Friday, September 18, 2009
September Tournament Madness
Tournament time is always the most exciting part of the athletic calendar. Whether it is March for the annual basketball madness or in the fall championship season, tournaments captivate the fascination of fans in attendance at games or at home tuning in.
Last year was an exciting time for tournament play for Charlotte both in the regular season tournaments and in postseason. The men’s soccer team claimed three regular season tournament titles by winning Davidson’s Adidas Classic, UNC-Wilmington’s Courtyard Marriott Classic and finally their own tournament, the Charlotte Nike Invitational. Not to be outdone in the fall months, the women’s soccer squad took home their second straight Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship.
Several other Niner teams excelled in tournament play as women’s basketball won three straight games in the A-10 Tournament to claim their first conference title and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history. The softball team claimed two spring regular season titles by winning the Green and White Tournament and the First Pitch Classic.
What I’m getting at here is that Charlotte has a chance to take down another tournament title this weekend as Charlotte men’s soccer hosts the Charlotte Nike Invitational, which brings Winthrop, Appalachian State and California State Bakersfield into town for the annual tournament at Transamerica Field.
If you are fan of soccer (or even if you aren’t) the games are expected to be thrillers and full of emotion as Charlotte looks to protect their turf against their incoming opponents.
Today, the 49ers face Cal-Sate Bakersfield, which is the alma mater of head coach Jeremy Gunn and assistant coach Kyle Gookins. The two will square off against their mentor and former coach Simon Tobin at 7:30 p.m. The opening game of the tournament will pit Winthrop against Appalachian State at 2:30 p.m.
After a day break, Charlotte will face Winthrop at 7 p.m., while App. State and Cal-State Bakersfield will face each other at 11 a.m. The 49ers will be looking to extend their seven-match unbeaten streak against the Eagles, which dates back to 1982.
So there it is, come to Transamerica today and Sunday to see your 49ers extend Charlotte’s run of excellence in tournaments by hopefully adding another trophy to their mantle.
-- Partick McCoy, 49ers Media Relations --