Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Storm affects 49ers women's soccer team's travels

The Atlantic 10 women's soccer tournament at Rhode Island is going on as scheduled later this week despite Hurricane Sandy, but the 49ers had to readjust their travel plans to get there.

Coach John Cullen's team originally was scheduled to fly to Kingston, R.I., on Wednesday for its Thursday first-round game against La Salle. Not wanting to risk having the flight being canceled, the 49ers took a bus instead on Tuesday. They made it as far as Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday night and they spent the night there. They're completing the journey to Kingston on Wednesday, in time for their 11 a.m. game Thursday against the Explorers.

Stadium passes inspection; scrimmage set for Saturday

The Charlotte 49ers' football stadium passed inspection Wednesday and was officially turned over to the school.

That means the 49ers' football team will hold a scrimmage in the stadium Saturday beginning at 12:30 p.m. Remember, concession stands and restrooms are not ready yet, so plan accordingly.

The 49ers will also practice in the stadium on Wednesday from 4-6 p.m.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Decision on football scrimmage due Wednesday

Word will come late Wednesday afternoon whether there will be a football scrimmage on Saturday in the 49ers’ new stadium.

The stadium is being inspected on Wednesday. If it passes, the scrimmage will be played. If not, it won’t.

Time for the scrimmage is tentatively set for 12:30 p.m. There will be no concessions or restrooms available, so plan accordingly.

Other notes

-- The 49ers women’s soccer team is pretty much limping into this week’s Atlantic 10 tournament at Rhode Island (which is still scheduled to be played despite Hurricane Sandy).

The eighth-seeded 49ers (10-7-2, 4-4-1) are 0-4-1 in their last five games and haven’t won since Oct. 12, when they beat Fordham 3-1. Charlotte’s next game was at La Salle, and it matched the last two unbeaten teams in the league. The Explorers won 2-1 and the 49ers haven’t been the same since, going scoreless in their last three games. They squeezed out the No. 8 seed for the eight-team tournament ahead of Richmond based on their 2-1 victory against the Spiders on Sept. 30.

But Charlotte gets a rematch with top-seeded La Salle (14-4-1, 8-0-1) in a first-round game at 11 a.m. Thursday. Other opening round games have No. 4 Butler facing No. 5 St. Bonaventure; No. 2 Dayton against No. 7 UMass and No. 3 VCU against No. 6 Saint Joseph’s.

-- Charlotte’s men’s soccer team can clinch a tie for the league’s regular-season title with a victory against George Washington on Saturday at Transamerica Field. The 11th-ranked 49ers (12-2-3, 6-1-1, 19 points) can win it outright if VCU (10-2-4, 6-1-1, 19) loses to Richmond. The Rams own the tiebreaker with Charlotte, by virtue of their 4-1 victory against the 49ers.

The league tournament, set for next week at Charlotte, figures to be extremely competitive with four teams – Charlotte, Saint Louis, VCU and Xavier – all being ranked nationally in various polls this season. Even Temple is a threat. The Owls (9-5-3, 5-1-2, 17) could win the regular season with a victory Saturday against Saint Joseph's and if Charlotte, VCU and Saint Louis lose their final games.

The 49ers, incidentally, will play their first-round game at 8 p.m. on Nov. 8, no matter what they are seeded.

The following night (Friday, Nov. 9) figures to be a busy one at Charlotte. The soccer semifinals are at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and the men’s basketball team opens its season at 6 p.m. in Halton Arena against Charleston Southern.
      -- Four Charlotte golfers posted season-low rounds Monday in the first round of the Pacific       Invitational at Stockton, Calif. Play was delayed Tuesday due to fog on the course.

Junior Joe Toland (seven-under 65) was tied for the tournament lead, while junior Franco Castro (70), sophomore Raoul Menard (71) and freshman Thomas Rowland (75) also all had season lows. Charlotte’s 10-under 278 was also a team season low and tied the 49ers for fourth place behind co-leaders Kansas State and Pacific and third-place BYU.

-- The Green baseball team took two out of three from the White in the Green-White World Series over the weekend. Brad Elwood’s four RBIs (including a homer and triple) clinched the series for the Green on Sunday with a 7-4 victory.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Charlotte 49ers' Mayfield out of exhibition

49ers junior guard DeMario Mayfield will miss Charlotte's exhibition Nov. 1 against Pfeiffer at Halton Arena with a high right-ankle sprain.

Mayfield sustained the injury in practice last week.

Mayfield, perhaps the team's most versatile player, averaged 11.2 points and 7.0 rebounds last season.

49ers picked to finish 3rd in women's basketball

The Charlotte 49ers were chosen to finish third in the Atlantic 10's preseason women's basketball poll Wednesday, while senior forward Jennifer Hailey was named to the first team all-conference and all-defensive teams.

The 49ers, 16-14 last season, have been to the postseason 10 consecutive seasons, including a first-round loss to Wake Forest last season in the WNIT. They return five starters -- including Hailey, forwards Gabby Tyler and Amanda Dowe, point guard Jai Forney and guard Hillary Sigmon, who made the league's all-rookie team last season. Charlotte, which opens its season Nov. 10 at Halton Arena against N.C. Central, received 206 points from the league's coaches, including one first-place vote.

Hailey led the league in rebounding and blocked shots last season, and is joined on the all-conference first team by Dayton guard Andrea Hoover, Duquesne forward Wumi Agunbiade, La Salle guard Brittany Wilson and Temple center Victoria Macaulay.

The rest of the all-defensive team: Duquesne guard Jocelyn Floyd, La Salle's Wilson, St. Bonaventure guard Alaina Walker and Temple's Macaulay.

Here's the preseason predicted order of finish.
1. Dayton
2. Richmond
3. Charlotte
4. Duquesne
5. Temple
6. Saint Joseph's
7. St. Bonaventure
8. George Washington
9. La Salle
10. Xavier
11. Fordham
12. Butler
13. Virginia Commonwealth
14. Saint Louis
15. Massachusetts
16. Rhode Island

-- The 49ers' baseball Green-White World Series is set for this weekend at Hayes Stadium with games at 3 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The rosters were announced earlier this week.
--  Charlotte's men's soccer team will be without sophomore midfielder Robby Thomas for the rest of the year. Thomas tore a knee ligament in practice two weeks ago and had surgery this week

Friday is a big night for the 49ers and the Atlantic 10. The 14th-ranked 49ers (10-2-3, 4-1-1) are tied for second place with VCU and play at first-place and  No. 13 Saint Louis (11-3, 5-1), while 11th-ranked Xavier (10-0-4, 3-0-2) is at VCU (8-2-4, 4-1-1).

Charlotte's Giuseppe Gentile is the league's player of the week. He had three goals and two assists in victories against Rhode Island and UMass last weekend. He's tied for the team lead with Jennings Rex with seven goals.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Football schedules: What we know

After the addition of Temple in 2015 and '16, here's an update on the 49ers' football schedules as we know them to date. Although the 2013 season is set, anything else beyond that is subject to change as Charlotte continues to shuffle dates to make its entry to Conference USA in 2015 fit.

Aug. 31, Campbell

Sept. 7, Chowan; 14, N.C. Central; 21, Bye; 28, at Presbyterian.

Oct. 5, Gardner-Webb; 12, UNC Pembroke; 19, Bye; 26, at Charleston Southern.

Nov. 2, at Coastal Carolina; 9, Wesley (Del.); 16, at Old Dominion; 23, at Morehead State.

2014 (subject to change)

Aug. 28, at Campbell.

Sept. 6, Johnson C. Smith; 13, at N.C. Central; 20, Bye; 27, Charleston Southern.

Oct. 4, at Gardner-Webb; 11, at The Citadel; 18, Bye; 25, Old Dominion.

Nov. 1, at Western Carolina; 8, Coastal Carolina; 15, Wesley (Del.); 22, Morehead State.

Other seasons' schedules (subject to change):

2015: at FBS Georgia State (Sept. 3)*; FCS Presbyterian (Sept. 12), FBS Temple (Oct. 3), plus eight CUSA games.

2016: at FBS Temple (Sept. 24), plus eight CUSA games.

2019: at FBS Virginia Tech (TBA), plus eight CUSA games.

*-Tentative, contract not yet signed.
Note: A home game against FCS Western Carolina after 2015 has yet to be scheduled.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

49ers add Temple to '15, '16 football schedules

The Charlotte 49ers have added Temple to their 2015 and '16 football schedules, the first two seasons Charlotte plays in Conference USA.

The 49ers and Owls will play Oct. 3, 2015 in Charlotte and Sept. 24, 2016 in Philadelphia.

The '15 game brings the 49ers up to the five FBS home games required by the NCAA (they'll also play four Conference USA home games). The 49ers also play at FBS Georgia State that season and have a home game against FCS Presbyterian (subject to change).

49ers ranked 12th in first men's soccer RPI

The Charlotte 49ers are ranked 12th in the first NCAA men's soccer RPI of the season.

Charlotte (8-2-3, 2-1-1 Atlantic 10) is the highest-ranked team from the Carolinas, ahead of No. 14 North Carolina (11-1-1) and No. 26 Wake Forest (8-2-4). The 49ers are one of three Atlantic 10 teams in the top 30 (along with No. 8 Saint Louis and No. 15 Xavier).

RPI goes a long way toward seeding in the NCAA tournament (which begins Nov. 15) and takes into account strength of schedule (including opponents'), and weighs performances at home and away.
 Charlotte is also ranked 18th in this week's Soccer America poll, 25th by the NSCAA and 18th by College Soccer News. Charlotte is ranked behind both North Carolina (3rd), Xavier (10th) and Saint Louis (16th) in the Soccer America rankings. Coastal Carolina (11-1-2), whose only loss was to Charlotte, is ranked 11th by Soccer America. The Chanticleers aren't in the RPI's top 30.

The 49ers play two Atlantic 10 games this weekend at Transamerica Field: Friday against UMass (4-6-2, 1-2) and Sunday against Rhode Island (2-7-3, 1-1-1).


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

49ers' 'Dig Pink' campaign wrapping up

The Charlotte 49ers' volleyball "Dig Pink" campaign culminates Thursday when the 49ers face Butler in an Atlantic 10 match at 7 p.m. at Halton Arena.

The 49ers have led the nation the past two seasons in donations for Dig Pink, a college volleyball effort to raise awareness about breast cancer. Charlotte raised $11,878 in 2011 and just over $10,000 the previous year.

The 49ers have already raised about $2,600 from donations and solicitations at Carolina Panthers tailgates and at the University Chick-Fil-A. The 49ers also had a "Jail and Bail" Wednesday, where campus "celebrities," including baseball coach Loren Hibbs, softball coach Aimee DeVos, men's soccer assistant Kyle Gookins and football assistant Napolean Sykes were held and asked to solicit donations for their release.

The 49ers men's soccer team will wear pink jerseys and raise money for breast cancer awareness during their match Oct. 19 against Massachusetts.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

49ers' head uptown Wednesday

The Charlotte 49ers' Uptown Basketball Tip-Off is set for Wednesday from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. near the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets in uptown Charlotte.

Basketball coaches Alan Major and Cara Consuegra and selected 49ers players will be on hand, in addition to Norm the Niner, cheerleaders and the Gold Duster dancers.

Basketball Madness for the 49ers is Oct. 18 from 9-10:30 p.m. at Halton Arena, with Fan Day scheduled for Oct. 20 at 2 p.m., also at Halton.

Friday, October 5, 2012

49ers extend Cabbage through '16

The Charlotte 49ers have extended the contract of golf coach Ryan Cabbage through 2016, athletics director Judy Rose announced Friday.

Cabbage is in his second season with Charlotte and took the 49ers to the NCAA tournament in 2011 (Charlotte's eighth consecutive postseason appearance).

"I am very appreciative of the commitment shown to me by Judy Rose and (Senior Associate Athletic Director for Business) Darin Spease as we continue to build on the past successes of the golf program at Charlotte,” Cabbage said in a statement. “This has been a tremendous opportunity, my family and I really enjoy the city of Charlotte, and I am proud to come to work every day with the wonderful people of Charlotte athletics and our wonderful university.”

“When a coach steps up and meets the requirements that we have established for having a contract, no matter how long they have been employed by us, I want to reward those individuals,” said Rose. “Our golf program has continued to flourish under Ryan's leadership, both on the course and in the classroom. I am thrilled for Ryan and for our student athletes.”

Cabbage came to Charlotte from his alma mater of Auburn, where he was an assistant for 10 years with the men and two with the women.

--  49ers football coaches are headed to California this weekend to recruit junior college players. Coach Brad Lambert has said the program needs more experienced players to counter the large number of freshmen already on the roster. Charlotte, which has commitments from nine high school seniors this recruiting year, probably won't look to sign more than one more high school player.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Charlotte 49ers news, notes

-- Charlotte's 13th-ranked men's soccer team -- fresh off a nine-day break -- opens Atlantic 10 play Friday at league-newcomer Virginia Commonwealth (4-1-3), then heads to Richmond for a Sunday afternoon match.

The Atlantic 10 is having a solid year in men's soccer, with two other teams also ranked by Soccer America (unbeaten Xavier at 14, Saint Louis at 19th). It's not all good news, though: Richmond is discontinuing the sport after this season.

VCU opened the season without losing in its first six games, but has slowed a bit recently, losing to Virginia 1-0 and tying Northeastern 1-1. Richmond is 4-5. Charlotte hasn't played since beating Central Florida 2-1 in double overtime Sept. 26.

Charlotte's women, who opened their league season with two victories last weekend, play at George Washington on Saturday.

-- Charlotte freshman football player Justin Bolus, who recently had two stomach surgeries, has left school to recover and hopes to return in the spring. Bolus, an H-back who played in last year's Shrine Bowl, is from Folly Beach, S.C.

-- The 49ers' men's basketball team will play its preseason exhibition against Pfeiffer on Nov. 1 at Halton Arena. The regular season starts Nov. 9 against Charleston Southern.

-- Former 49ers basketball player Javarris Barnett is playing for the UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders in the British Basketball league. Barnett scored 38 points in a recent exhibition on 8-of-14 shooting from 3-point range.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Charlotte freshman takes down Keselowski

CONCORD -- Brad Keselowski might be leading the points standings in NASCAR's Sprint for the Cup, but he was no match Tuesday for UNC Charlotte freshman Josh Bralley.

Bralley won a NASCAR video game tournament on Charlotte Motor Speedway's huge video screen Tuesday morning. His reward for winning? A chance to race Keselowski in the super-sized video game.

Keselowski chose to race as himself -- the No. 22 Dodge. Bralley, who is from Huntersville and actually races real Late Model cars at Hickory Speedway -- was Jeff Gordon.

Bralley dusted Keselowski on the big screen, finishing 19th in the eight-lap race, while Keselowski was 41st. The virtual Dale Earnhardt Jr. won.

Bralley's victory earned him a spot as an honorary crew member for Keselowski for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte on Oct. 13.

“I’m nervous (Bralley) will take over my car after beating me,” said Keselowski.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Charlotte 49ers open women's hoops practice

The Charlotte 49ers women's basketball team -- which should challenge for the Atlantic 10 title in its final season in the league -- opens preseason practice at 1 p.m. Monday.

The 49ers, who have made the postseason for 10 consecutive seasons, return all five starters from last season's team that went 16-14 and lost in the first round of the WNIT.

Charlotte will have one of the top frontcourts in the A-10, led by forwards Jennifer Hailey, Amanda Dowe and Gabby Tyler. Guard Hillary Sigmon is also back after making the league's all-rookie team last season, as is point guard Jai Forney

Charlotte plays a preseason exhibition against Johnson C. Smith on Nov. 3 at Halton Arena and opens the regular season Nov. 10 at home against N.C. Central.

-- The 49ers women's soccer team broke quickly out of the Atlantic 10 gate over the weekend, winning a pair of games at Transamerica Field. On Friday, Charlotte beat Virginia Commonwealth 2-1 in overtime, then blanked Richmond 2-0 Sunday.

The 49ers have allowed one goal in their past four games and continue to get strong attacking play from Amanda Jones and Carrie Dail, who both have five goals. Jones had both goals against VCU, while Dail scored against the Spiders.

The 49ers (8-3-1, 2-0 A-10) play at George Washington (4-6-1, 0-2) on Saturday.