Charlotte 49ers news and notes:
-- Giuseppe Gentile is off to a slow start, with one goal in Charlotte's first six games. But it's not like he's not getting chances. In the 49ers' 3-2 double overtime victory Wednesday against South Carolina, Gentile had five shots, at least three of which he'd probably admit he should have scored on. But Gentile also had the assist on Donnie Smith's game-winning goal. Gentile has 23 shots this season, tied for the team lead with Smith. Gentile has also put 13 of those shots on frame, so he's coming close.
-- Here's how Charlotte is ranked in this week's national polls: Soccer America, 8th; NSCAA, 5th; College Soccer News, 4th; Top Drawer Soccer, 24th.
-- Interesting to hear coach Kevin Langan say that Wednesday that goalkeeper Klay Davis is the second-fastest player of the team behind Gentile.
-- The 49ers now play five straight on the road, starting with UNC Greensboro on Saturday, then Elon on Sept. 22, Central Florida on Sept. 26. They start Atlantic 10 play at Virginia Commonwealth on Oct. 5 and at Richmond on Oct. 7, before coming home to face Fordham on Oct. 12.
Remember, the A-10 tournament is at Transamerica Field Nov. 8-11.
-- Here's what Gamecocks coach Mark Berson said about playing the 49ers:
South Carolina's 2-3-1 record is deceiving. Charlotte was the fourth Top 25 team the Gamecocks have played. They beat No. 5 South Florida 1-0, losing to No. 15 St. John's 2-0 and tying No. 25 Northwestern 0-0.
-- Ran into Chris Braswell on Wednesday. He said his broken foot is healed and he's been playing pickup games. He'll be ready to go when practice begins in October.
-- Also talked with Lenoir recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons about Charlotte's freshman class. He said forward Darion Clark is a "warrior, a real effort player" who will make the 49ers better immediately. Willie Clayton "was one of the best players in Georgia over the past few seasons." Denzel Ingram is a "true point guard who can shoot it and really understands how the game is played."
--The 49ers are wrapping up three weeks' worth of conditioning drills and will have their first pads-and-helmets practice Sept. 21.
Charlotte is off to its fastest start since 2007 (coach Chris Redding's first season) and is host to the 49er Invitational this weekend. Charlotte (7-2) plays Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. Friday, then faces UNC Asheville at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Towson at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Because of the Democratic National Convention taking up hotel rooms, this is Charlotte's first home action of the season. Charlotte has already broken a school record by winning its first 10 sets of the season (sweeping its first three opponents, then winning the opening seat against Clemson).
Bianca Rouse has passed the 1,000-kill mark for her career and is 12th on the school's all-time list.
A pleasant surprise has been senior setter Lily Vera, who is third in the Atlantic 10 with 11.91 assists. This is Vera's first season as a starter.