Wednesday, August 12, 2009

49ers Women’s Soccer Begins Quest For Fourth Straight A-10 Title Today
The Charlotte 49ers women’s soccer team, which has captured three straight Atlantic 10 regular season titles and two straight A-10 Tournament titles, starts practice today (Wednesday, August 12) in preparation for the 2009 season which begins on the road at William and Mary, Sunday, August 23 at 4 pm. Head Coach John Cullen, a former 49ers men’s soccer players, begins his first season at the helm of the highly successful 49ers women’s soccer program.
Since the women’s soccer program is starting practice today here are some interesting notes and tidbits about the program.

* John Cullen is only the fourth head coach in the history of the 49ers women’s soccer program. The three previous coaches (Robbie Church, Neil Roberts and Jon Lipsitz) each guided the 49ers to a league championship as well as an NCAA Tournament appearance.

* Cullen is only the fifth head coach at Charlotte since 1990 to be an alum of the University. Cullen, who graduated from Charlotte in 1992 with a degree in English, lettered for the 49ers men’s soccer team from 1989-92. Current 49ers men’s basketball coach Bobby Lutz as well as his predecessor Melvin Watkins were both UNC Charlotte graduates. Recently hired cross country coach Ed Schlichter was a former all-conference runner for the 49ers earlier this decade. Former 49ers standout men’s tennis player Stan Cocke coached the 49ers men’s tennis program for one season, 1992-93.

* The 49ers women’s soccer program has had eight ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans which is the fourth most Academic All-Americans for any women’s soccer program in the country. All eight of the 49ers Academic All-Americans have been since the 2003 season. Former 49ers Lindsey Beam Ozimek (2004-07) and Nikki Labuda Czaplicki (2004-06, 2008) earned multiple ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American honors. Senior midfielder Hailey Beam was a second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American last season.

* The Atlantic 10 has only awarded the Midfielder of the Year award for two years and while two different people have claimed both awards reside in the same house. Ozimek was the first-ever A-10 Midfielder of the Year in 2007. While, Ozimek’s younger sister Hailey Beam claimed the honor last season.

* Perfection - the 49ers went a perfect 11-0-0 to claim their third consecutive A-10 regular-season title in 2008. This marked only the sixth time in the league’s history that a team posted an undefeated A-10 regular-season. Dayton went 11-0 twice in 2001 and 2004 which was the only other two times that a team went 11-0-0 in A-10 play.

* Charlotte has posted a 34-5-1 Atlantic 10 record in the four years that the 49ers have been a part of the A-10. Charlotte has been an impressive 28-2-1 in the Atlantic 10 over the past three seasons. Charlotte’s 34 Atlantic 10 wins in only four years has already surpassed Temple’s 31 All-time A-10 wins. St. Bonaventure has recorded 38 All-time Atlantic 10 wins. Temple and Saint Bonaventure have both been a part of Atlantic 10 women’s soccer since the 1993 season.
Don’t forget to catch the 49ers in their home opener against Appalachian State at Transamerica Field, Friday, August 28 at 7 pm.

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