Gentile Hat Trick Powers Charlotte Past St. Bonaventure
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Freshman Guiseppe Gentile recorded a hat trick for No. 11 Charlotte (9-2-1; 2-0-1 Atlantic 10) as the 49ers handed the St. Bonaventure men's soccer team (4-6-2; 0-1-1 A-10) a 5-1 loss Friday at Transamerica Field.
Gentile scored his first goal just 33 seconds into the contest off a header, and the Charlotte native added his second of the night – also a header finish – just eight minutes later. The forward capped his hat trick not even four minutes into the second half as he dribbled in alone against Mitchell Mack and beat the sophomore keeper.
One of Charlotte's other goals came off the head of Charles Rodriguez in the 18th minute as the 49ers used that tally to take a 3-0 lead into the halftime break. The fifth, and final, goal of the contest was scored in the 88th minute by Donnie Smith.
The Bona score came in the 65th minute off a Charlotte own goal. The goal, sent into the net by Charlotte defender Anthony Perez, occurred off an SBU throw-in.
"We have to find a way to open the first 15-20 minutes of a game better because we once again put ourselves in an early hole," head coach Mel Mahler said. "At the same time, I give Charlotte credit. They're a good team and capitalized on our poor defending which resulted in them taking four shots and scoring three goals early.
"Every man on the roster needs to recommit themselves to being more focused in everything they do. We need to find a way to regroup and get ourselves organized to get three points against Saint Louis."
Charlotte entered the weekend ranked No. 11 by College Soccer News, No. 15 by the NSCAA and Soccer Times and No. 19 by Soccer America.
Mack made seven saves on the night as the 49ers put a total of 12 shots on net, compared with two for the Bonnies.
St. Bonaventure will look to bounce back and pick up its first conference win on Sunday when it faces Saint Louis. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. (EST) from Hermann Stadium.
Game Notes: The own goal was the first of the year either scored for, or against, St. Bonaventure … the 49ers outshot the Bonnies, 19-5 … Charlotte wore pink jerseys in support of the volleyball program's Dig Pink initiative for breast cancer research.