HOUSTON – Two goals from All-Conference USA Second Team choice Amanda Jones, including the game winner, and a stellar goalkeeping performance in the second half by All-Conference USA Academic First Team honoree Alex Kubrick lifted the Charlotte women’s soccer team to a 3-1 victory Wednesday night over Marshall in the league tournament quarterfinals. The 49ers’ win gives them their most triumphs since the 2010 campaign.
Jones knotted the scoring for Charlotte (11-6-2) at 25:19 after it found itself down early. Freshman Perri Bonner took the ball deep to the corner, only to lose possession. In Marshall’s attempted clear, senior Brooke Mulloy regained control for the Niners. She then sent a long cross to the top of the six-yard box along the left side, which found Jones’ feet. Jones then one-touched the pass past Thundering Herd goalkeeper Lizzie Kish for her team-leading ninth score of the campaign.
Marshall had claimed a 1-0 advantage at 18:56 when Sydney Arnold slipped a pass to Erin Simmons at the top of the 18-yard box. Simmons then sent a low shot to the left post behind Kubrick to give Marshall (10-7-3) the early lead.
Entering the intermission tied at 1-1, Charlotte turned on its second-half magic once again, a formula that has now produced a 22-to-5 scoring advantage this year. The 49ers turned to Jones, who intercepted the ball from a Herd defender and fired home a long-range attempt at 61:08 for her 10th goal of the campaign, tying her for ninth in program history for a single season with Jill Currie (2000) and Hailey Beam (2009), making it a 2-1 edge.
A short time later, freshman Ari Reilley inched the margin to a pair for a 3-1 cushion at 64:22, as she touched in a short attempt following a corner kick by redshirt junior Jennifer Lee. Reilley’s score, her second of her young career, gave her both goals against Marshall this season. She netted the game winner against the Thundering Herd in the Oct. 25 home victory.
Meanwhile on the opposite end of the field, it was Kubrick who stood tall to keep Marshall from finding the back of the net again. At 50:36, following a Herd corner kick that bounced off numerous heads inside the box, she made a leaping stop on a Casey Walsh header.
Kubrick was back at it when she stepped off her line to challenge a cross. She was able to get a hand on it just before it found a Marshall forward, sending it wide and out of play.
Finally, at 74:04, with the Thundering Herd lined up for a free kick from 20 yards away, she located the incoming shot by Jenna Dubs and punched it over the crossbar to set up another corner kick that proved to be a non-threat.
Junior Sara Trexler countered the Marshall push by making a long run down the left side. By the time she reached the other 18-yard box, she shook her Herd defender free with a stagger-step move before sending her shot right at Kish at the 74:53 mark.
Nevertheless, Charlotte captured its first postseason win since 2010 when it defeated La Salle by a similar 3-1 margin in the Atlantic 10 Championships.
The 49ers return to action when they face West Division No. 2 seed North Texas at 8 p.m. EST Friday in the Conference USA Championships semifinals. The match can be tracked by live video and live stats linked on Charlotte49ers.com or on Twitter by following @49erGameDay.
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