CHARLOTTE, N.C. –
Charlotte women’s soccer celebrated Senior Night and the season finale Friday night with a 3-1 triumph over FIU at Transamerica Field. It marked the last game of the campaign for the 49ers, who won two of their last three to conclude the season.
Charlotte used scores from three different players, including senior Victoria Fubara
who found the back of the net for the first time in her career to open the goal barrage. Junior Rebecca Beatty
also added her third tally in three games, while sophomore Martha Thomas
capped her remarkable year with another goal to her credit late in regulation to create enough separation on the scoreboard.
Fubara put the Niners ahead 1-0 at 16:25 following a series of passes down the field. Classmate Maddie Kiebel
sent a long through ball down the left side to junior Katie O’Neill
. O’Neill ran with possession towards the 18-yard box before sending a pass back in front of the goal mouth to Fubara, who was making her own run on the far side. Fubara one-timed the pass just underneath the crossbar from nearly 40 yards out, high above the leaping Nevena Stojakovic.
Later in the half, freshman Megan McCallister
dropped a pass back to Beatty, who then fired it high over Stojakovic, again just under the crossbar, to make it a two-goal difference at 35:32.
With time winding down in the frame, the Panthers were able to claw back following a corner kick situation just over a minute and a half later. Scarlet Montoya sent her first crossing shot towards the Charlotte (7-11-1, 3-6-1 C-USA) cage, only to be denied by the 49ers defense. The attempted clear landed back at the feet of Lyrik Fryer, who put the second attempt into the net to close FIU within 2-1 at the 37:01 mark.
Neither team was able to make any strides offensively during the second period as both sides made halftime adjustments. The Niners clamped down on defense with sophomore Justine Lockman
making several key plays, including slide tackles and knocking her opposing player off the ball.
Charlotte padded its lead with the final tally at 88:12 when O’Neill slipped a long pass to Thomas, who broke free from the Panthers defense for a 1v1 scenario with backup netminder Sophia Trujillo, who entered shortly after the FIU (8-11, 4-6 C-USA) goal.
Thomas’ score gives her 13 this season and 24 in her career, the third highest two-year total in program history. Her 24 career goals tie her for ninth on the program’s all-time list with Blair Angell (1994-97) and Amanda Jones
Thomas also finished the campaign with 92 shots, the most in a single season in school history, after she peppered the Panthers with six attempts Friday. She topped the previous mark of 82 established by Macky Wingo in 2011.
Redshirt senior goalie Annika McHenry
finished with four saves in playing the first 88:39 before wholesale substitutions relieved the four seniors who were on the field: McHenry, Fubara, Kiebel and Loren Reilley
. Classmates Caitlin Donovan
, who was injured, and Monica Trickett
, who served this season as an undergraduate student assistant coach after a career-ending injury last fall, were also recognized with the four playing seniors in the pregame ceremony.