A-10 begins conference play
With the Atlantic-10 set to begin its conference play this coming weekend, teams have begun to prepare for their upcoming matches.
Easily the biggest game of the weekend will be Charlotte taking on George Washington. The 49ers, who sit at the top of A-10 , take on the Colonials, who are right behind them. George Washington(6-3-0) finished off non-conference play with a 3-0 shutout over Rider. Though to defeat Charlotte (6-1-2), the Colonials have to readjust their strategy. The 49ers are on an offensive tear as of late, defeating No. 3 Wake Forest in the process.
Another strong matchup is between Duquesne and the always dangerous La Salle. The Dukes (5-3-1) take on a Rams team that has been scoring goals left and right thanks to several of their key players – most notably Ryan Richter. The playing field, however, seems to be even as La Salle (3-5-1) will be on the road against Duquesne, who are undefeated at home during non-conference play.
It should be an explosive weekend as conference play opens up, and it shall be seen whether non-conference records hold true.
Charlotte streak breakers
It didn’t take long for Charlotte’s soccer team to prove to the nation that it is an offensively-charged problem for opposing teams. The 49ers upset No. 3 Wake Forest on Sept. 29 by a final tally of 3-1.
Charlotte (6-1-2) ended the Demon Deacons’ 46-game unbeaten streak against non-conference teams. This was the 49ers’ first victory over a ranked opponent since Nov. 6, 1994 when they shot down No. 1 South Carolina, also by a final score of 3-1.
The match against Wake Forest was an intense battle for both sides. While Charlotte struck first (and second for that matter) blood against the Demon Deacons, Wake Forest put the pressure back on when they scored in the 61st minute.
The first goal of the game came from sophomore Evan James who blasted a goal into the back of net, off of a long cross from forward Andres Cuero.
While freshman Jennings Rex gave the 49ers some insurance after heading the ball into the goal, the Demon Deacons came right back with a strike from Andy Lubahn. His goal was scored 19 seconds after Rex’s header.
Redshirt freshman Owen Darby finished the game off however, netting a late score. Darby’s goal was the last of the match and the finishing touch that Charlotte needed.
The finish against Wake Forest seemed to inspire the 49ers to charge forward in their season, as they shutdown their last non-conference foe, Furman, by a score of 1-0.
Charlotte still stands at the top of the Atlantic-10 table, and seem to have nothing in its way as they move forward into conference play.
La Salle’s offensive lead by Richter
Seven minutes, thirty-five seconds. That’s all La Salle and junior Ryan Richter needed to warm up before their Oct. 3 shut down on Marist. Richter had a hand in three of the four Explorer (4-5-1) goals , one of which was his own strike.
The first goal of the match came from sophomore Dan Korenyi. Korenyi scored off a corner kick cross from Richter. Little did the Explorers know that Richter was going to figure into the offensive charge later in the game.
Following Korenyi’s well-placed strike, midfielder Nick Dundon contributed to the game’s effort with his score, made off of a foul.
One minute more was all the Explorer’s needed the close the game up, as freshman Jeff Pio put one in the back of the net to finish off La Salle’s early-on scoring. Pio’s goal was similar to the first, as Richter crossed the ball from the corner to Pio.
A final goal was added to La Salle’s tally. Richter used his offensive force on Marist with a goal in the 69th minute.
The lone goal for the Red Foxes was scored by junior Joe Touloumis in the 53rd minute. This was Touloumis’ first goal of the year.
Much inspiration has come from this match for the Explorers and will surely pump the team up for their conference opener against Duquesne this Friday.
Richter, who led the game with an offensive charge, is currently tied for sixth place in goals scored throughout the A-10.
Herb Scribner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org