Charlotte’s 17th NCAA run ends at ninth-seeded Clemson
Press release provided by Charlotte 49ers Athletics
Clemson, S.C. - Charlotte’s 17th NCAA men’s soccer appearance ended on the road at ninth-seeded Clemson when the Tigers notched a pair of second half goals to eliminate the 49ers, 3-0, in the second round.
Charlotte, which won the American Athletic Conference Championship last weekend, had several chances to get on the board but could not find the back of the net.
Charlotte midfielder Logan Frost had the game’s first two chances. The best opportunity came in the 19th minute when a cross into the box spilled out to him inside 18 but his shot sailed high. Clemson answered in the 31st minute when Joran Gerbert hit a volley from outside the box that rose just over the bar.
Four minutes later, Brandon Parrish capitalized for the 14th-ranked Tigers, as Clemson broke down the right side. Remi Okunlola hit a low cross that skipped past the first attacker to Parrish at the far post for the tally.
“We got two unbelievable looks early. If we bury one of those it’s a different game,” said 49ers 12th-year head coach Kevin Langan, who was leading his 10th NCAA Tournament team. “We felt comfortable going into the second half. A lapse in the back cost us at the start (of the second half) but the guys really, really pushed and created some good looks. We just couldn’t get one to drop. We needed one of those to go in for us to change the cycle of the game and it didn’t happen.”
Clemson made it 2-0 in the first three minutes of the second half when Alex Meinhard slipped a touch through the backline to Ousmane Sylla, who took it one-on-one with keeper Leonard Stritter and found the far side-netting for the second goal.
BACK AND FORTH ACTION
Charlotte had a chance in the 61st minute when Brandon Morales stole the ball from keeper Joseph Andema and headed towards goal, but Andema was able to leap back and knock the ball out for a corner kick.
Frost had another chance in the 65th minute when he won a 50-50 long ball with Andema and recovered the ball in the box but his shot slipped wide.
“It’s a strong program,” Langan said in trying to sum up the season. “The last 10 years have been fantastic consistency. This year is a really special year. I told this team they’d always be known as champions. They’ll go down in the record book as a championship team. I’m really proud of the guys. We looked like us. We played the way we trained. We really looked strong. It wasn’t for us tonight.”
Clemson’s Sylla blasted a shot wide in the 67th-minute. A minute later Charlotte’s Brigham Larson hit a shot from 18 that Andema gobbled up. In the 81st minute, Meinhard hit a point blank shot that Stritter handled as the play raced end-to-end.
Clemson iced it in the 87th minute when Arthur Duquenne took advantage on a counter to get behind the 49ers defense. Sylla was able to find him for another one-on-one goal.
Clemson held a slight 7-6 shot advantage and the 49ers forced Andema to make three saves. Frost led the 49ers with three shots while Morales added two. Clemson had 11 corners to the 49ers four.
The 49ers finish the season with a 13-4-1 record and the school’s first AAC Championship.
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