Spartans return home to host Charlotte on Friday
UNCG (3-1-1) vs. Charlotte (3-1-0), Sept. 10, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium
Live video: Spartan All Access (free all season)
Admission: Free (all season)
- UNCG's women's soccer team finally returns home after a three-week, four-game road swing, hosting Charlotte on Friday at 7 p.m. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. Admission is free.
- UNCG has not played at home since opening the season against East Carolina on Aug. 20.
- The Spartans and 49ers are renewing an old rivalry Friday. The teams met five times from 1995-2001, with the 49ers owning a 3-2 edge in the series, but the squads haven't played since. The last meeting was on Sept. 12, 2001, with Charlotte taking a 1-0 win in Greensboro. That match was just the fifth of UNCG coach Eddie Radwanski's head coaching career.
- UNCG is off to one of the best starts in school history. At 3-1-1, the Spartans have just one loss through their first five games for just the sixth time in school history. UNCG was undefeated through its first four games for the first time ever.
- The Spartans went 0-1-1 at the Under Armour Invitational in Fullerton, Calif., last weekend, playing to a scoreless draw with 2007 national champion Southern Cal on Sept. 3 and falling 2-0 to tournament host Cal State Fullerton on Sunday. Tabitha Padgett, Cat Barnekow and Kelsey Kearney were named to the all-tournament team.
- The attendance for UNCG's game against USC was 610, a UNCG record for a neutral-site contest. The previous mark of 587 was set last season, when the Spartans topped then-No. 11 Duke on Aug. 28, 2009, in Chapel Hill, N.C., at the Carolina Nike Classic.
- Kearney made three saves in posting the shutout against USC and had two against Fullerton. The Titans struck for a quick goal just after halftime Sunday, scoring in the 47th minute, then added an insurance goal in the 59th. UNCG outshot Fullerton 16-8 but couldn't find the back of the net and had two shots smack off the crossbar in the first half.
- After opening the season with wins over East Carolina, then-No. 10 Wake Forest and Utah, the Spartans jumped into the Soccer America Top 25 at No. 18 on Aug. 30, good for their first national ranking since being No. 13 in the Soccer Buzz preseason poll in 1998. UNCG fell from the rankings after going 0-1-1 last weekend, but is still receiving votes in the NSCAA and Soccer Times polls.
- The hot start to the season earned a pair of UNCG student-athletes some weekly accolades. Forward Lauren Hein was named one of CollegeSoccer360.com's Primetime Performers of the Week on Sept. 7, while Kearney took the first Southern Conference Player of the Week award of the 2010 campaign that same day.
- Padgett leads UNCG with four points on two goals (both game-winners) on the season, while Hein and freshman Kory Spotts are tied for second in scoring with three points each (one goal, one assist each). Kearney has played all 470 minutes in goal, posting a goals against average of 0.57 and a save percentage of .864. She has turned in three shutouts and allowed just three goals in five games.
- Kearney's shutout against USC was the 22nd of her career, moving her into sole possession of second on UNCG's career list. Kearney, a junior, now trails school-record holder Jennifer Stillman by three. Kearney is also UNCG's career leader in GAA, as she holds a mark of 0.63 in 43 matches played.
- Charlotte is off to a 3-1-0 start against a daunting schedule on the season, with wins over 2009 Southern Conference tournament champion Davidson, NC State and Pittsburgh and a loss to Arizona State, which was unranked at the time but entered the Soccer America (No. 24) and NSCAA (No. 25) polls afterward.
- The 49ers are unranked but have received votes in the NSCAA poll in each of the last two weeks.
- The 49ers topped Pittsburgh 2-1 on Sunday, with Pittsburgh, Pa., native Jonna Handra scoring a goal and adding an assist for Charlotte. Handra assisted on Danielle Mayeaux's strike in the 37th minute, then scored the eventual game-winner from 30 yards out five minutes later. Keeper Natalie Lavigne made six saves in picking up the win.
- All five of Charlotte's goals on the season have come from different players. Handra leads the team with the three points she scored Sunday, while Mayeaux, Sam Huecker, Whitney Bryant and Lacey McGowan have scored a goal each. Freshman Alex Kubrick – a Greensboro native and Ragsdale product – started the 49ers' first three games in goal, posting a 2-1-0 record with a 0.66 GAA and 13 saves. Lavigne's lone action has been against Pittsburgh.
- Charlotte's Megan Minnix is one of 30 national finalists for this year's Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, marking the fourth straight season the 49ers have had a student-athlete in the running. UNCG's Lauren Lopez was one of 10 national finalists last season.
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