Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Charlotte defeats ranked Wake Forest

Courtesy of Charlotte Athletics

The Charlotte men’s soccer team played its most impressive game of the season last Tuesday night, beating No. 11 Wake Forest in a 2-0 shutout.

When the whistle blew, and the ball came in play, the 49er squad attacked the Demon Deacons in relentless fashion. Just three minutes into the period, 49er Evan James was put in scoring position, but his strike sailed just wide of the net. Minutes later, sophomore Jennings Rex blew past a Wake Forest defender, just missing the inside post with his well-timed strike.

Charlotte had many opportunities in the early part of the game, but its first score was due to a miscommunication between WF goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald and defender Kyle Adams. After a missed shot, Fitzgerald punched the ball out of his team’s box, but the ball hit Adams’ shin and bounced into The Demon Deacons’ net, causing an own goal during the 32nd minute of play.

Just seven minutes later, the 49ers scored another goal, which gave Charlotte a 2-0 advantage heading into halftime. After the half, the two teams settled in, and the game became more defensive. The 49ers buckled down to seal the victory over Wake Forest and win its second-straight meeting dating back to last season. In two games, the 49ers outscored WF, 5-1, and proved that intensity is the key to beating this perennial powerhouse.

George Washington’s Seth Rudolph and Duquesne’s Simon Gomes were honored by the Atlantic 10 when they were announced as the Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively.

Seth Rudolph led George Washington to an even 1-1 week and recorded the first hat trick in the A-10 Conference this season. The three goals came during the Colonials’ match against Mount St. Mary’s, with his first goal of the outing coming in the 22nd minute. He continued to strike the ball well in the second half by scoring back to back goals in the 49th and 55th minutes to tie the match at 3-3. With another goal coming in a 4-2 victory over Longwood, Rudolph finished the week with four goals and eight points.

Duquesne’s Simon Gomez picked up his second straight Rookie of the Week honor after leading his team to an unbeaten week. The team, led by Gomez, tallied impressive wins over both Saint Joseph’s and Army. The freshman striker scored a pair of goals against Army, helping the Dukes secure a 3-1 victory. This two goal outing was the second time that Gomez scored a pair of goals in a single game. Gomez is currently leading his Duquesne team in both goals (four) and points (nine).

As the A-10 Conference continues to battle with teams inside and outside of the division, there is currently a four-way tie for first. Charlotte, Duquesne, Fordham and St. Bonaventure are all tied for first with nine total points.

Three of the four teams, excluding Duquesne, have 3-3 records and are holding firm on top of the division with the Conference high, nine points. Duquesne has yet to play its sixth game of the season.

Even though these four schools have possession of first place, schools such as the Flyers (2-2-1) and URI (2-3) are not far behind, having seven and six points respectively.

The A-10 conference is just about open to anyone of these schools, and a winning streak could put any of them as the sole possessors of first place.

With four teams tied for first place in late September, the A-10 is starting to show its competitiveness and balance.

Nick Bellofatto can be reached at [email protected].

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