Saturday, December 10, 2011

A proud moment for college soccer in N.C.

HOOVER, Ala. -- There will be all sorts of storylines swirling through the chilly Alabama air over the next 36 hours or so as the Charlotte 49ers prepare to face North Carolina for the NCAA men's soccer championship on Sunday.

But here's the bottom line:

This is a great moment -- probably the greatest moment ever -- for men's college soccer in the state of North Carolina, for those of us who have watched it, played it, been a part of it in any way.

The sport has been dominated around here by the Tar Heels women's program for decades. But now, having two schools from the state -- and the same university system -- playing for the men's championship brings about a new kind of attention to the sport.

Men's soccer has always been strong in the ACC -- North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest have each won national titles.

But schools like UNC Greensboro and Greensboro College have also won national championships in the past. Who knew that decades ago, Appalachian State had one of the country's top programs and that former Mountaineer great Thompson Usiyan remains the sport's all-time leading scorer?

The arrival of the 49ers to college soccer's biggest stage shows once and for all that there are still teams beyond the ACC that can have a national impact.

The 49ers might be unseeded, but they've been ranked in most national polls for most of the season. They played a nonconference schedule that was as tough as any in the nation.

They've earned their way here, every step of the way.

The Tar Heels won the ACC regular-season and tournament titles. They're the top seeds. They're in the College Cup for a fourth straight  time.

They expected to be here.

And now two sister universities, separated by about 130 miles but not by a state border, play for it all.

Fans of college soccer in North Carolina will relish this, and they should be proud.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

SCREW THE HOLES! GO NINERS!

49RFBN said...

Indeed, screw the Holes!

GO NINERS!

Anonymous said...

@1:46, Well said sir! 49ERS!!!

Anonymous said...

FORGET THE ACC!

FORTY!!!!

Freedom Huggins said...

Niners!!!

Anonymous said...

As a UNC grad I came in here to congratulate UNCC and wish you well. After seeing these comments, allow me to sink to your level.

Your school, your athletic program, everything that is UNCC is insignificant. Just playing UNC in a championship game in a non revenue sport is your best accomplishment since the 70s final four. You are an afterthought. A sad, pitiful program that hangs on everything we do, that dreams of the chance to play us. You finally have your chance. Congrats, good luck, savior the moment. It will be another 30 years before you do anything else this significant

Bobby said...

They're not reflective of the fan base, honestly. They're just loud internet idiots, you can tell this because everyone of them is hiding behind a pseudonym. Most Charlotte fans are polite, well-adjusted, intelligent folks. Don't let a hoard of ogres change your opinion of them, please.

You're right, David. It is a proud day for soccer -- not just college soccer -- here in the Old North State. It's nice that Charlotte, having always had a rather competitive program, has finally gotten to the upper reaches. I hope that another program like UNCG can join them soon, I'm pro-NC, that means I like to see them all do well, a rising tide lifts all ships.

Alex said...

I'm guessing that Anon @ 2:37 is actually a Niners fan playing up to a Wal Mart Tar Heel stereotype. Otherwise... wow, pretty sad.

Anonymous said...

UNC vs. UNC

UNCCH vs UNCC

Tarheels vs 49ers

UNC Tarheels vs UNC 49ers

(UNC Chapel Hill v "Charlotte" LOL)

Which UNC will prevail?

UNC of the east?

UNC of the central piedmont?

Rodger said...

witingsI am proud to see this result. I was hoping for it. It will be a battle. It will add extra flavor to the match. A lot of local kids, from local soccer clubs on these teams. It truly is a great day for soccer programs is North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

There is something very special about looking at the Championship Bracket and seeing:

CHARLOTTE
NORTH CAROLINA

I know what it says. I know what it means. Have at it boys. May the 49ers win a classic battle.

Anonymous said...

UNC will not be allowed to lose this game, wouldn't surprise me if the money is already wired to the ref who looks like a bodybuilder from Hawaii.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, UNC Charlotte and the 49ers program will get more mileage out of this game nationally than they will in the state of North Carolina or even Mecklenburg County. They've defeated #3 and #2 already, why not #1 on Sunday? Best of luck to the 49ers in the quest of a national championship!

Anonymous said...

That's not fair... Carolina doesn't have to play a championship game to win the title. They won it last night.

Anonymous said...

(Anon 2:37)

Unlike the tarholes, charlotte athletes actually have to go to class, write their own papers, and take their own test. Chapel Hill is everything that is wrong with NCAA athletics.

Anonymous said...

Great win last night for Charlotte. A very proud moment for the university and a young program that looks to make a long term impact. Good luck tomorrow 49ers!

Anonymous said...

Go Niners, whip the Heels. Now's the chance, bury them.

AirForce49 said...

GOOO NINERS!!!!! Go to Hell, Carolina!

Anonymous said...

Go Niners, but UNCC is in can't win scenario. UNC wins, "Oh well, no big deal, we're Carolina, ho-hum". UNCC wins, "Who cares anyway, it was just a soccer match". Bury the Hells, Go Niners.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:37, I guess my Charlotte education served me well as an educator. Should we really "savior" the moment? Or did you mean to say savor? Glad to see your high class education at UNC is helping you degrade and talk down to us lesser people. Nothing is more annoying than poor grammar and an inflated ego.

tyro_niner said...

Great read David, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Some of us don't care much for North Carolina, like me. I'm a Charlotte guy. I love Charlotte despite the state of North Carolina. Bunch of jealous thieves.

So when the scoreboard says Charlotte v. North Carolina, I'm cool with that. It's like that every day living in this area.

The Hoon said...

This is a dream matchup. So proud of the Charlotte boys. We've beaten the defending champs, the #3 and #2 seeds. Not it's time to take down the Holes.

Go to hell, Carolina. GO NINERS!

Anonymous said...

As a current UNCC student, it was great hearing the 49ers fans being the loudest and proudest throughout the entire match last night...well done fans, you along with the team have made us very proud to be 49ers!

Dowless said...

I have a college education, and I also have a ban on Wal-Mart. I say screw the Holes. I'm a life long Tarhole hater. Go Niners.

Anonymous said...

There is something very special about looking at the Championship Bracket and seeing:

CHARLOTTE
NORTH CAROLINA


So UNCCH is playing the City of Charlotte in the finals?

According to 46 year old records in NC Raleigh Legislature and the UNC 16 campus system its called :

University of North Carolina campus located at Charlotte passed March 16 1965

With all the other sorry pathetic pro or college sports teams you cant blame the Queen City for trying to steal the whole name and hog it for themselves though if only by AD Rose's gimmick shenanigans?

Nice try. You failed. Its UNC.

Anonymous said...

2:37
100% accurate. And I am a UNCC graduate. The jealously from UNCC towards UNC is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

ANON 10:01

It is a message board, get over yourself. I am glad a graduate of a third tier school in the UNC system can still have an elitist attitude.

Anonymous said...

Some of us don't care much for North Carolina, like me. I'm a Charlotte guy. I love Charlotte despite the state of North Carolina. Bunch of jealous thieves.



Huh? Jealous thieves? Explain you lamebrain ... Maybe you need to get back to where you came from. If you dont want NC then NC does not want you.
The city and state are the same like New York and NYC or LA and California.
NC was founded in 1653 and added Charlottetown in 1752.

porkadachop said...

For years the NC-CH establishment has held back Charlotte.

The majority of funding from the legislature has gone to the 2 UNC ACC schools and ECU in lieu of Charlotte.

The local media in Charlotte is made up of NC-CH journalism grads. Their attitude towards any 9er success is always congratulatory (tongue in cheek satelite school). This means the unengaged fans of the region are conditioned to sneer at any success.

Also NC-CH, to its credit, has been successfrul in many different sports over the years. However, this breeds the dreaded Wal-Mart fan. NC-CH fans and Duke fans are all over campus. This is incredibly maddening for those of us who have the audacity to think students and grads should root for their own school.

"UNCC's jealousy towards UNC is pathetic," wrote another commenter. This is not pathetic jealousy. This is respect--and we will get it.

Mike Dickson

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Your post sounded more like jealousy to me.

UNC is the flagship university, so they should be taken care of, above all others. ECU receiving funds is all politics and why our system is a joke.

Stu

Anonymous said...

once again for you arrogant unc-ch fans, there is no flagship university in the system.


go niners

tim collie said...

this game in a nutshell, is what UNC-Chapel Hill has attempted to squash for decades. They cannot stand competition from within the state. Starting with Dean Smith refusing to play other teams in state. I'm sure the refs are already bought and paid for.

TC said...

According to 46 year old records in NC Raleigh Legislature and the UNC 16 campus system its called :

University of North Carolina campus located at Charlotte passed March 16 1965

With all the other sorry pathetic pro or college sports teams you cant blame the Queen City for trying to steal the whole name and hog it for themselves though if only by AD Rose's gimmick shenanigans?


What is your point, exactly? That human beings shouldn't use terms that help them clearly communicate with each other?

There's a college game on Sunday. Charlotte will play North Carolina. When I say that, you know exactly who I'm talking about. What's the problem?

Anonymous said...

As a long time soccer lover and booster of the great state of NC - this is a dream come true. I watched both games yesterday and could not be more proud. Whoever wins on Sunday - the state has already won. But, for the record - I am pulling for the underdogs. Go Niners!

Hobie said...

David - Nice column. As an alum of UNCC, current resident of Connecticut, former pep band member who suffered through Wissellball, soccer referee and fan it's great to see the success of football, er soccer at UNCC. Go Niners!!

Jay

Anonymous said...

Thats the old east vs west excuse but bottom line it takes political clout. Thats always been missing and still is. Weak leadership.

Granted UNCCH was the flagship school but it goes way back as the oldest public university in America since 1789.

UNCC is 46 yrs old. Add 46 yrs from 1789 and its 1835. How great were they in 1835? Its 222 yrs since 1789 and 176 yrs since 1835.

UNCC is way ahead of UNCCH in statistical comparative analysis if its a race. The city of Charlotte has only taken off in the past few decades.

Granted UNCC is no UCF or USF but but one big mistake was not getting football for national exposure back in 1965.

Its all a work in progress like anything ...

Anonymous said...

12:05 PM

for extreme less gifted slower ones the pt just whizzes rt over their heads ... whatever nevermind ... you could never understand anyway ... blame your low iq ...

Anonymous said...

@11:59 tim collie said...
"this game in a nutshell, is what UNC-Chapel Hill has attempted to squash for decades. They cannot stand competition from within the state."

Interesting seeing all of the bandwagon fans come out now. Seriously, how many UNCC folks were following the men's soccer team before the last week or so? Now all of a sudden chests are puffed out.

If you had been following the team, you would have known that UNC actually drove down here to play Charlotte on Transamerica field on Aug 21st (cancelled mid-game due to weather). Not including that game, UNC played 5 teams from the state of NC this season (more than Charlotte's 4 teams), so why exactly are they afraid of playing in-state?

TC said...

for extreme less gifted slower ones the pt just whizzes rt over their heads ... whatever nevermind ... you could never understand anyway ... blame your low iq ...

Honest to God, somebody needs to come up with a name for this species of comment.

TC said...

It's in the same vein as Muphry's Law, but that's not quite it.

Anonymous said...

We're Charlotte. They are North Carolina. We're the 49ers. They are the Tar Heels.
We play for the National Title.

Seems pretty simple to me. And, the Charlotte Observer is covering the game for the Charlotte community and for the Raleigh News & Observer. They have a great soccer writer doing and a greater job!

Anonymous said...

Its TC species who tried out for a GEICO commercial but was rejected.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Goofy+People+Pictures&view=detail&id=05FBF397EC304A67EC2BBB8D2EAB6B6ABD4939FB&first=0&qpvt=Goofy+People+Pictures&FORM=IDFRIR

Anonymous said...

For all you Tarhole fans let me explain it to you. I have searched every blog and Chapel Hill news website and NOT ONE talks about how great this is for the state of NC. They only talk about the Tarholes win over UCLA. So... WE live in Charlotte....it is the CHARLOTTE Observer yet they constantly shove the tarholes on us. It is an absolute SHAME how our hometown school is treated by the media. So I got three words for you....Screw the Holes!!!!

Anonymous said...

Theres no fight between UNCCH and UNCC. Stop setting up a straw man.

UNC mens soccer already has 2 national titles.

UNC womens soccer has 21 national titles.

Overall UNCCH has 37 national titles in all sports and 51 individual national titles.

Try not to feel so bad.

Anonymous said...

There is no fight between UNCCH and UNCC. You are making my point. Tarhole fans are too dumb to even understand the point. If we lived in Boone or Wilmington, I would expect an article on how this is great for the state of NC. But we live in CHARLOTTE. It is the CHARLOTTE Observer. This would be UNCC's first national championship in any sport. That is why I want an article in the CHARLOTTE paper...."This is great for UNCC and the city of Charlotte".

Anonymous said...

Nice one fellow Heel. Please be low key condescending and treat the peasants gingerly. They are not on our level and not one of us.

Anonymous said...

@12 52
Mr Collie is well known for negative comments. I remember well the preseason game and have followed the Niner soccer teams (both genders) for a few years now. Chapel Hill has talent galore and rocket like speed. One on one the 49ers could never compete. However, Charlotte plays together as a unit just about as well as can be done. Sunday's game will be interesting and I will be proud of the 49ers no matter the outcome. No band wagon fan here.

Tim Collie said...

For those making "BANDWAGON" comments, who cares? I'm sure Gunn doesn't mind. Soccer players and supproters would be furious if only they were happy and casual bystanders were NOT happy right now. Jeez get over yourselves on the bandwagon issue.

Anonymous said...

Those of you who have a beef with Collie, take a step back Dude was a a great 49er baseball pitcher.

His last comment was also the 49th comment on this thread, too. So, step off.

Anonymous said...

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a fine school. They have put out many distinguished graduates over the years. Unfortunately, the athletics department is full of liars, cheats, and overpaid coaches. Even the high school in Chapel Hill is full of cheaters .

Anonymous said...

http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/2504993/#/vid2504993

Anonymous said...

charlotte 2 unc cheat 1.


write that down.

Mike Carew said...

Go 49ers! My nephew Jennings Rex plays for UNCC now as did his sister Ashley (other sister Cassie played soccer for Wofford). They continue that great soccer legacy of the Rex clan. Uncles Ray and Bill played soccer at Pittsbutgh and their dad Art Rex, All American at Slippery Rock U, professional soccer player for the Pittsburgh Spirit and former long time coach at Appalachian State University. Comngrats to Jennings and to his teammates at UNCC and bring home the cup!
- Your family form Wiscosnin

Anonymous said...

UNCCH Tarheels vs UNCC 49ers

Both UNC schools are an equal part of the 16 campus UNC system based in Chapel Hill.

There is no legal such name as "Charlotte" only unless prefaced by UNC other than some cheap trick gimmick nickname.

AD Rose could be in trouble for illegally changing the sports name 10 yrs ago and should be investigated for fraud and intellectual property rights invasion or breaking NC Legislature law who named the school UNCC in 1965.

Rose needs to go to Chapel Hill and Raleigh if she wants LEGALLY change the name and get it approved otherwise she has committed a possible criminal action.

Anonymous said...

You guys are such a bunch of dorks. "Damn the tarHOLES!" Really? That's what you're gonna come up with? Oh wait, I forgot this one, "Bunch of Wal-Mart fans!" C'mon guys... Get over it. UNC does not give a DAMN about little insignificant UNCc.

Anonymous said...

"North Carolina and U.N.C. Charlotte should be ready..."
- Beginning of the first sentence of The New York Times story this morning. Even they clown this pathetic school.

Unknown said...

I'm not a big soccer fan. Played for several years when i was young, but don't follow it unless the US is playing in the World Cup or Olympics or whatever. But today I am a soccer fan.

I spent a couple years at State and a few at UNCC. Didn't graduate from either, but consider myself a Niner. There are a lot of demeaning posts from Heels fans - most of which have probably never stepped foot on Franklin St or pounded down a blue cup at He's Not Here. You know the type.
Like I said, i don't follow soccer, but I would imagine that most fans will be cheering for the satellite campus with a bunch of guys that played against each other in high school as opposed to the evil empire in Chapel Hill - check their football program for details if you don't know what I mean.

Lets Go Niners.

jim e said...

UAB and ALABAMA have many of the same feelings as you guys. They will not play UAB. We are the step child. We were in the Sunbelt conference with you guys back in the 80's. I wondered why you scored so quickly to start each half in the second round of this tournament. I now know why and that little #7, although the first to be subbed out was back in in the second and next to the coach when they wanted comments. You have a great looking defense. Owen is my favorite because at 5'7" and a buck forty you can still make it to the big dance in this best of all sports! Go Niners!