A 1-1 double overtime tie with 21st-ranked Wake Forest wasn’t the worst result the Charlotte 49ers could have expected Tuesday at Transamerica Field.
But it didn’t sit well with 49ers junior forward Giuseppe Gentile, whose fifth goal of the season gave Charlotte (4-3-2) a first-half lead it couldn’t sustain.
It was the shots that didn’t go in – there were six of them – that bothered Gentile, who is worried that these missed chances are becoming too routine for comfort.
“I don’t know; I’m so much better than this,” said Gentile, who connected on one of his seven shots. “This is my third year, and I’m still letting nerves get to me. I need to be cold-blooded, but I’m thinking too much and over-analyzing too much, trying to be too precise.”
As was the case in a 2-1 loss last Friday against South Carolina, Gentile, a preseason All-Conference USA selection who is on the Hermann Trophy watch list, had several clear chances on the Deacons’ goal, but he couldn’t convert. He also couldn’t get his foot on a pass that came across the Wake Forest goal in the second overtime that would have won it.
“The team is setting me up nicely,” said Gentile, an Ardrey Kell High grad. “I’m not taking advantage.”
49ers coach Kevin Langan isn’t worried about Gentile finding his scoring touch.
“Giussi’s strength is that he desperately wants to do well,” said Langan. “Giussi’s weakness is that he desperately wants to do well.”
Gentile’s goal came on a set piece: a direct kick from 20 yards that skidded along the turf and beat Deacons goalkeeper Alec Ferrell at the game’s 24 minute, 43 second mark, giving Charlotte a 1-0 lead at halftime.
As much as the 49ers dominated the first half (outshooting the Deacons 12-3), Wake Forest controlled the second 45 minutes by outshooting Charlotte 10-3.
Wake Forest’s tying goal came at the 72 minute, 32 second mark when Michael Gamble headed a cross by left back Philip Parker past 49ers goalkeeper Klay Davis.
“We were on top of them in the first half,” said 49ers midfielder Tyler Gibson. “Then (Wake) got a little happy in the second half and came at us. We know they’re one of the best passing teams in the country. We just didn’t finish our chances.”
The game drew a crowd of 2,872, short of the school-record crowd the 49ers had hoped to attract on youth appreciation night.
The 49ers, who have started 0-1-1 in Conference USA, play a league game at New Mexico on Friday. Wake Forest (3-0-1 in the ACC) is host to Virginia Tech on Friday.
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