-10 Opener
AMHERST, MS – The 14th-ranked Charlotte 49ers (8-2-0) behind goals by Thomas Allen and Guiseppe Gentile rallied for a 2-1 double overtime win on the road at Massachusetts in their Atlantic 10 opener. With the victory, the 49ers have now won four straight A-10 openers.
“Today’s game showed the tremendous soccer played in the Atlantic 10,” Charlotte coach Jeremy Gunn said. “I was so proud that our team kept their composure and showed an unbelievable drive and perseverance to get a tough road win.”
Massachusetts took an early 1-0 lead when Josh Schwartz scored with a hard driving shot off a Brett Canepa corner kick in the 11th minute.
Charlotte tallied 11 first half shots. However, first half shots by Charles Rodriguez, Aaron Weldon, Donnie Smith, Evan James, Tyler Gibson and Guiseppe Gentile were either wide, blocked or were stopped by the Massachusetts’ goalkeeper Shane Curran-Hays.
Just three minutes into the second half, Charlotte’s Allen scored what appeared to be the game-tying goal. However, Charlotte was called for foul which negated Allen’s goal.
Gentile took three shots in the first 20 minutes of the second half but he was not able to find the back of the net. James also had a shot in the 63rd minute which was stopped by Massachusetts goalkeeper Curran-Hayes.
Then, Charlotte tied the score at one when Allen headed in a Smith corner kick in the 66th minute. Allen’s goal was his second of the season.
Just a little over a minute after Allen’s goal, Rodriguez nearly put the 49ers in front but his header was stopped by the UMASS goalkeeper.
Over the final 10 minutes of regulation, Charlotte’s Aidan Kirkbride and James each had shots but their shots were either stopped or went wide.
Then, in the second overtime period, James played the ball to T.J. Beaulieu who passed to Gentile in the box. Gentile put a low shot along the ground far post into the back of the next in the 107th minute. Gentile’s goal was his second game-winning goal of the season.
“Guiseppe scored an unbelievable goal to win the game,” Gunn said. “We were very composed on the build up to the goal. Guiseppe took a wonderful shot to score the game-winning goal.”
The 49ers finished the game with a 21-7 advantage in shots and a 12-5 advantage in corner kicks. Gentile led the 49ers with six shots. James and Gibson added four shots apiece to the 49ers attack. Rodriguez and Allen each recorded two shots for the 49ers.
“We kept putting Massachusetts under pressure the entire game,” Gunn said.
Charlotte continues their two-game road trip to New England when they play at Rhode Island, Sunday, October 9 at 1 pm.