Charlotte Blanks Tennessee, 2-0, In Opening Round Of NCAA Women's College Cup

49ers will face North Carolina on Sunday at 1:00pm in Chapel Hill, N.C.


Nikki Dumencich, Charlotte

Nov. 14, 2008

Box Score

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - In conditions that the Niners have grown accustomed to this season, Charlotte seniors Nikki Dumencich and Nikki Labuda Czaplicki put the end of the season on hold by tallying a goal a piece as the Niners were victorious over Tennessee at Fetzer Field on the campus of North Carolina by a 2-0 score.

The win for the Niners marks only the second College Cup victory in program history, with the last such victory coming on November 11, 1998 by a 2-0 margin over South Carolina. The loss for Tennessee was the first opening round defeat handed to the Lady Vols in program history.

Charlotte (18-3-1) came out blazing hot by putting loads of pressure on the Lady Vols in the games first seven minutes, before Tennessee (10-11-2) settled in and began to limit the 49ers attack.

Tennessee had the game's first major opportunity as junior Lauren Brown's save was deflected away and an offsides call took a would-be Lady Vols goal off the board. Following a yellow card assessment to Tennessee sophomore Tanya Emerson, A-10 Midfielder of the Year, Hailey Beam, had an opportunity with less than 21 minutes to play in the first half but was turned away by the Tennessee defense.

Freshman Jonna Handra gave the Niners valuable minutes off the bench and tallied two shots in the first half. Charlotte's best opportunity of the half came in the 41st minute when a Sam Huecker corner was nearly headed in by freshman Heather Carter. Handra and Labuda Czaplicki would then nearly tally a goal for Charlotte with an open net opportunity that neither player could get a great shot on, and which was finally booted across midfield by the Lady Vols defensive unit.

Charlotte weathered a mid-half barrage from the Lady Vols and outshot the SEC tournament champions by an 8-5 margin as both teams went to the intermission. As both teams came out of the halftime break, it wouldn't take long for the Niners to get on the board as Dumencich took a pass from freshman Oni Bernard and belted a hard shot on goal that the Tennessee keeper mishandled and gave Charlotte the 1-0 advantage.

 

 

Charlotte would continue to pepper the Tennessee defense as it looked to pad its one goal lead, but was unable to against a stingy Lady Vols defense, until Labuda Czaplicki tallied the Niners' second goal of the game to effectively put the game out of reach.

Tennessee would have their best opportunity of the game with less than two minutes remaining as Grace Cuenin rocketed a shot off the crossbar before it was cleared away by the Niners defense. The Niners offense registered 12 shots, while Tennessee mustered seven shots.

Brown was sensational yet again in goal for the Niners as she registered her fourth consecutive shutout and 12th scoreless game of the season. Charlotte's defensive unit hasn't allowed a goal in 570 minutes of action.

"Our defensive unit played tremendous yet again. Lauren Brown has been amazing in goal all year and has played right with some of the best goalkeepers in the country. Tonight was a total team effort for 90 minutes," said Charlotte head coach Jon Lipsitz following the game.

Charlotte will face North Carolina in the second round of College Cup action on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. back at Fetzer Field. The Tarheels were a 5-0 winner over Western Carolina in the early game of today's opening round doubleheader and defeated the Niners in the first game of the season by a 5-1 margin in Chapel Hill.

"We started the season here because we knew that the College Cup would go through Chapel Hill. We're now both in the same shoes, 90 minutes of soccer will decide who goes on and who's season ends," said Lipsitz about Sunday's matchup with the ACC Champions.

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