Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Program Defining Moments
Last night, the 49ers nationally-ranked men’s soccer team defeated #3 Wake Forest, 3-1, on the road. This result got me thinking about program defining moments for each of the Charlotte 49ers athletic teams. This would easily be one of the defining moments for a 49ers men’s soccer team that has several moments in their history. Another defining moment was the last time that the 49ers defeated a top five team when Charlotte beat #1 South Carolina, 3-1, on the road, November 6, 1994. The victory was the program’s first-ever over the #1 ranked team in the country and the game was also for the Metro Conference regular-season title. Another defining moment for the 49ers men’s soccer program came when Charlotte shutout Hartford, 3-0, in the NCAA Tournament to advance to the 1996 College Cup.
The women’s soccer team has enjoyed tremendous success during the program’s 16-year history. A couple of moments come to mind winning the 1998 Conference USA Tournament to earn the program’s first bid to the NCAA Tournament. Another moment came later that season when Charlotte defeated South Carolina, 2-0, for the program’s first NCAA Tournament win. The magical 2002 season began with victories over South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Miami and Florida State. In 2007, the 49ers defeated #17 Clemson, 3-1, for another program defining moment.

The 49ers volleyball program’s defining moment was the creation of the nation-wide fund raiser for breast cancer research called Dig For the Cure. Former 49ers volleyball coach Lisa Marston started the fund raiser in 2002. Marston maintained the Dig for the Cure philanthropy and joined forces with Dig Pink for this season, which joins with the Side-Out Foundation for raising awareness and money for Breast Cancer Research. In 2008, 227 programs across the country, including Charlotte, raised over $260,000 for Dig for the Cure, while 330 teams raised nearly $400,000 last year for Dig Pink. Dig for the Cure helped raise almost $600,000 over the last six seasons. Dig Pink is not only a single-match fundraiser, but also has planned volleyball festivals in Orlando, Virginia and Maui. The 49ers will play Fordham this Friday, October 2 at 7 pm in their Dig Pink match in Halton Arena. The 49ers players will wear pink uniforms for the match.
The 49ers cross country program’s defining moment came last November when Adu Dentamo and Amanda Goetschius captured the men’s and women’s Atlantic 10 individual championships. What made the result even more program defining was that the A-10 Championship were held on Charlotte’s campus.
The 49er men’s basketball program has had several defining moments in its history. The program’s ultimate defining moment came when Charlotte defeated #1 Michigan, 75-68, in the 1977 Mideast Regional final to advance to the Final Four. Another defining moment was an 81-79 win over VCU in the 1988 Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship game. The victory gave the 49ers their first NCAA Tournament bid since 1977. Another defining moment was defeating #7 Cincinnati and Louisville in consecutive days to capture the 1999 Conference USA Championship.
The 49ers women’s basketball team’s defining moment came last Spring in Halton Arena when Charlotte defeated Richmond, 59-54, to capture their first Atlantic 10 Tournament title. The victory was the program’s first conference tournament title and gave Charlotte their second-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament. Another defining moment came in 2003, when Charlotte defeated Tulane, 86-80, to capture the Conference USA regular-season title.
The 49ers men’s tennis teams defining moment came in 2007 when the 49ers defeated Xavier, 4-3, to capture the Atlantic 10 Championship and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This result gave the 49ers their first-ever conference tournament title as well as the program’s first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Charlotte’s women’s tennis program’s defining moment came in 2006, when the 49ers defeated Xavier, 4-0, in the A-10 Tournament semifinals. The victory gave the 49ers the program’s first-ever appearance a league championship match.
The 49ers softball program’s has enjoyed unparalleled success over the past four seasons. The defining moment for the 49ers came on April 9, 2006, when the 49ers split a doubleheader at A-10 power Massachusetts. The 49ers defeated UMass, 2-1, in the first game of the doubleheader. The 49ers went onto to win 42 games and share the A-10 regular-season crown with Massachusetts that season.
The 49ers baseball program has had several defining moments in their history. In my opinion, their ultimate defining moment came in 2007, when Charlotte defeated NC State twice in an NCAA Regional. The two wins over NC State were the program’s first-ever two NCAA Tournament victories. In 2007, the 49ers won a school-record 49 games and for the first time in school history, the 49ers captured both the regular-season and conference tournament titles.
The 49ers golf team has made five straight NCAA Championship and captured four straight A-10 Championship. The defining moment for the program came in 2007 when the 49ers finished tied for third at the NCAA Championships that were played at the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The 49ers men’s and women’s track and field program’s have had many defining moments particularly over the past five years. The 49ers women’s track and field team has captured four straight A-10 Indoor and Outdoor Championships. While, 49ers men’s track and field team has captured three outdoor and two indoor A-10 Championships. In my opinion, the defining moment for the 49ers track and field program came in March of 2008, when former 49ers four-time All-American sprinter Shareese Woods won two bronze medals at the World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Valencia, Spain in March, 2008. Woods lowered her lifetime best 400m dash time throughout the three rounds of competition, finishing third in the final with a 51.41. In her fourth 400 of the weekend and second of the day, Woods ran the third leg of the 4x400m relay, recording the fastest split of the USA squad that finished third in 3:29.30 behind Russia and Belarus.
Now that the 49ers men’s soccer program created a defining moment last night with their victory over #3 Wake Forest, hopefully that is only the beginning of program defining moments in the Charlotte 49ers athletic department in 2009-10.

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