Charlotte 49ers to meet North Carolina in 2021 NCAA men’s soccer tournament

By Richard Walker

The Charlotte 49ers will be making their 15th NCAA men’s soccer tournament appearance against a familiar opponent in a 2021 spring tournament that will be played exclusively in North Carolina.

Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer seniors on April 14 after they finished off a perfect 6-0 Conference USA season. [Charlotte49ers.com photo]
The 49ers (6-3-1) will play the University of North Carolina (7-4-3) in the second round on Sunday, May 2 at 5 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.

The entire NCAA Tournament will be played at sites in the state of North Carolina, with the third round, quarterfinals, semifinals and final played at WakeMed Field in Cary. Other fields being used for the first- and second-round games are WakeMed Field in Cary, Gillette Field in Wilson, Bryan Park in Greensboro, Sportsplex in Matthews and the college fields at UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington and Wake Forest.

Charlotte advanced after winning the Conference USA regular season title with a 6-0 league mark.

Other Carolinas teams are ACC champion Clemson, at-large ACC teams North Carolina and Wake Forest, Big Conference champion High Point and Southern Conference champion UNC-Greensboro.

“We are extremely proud of the players to reach the NCAA tournament,” Charlotte coach Kevin Langan said in a school news release. “In the shortened season with the shortened field, we knew it was going to be a big challenge. Now we get to rest up and then train with the whole group together for the first time in three weeks. We are very excited and will be ready.”

Charlotte has earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament in nine of the last ten years.

The 49ers’ matchup with the Tar Heels will be the 20th in school history and mark the third straight time the teams have met in a NCAA tournament game; North Carolina edged Charlotte 1-0 in the 2011 NCAA title game in Hoover, Ala., and the Tar Heels won 2-1 at Charlotte in the opening round of the 2014 tournament. The 49ers’ first NCAA tournament appearance in 1991 also was ended with a 1-0 North Carolina first round victory.

Here are full NCAA men’s soccer tournament pairings:

April 29 First round games
Jacksonville vs. American U. (at Wake Forest)
Denver at UNC-Greensboro
Milwaukee vs. St. Francis Brooklyn (at UNC-Wilmington)
Bowling Green vs. Monmouth (at Greensboro)

May 2 Second round games
Clemson vs. Jacksonville-American U. winner (at Wake Forest)
Fordham vs. Marshall (at Wilson)
Penn State vs. Massachusetts (at UNC-Greensboro)
High Point vs. Georgetown (at Matthews)
Coastal Carolina at Wake Forest
Kentucky vs. New Hampshire (at Greensboro)
North Carolina vs. Charlotte (at Cary)
Stanford vs. Denver-UNC-Greensboro winner (at UNC-Greensboro)
Indiana vs. Milwaukee-St. Francis Brooklyn winner (at UNC-Wilmington)
Marquette vs. Loyola Marymount (at Cary)
Oregon State vs. Virginia Tech (at Greensboro)
Air Force vs. Seton Hall (at Matthews)
Washington vs. Grand Canyon (at Matthews)
Maryland vs. Missouri State (at UNC-Wilmington)
Central Florida vs. James Madison (at Wilson)
Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green-Monmouth winner (at Greensboro)

May 6 (third round), 10 (quarterfinals), 14 (semifinals), 17 (final)
At Cary