Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thoughts on Charlotte's 1-0 loss to UNC in soccer championship

It was quite a scene today in Alabama, where Charlotte lost 1-0 to North Carolina in the national championship for men's soccer.

Like a whole lot of other people from Charlotte, I made the 400-mile trek down to Hoover, Ala. (just outside of Birmingham) to watch the 49ers try to win their first-ever national championship in a team sport. And although they fell short, they certainly won the crowd battle and played a really good game despite the loss.

"We were first in almost every category but the one that wins the game," said Charlotte coach Jeremy Gunn, whose team outshot the Tar Heels 19-10 and earned six corner kicks compared to North Carolina’s two. "That’s the cruel part of soccer."

One thing I really liked: When the game concluded, the Charlotte soccer players walked en masse toward their fans.

Rather than sulking in their misery, the Charlotte players strode toward their fans and applauded them. The fans, in turn, gave the players a standing ovation for a dream season that included five straight victories in the NCAA tournament but fell one win short of a championship.

Thanks to six busloads of Charlotte students and untold numbers of others making the six-hour drive from Charlotte, the 49ers probably had 7,000 fans among the 8,777 in attendance.

"It was phenomenal," Charlotte defender Isaac Cowles said. "I couldn’t even hear a Carolina fan. All I heard was Charlotte."

Many of those 49er students will take final exams Monday. I talked to one who had two final exams scheduled Monday, had attended the Charlotte-Davidson basketball game Saturday night and still made the 400-mile trip to Alabama Sunday. There were many others just like her. It was cool to see all of the support and to watch both teams play a taut, entertaining game.

My column on the game will be in Monday's newspaper and online, and Observer soccer expert David Scott will also have a couple of stories about it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the cool story for those of us who couldn't make the trek.

Anonymous said...

1,777 fans (sipping a nice cabernet, nibbling some smoky gouda, no doubt) are quietly chanting, "scoreboard, scoreboard."

Anonymous said...


those fans should invite the refs to join them.

unc-ch- once again, needing the refs to help.

Anonymous said...

I'm 9:52.

My apologies for the snark... and for hiding that snark behind anonymity.

Charlotte had a great season--and I would've pulled for them in this game over anyone.

Anyone, except my alma mater.

Anonymous said...

I hear you, 10:43.

I'm a Charlotte native and Chapel Hill alum.

It's ok to be a little snarky...;)

Anonymous said...

A thrill to watch on ESPNU. For those who did not watch, the ref was letting most anything go and this worked in the 49ers favor for the most part. However, during one 49er race to the goal a Tarheel pulled down the 49er by the shirt inside the penalty box. Nothing was called. The TV announcers referenced this for the rest of the game. The replays show a clear foul.

Charlotte dominated for 70 of the 90 minutes. However, the one Tarheel goal and the penalty box non-call were the deciding factors.

Anonymous said...

There you go Scott, write about a sport that you can relate to and stay away from football as you clearly are unable to grasp the true pulse of the game and all that surrounds it! The kids in the neighborhood that play organized soccer get trophies win or lose... I notice when they play football with other children that don't play soccer, most cannot remain in the game and seem to give up on winning very quickly! I wonder if there is any correlation??? Seriously Scott, soccer needs an intellectual metro-sexual like yourself and I know ladies (PSL holders) who think your points of view are very femme, go there, leave us with our lowly barbaric sport that you don't support and in fact undermine with an inability to not alienate players and be done with it!!!

Anonymous said...

Last time we checked the NC State Legislature in Raleigh and UNC system in Chapel Hill in March 1965still officially by law havent changed the brand new school as University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

UNCC is the real name. UNCC 49ers is the real deal only and always has been unless AD Rose self appointed herself 10 yrs ago as the official Queen of NC and that is possible. It is illegal? She may find out one day.

UNC Tarheels beat UNC Fortyniners

1-0 Big Deal. Close match. Def nothing to be ashamed for the
upstart UNC 49ers.

Anonymous said...

and once again the moron talking about the school name shows up. Hey Troll, dont you ever get tired of talking about the CHARLOTTE 49ers? You know, their name for Ahletics?

Anonymous said...

ANON 11:49PM, You Win!!! Most idiotic stereotypes, cliches and presumptions in one post.

No go find me an offensive line player that can run for 90 minutes without stopping.

Anonymous said...

@anon 11:49,

You have rabid obsession with masculinity or the purported lack there off. Seems like some analysis and self reflection might be in order. People who live in uncertain houses shouldnt throw hissies.

latent_football said...

re anon 11:49 - How long before the classic "I BET NONE OF YOU PANSIES EVER PLAYED THE GAME' comes up.....wait for it...........

Anonymous said...

Charlotte clearly was better than Chapel Hill. Unfortunate for the hometown Niners.

Regarding the name, you know UNC Chapel Hill is the name of that school but everyone calls them Carolina or North Carolina tarheels.

It's not a name change for UNC Charlotte. It's just referring to them as Charlotte or Charlotte 49ers.

SAME CONCEPT. How can some people not understand THIS?!?!?

Anonymous said...

I say LOL ,the underdog got there hearts ripped out despite the refs trying to keep it close. The BEST team WON. Quit crying!

Phil said...

Raleigh Wolfpack
Boone Mountineers
Cullowhee Catamounts

do I need to go on..........Sometime the oldest has the right to call itself what ever it wants.
Carolina Tarheels
If NC State wants to call is self The Raleigh Wolfpack go ahead... we will still know them a NC State or the Pack

Anonymous said...

To make a name for yourself, you have to accomplish something first. The "Charlotte" 49'ers have won nothing and have not distinguished themselves enough to be branded nationally. As far as yesterday, how many people do you really think were watching this game on an NFL Sunday afternoon? App State is a much more recognizable school nationally than Charlotte due to their 3 National Championships and their upset of Michigan. Win somethig first and then get back with me.

Anonymous said...

@anon 12:37 PM.

Wow! You have solid evidence that the refs were in collusion with UNCC! You scooped SI, cnn, real sports and the observer! Cant wait to see your expose - where is it running?

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Scott following futbol and not football.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:13, you have no clue.

If you are going to act like a fool, please do not do it in a collegiate sports discussion. You may easily be mistaken for one of the abnoxious UNC-Chapel Hill fans that barely finished high school; those whose only claim to fame in life is that of claiming a school they have never seen as "their" school.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for mentioning the "UNC Charlotte" fans outnumbered the "UNC-Chapel Hill" fans by more than 4 to 1 (the official names were used to avoid detractors).

This is the Niners' 5th Final 4 finish, and in 3 sports (basketball, soccer, and golf). That is not a bad track record. Many schools would love to have those finishes.

Anonymous said...

I continue to laugh at all the comment from UNC Concord/Kannapolis fans about how they were the better team. Well, you weren't. You lost. The most pathetic sports excuse is to say the best team lost. It makes you look pathetic and pitiful. If they were the best team they would have won. Shut up and stop you childish whining

Anonymous said...

fruk off 7:36!!! and 3:13, you are delusional if you think UNC-Tweetsie has really accomplished more in sports than Charlotte has. I'm sorry, FCS "titles" and 1 "big win" from 5 years ago don't overshadow Cahrlotte's many accomplishments in many different sports. Its not even close. Advantage, Charlotte!

Anonymous said...

antlyiBoth schools are named UNC

UNC-Chapel Hill vs UNC-Charlotte

There is no such school as Charlotte only unless its a high school or a middle or elementary school

Every Rose has its thorn created a big problem when she proclaimed her a queen and stole the AD and
49er name from UNCC.
We understand UNC is now investigating since this has been overlooked until now.

Hopefully Rose has its thorn will be terminated by the UNC system and UNCC can retain its stolen name 49ers.

Anonymous said...

There's no such school named Carolina or Chapel Hill but both are used.