The Rain Clears as Men’s Soccer Clears #16 Charlotte

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By Lucas Carr | lcarr15@radford.edu

The Highlanders Men’s Soccer team has made short work of games that make their way into overtime this season. Amadou “Macky” Diop hammered in his second goal of the night in double overtime this past Wednesday to help knock off the 16th ranked Charlotte 49ers.

The night of Oct. 10 proved to be a wet one as rain was falling slow but heavy under the lights. Both sides created equal goal scoring opportunities, but good defending prevented either team from jumping ahead.

A header by Diop that sailed high right of the goal provoked some disgruntled jeers by the crowd after the attack showed some serious promise. The end of the first half saw a goose egg on the scoreboard for both teams.

The Highlanders hit the field after halftime to the tune of ACDC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ and heavier rain. Some persistent attacking led to Radford’s first goal shortly after the halftime kickoff.

Junior Wyatt Erzen volleyed a nice lead pass over the Charlotte defenders to Diop. He took the ball to the left around the goalkeeper and chipped a shot into the back right corner of the goal.

Freshman Goalkeeper, Sam Farrell has proved himself worthy from the start making some very much needed saves for the majority of the second half. However, as the rain began to let up, the 49ers were able to head one off of a corner kick into the back of the net in the 79th minute in regulation.

The Highlanders found themselves headed to overtime for the second time in their last two games as a Kieran Roberts shot was knocked off the path by an outstretched Charlotte Goalkeeper. The first 10 minutes overtime was well defended by both teams and produced no score to speak of.

The Highlanders dominated possession of the ball in extra time. With less than three minutes left in the second overtime, Sophomore Defender Max Edwards laid a pass off to Diop who then fired a shot over the heads of the 49ers and curved the ball into the top right corner of the goal.

The bench cleared and rushed to Diop as the final whistle blew closing the book on the #16 49ers. He totaled six shots with four on goal during that night. This game-winning goal for “Macky” was the first in his young career and now leads the team with six goals and the Big South in scoring, with 1.75 goals per game.

Throughout regulation and both overtimes, the Highlanders were able to outshoot Charlotte 20 shots to their 16.

12 of those 20 shots were on target as opposed to Charlotte’s 8. Radford has been able to bounce back after a 0-5 start to their season and is now 4-6 and 2-2 in the Big South Conference.

They then will face the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville. They then come back for Senior Day in Cupp Stadium against Winthrop University on Oct. 20.

Photo Credit: (RU Athletics)