Menís Soccer Knocks Off No. 15 Charlotte, 1-0
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The UNCG men’s soccer team became the first team since 1999 to spoil No. 15 Charlotte’s home opener as the Spartans upset the nationally ranked 49ers 1-0 Tuesday night on the road at Transamerica Field. The victory improves the Spartans to 2-0-0 on the season and is their first over a nationally ranked opponent since defeating No. 12 Duke in 2011 and the first road win over a ranked opponent since 2008 (at Duke, NCAA Tournament).
Greensboro-native and junior midfielder David Reittinger (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest) scored the Spartans’ lone goal in the win, notching his third of the season through the first two games. He entered the season with only two goals in his first two years but has already surpassed his career total in the past five days.
The Spartans struck early against the 49ers finding the back of the net just eight minutes into the game as their early pressure set up a deep throw-in. Forward Justin Jones (Jamestown, N.C./Lees-McRae) took the long throw-in to the middle of the 18-yard box where it took a couple of bounces. Reittinger ran onto the loose ball and ripped a shot across the grain and past Charlotte goalkeeper Klay Davis into the side netting for the early 1-0 lead.
Charlotte had its best chance in the early going just 22 minutes in as the Spartans cleared the initial corner kick but the 49ers sent the ball quickly back into the box. Brandt Bronico made a run down the right side of the box and one-touched a shot onto goal but redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Stephen Moffitt (Burlington, N.C./Williams) made the diving stop to keep UNCG in the lead.
The 49ers came within inches of tying the game in the 33rd minute of play as once again Charlotte had a scoring chance after an initial UNCG clear. Anthony Perez ran onto the clearing attempt at the top of the 18-yard box and sent a blistering shot past the diving Moffitt but it struck squarely off the post and out of play.
Charlotte had the first chance of the second half as Moffitt came up big in the 48th minute. The 49ers sent a cross into the 18-yard box, which was flicked on to the back post. Bronico ripped a left-footer from five yards out that Moffitt sprawled out and saved to keep UNCG in front 1-0. Giuseppe Gentile got behind the Spartans’ defense in the 55th minute but flicked his header over the cross bar to keep the slate clean for UNCG.
Charlotte was pressing all half long and had its best chance in the 84th minute off a scramble in the 18-yard box. Gentile got free 15 yards out and ripped a shot towards goal, but freshman defender Hugo Coicaud (Le Harve, France/Saint-Joseph) cleared the ball of the end line to keep the Spartans in the lead.
The Spartans were able to keep the 49ers at bay over the final five minutes as they thwarted every effort by Charlotte. Moffitt picked up his second straight shutout in his second career start as he posted four saves as Charlotte out-shot the Spartans 15-4.
The Spartans hit the road Saturday as they travel to Harrisonburg, Va., for a non-conference battle against James Madison. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
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