[ELITE EIGHT: #5 Charlotte]Charlotte came out of nowhere to reach the College Cup final for the first time in 2011. The 49ers were unseeded entering the postseason but knocked off defending champion Akron, the No. 3 seed UConn and No. 2 Creighton in consecutive games before falling to North Carolina in the final. But soon thereafter, head coach Jeremy Gunn left to take the men's job at Stanford and associate head coach Kevin Langan was named as his replacement.
RETURNEES.Gunn didn't leave the cupboard bare, however. Eight starters return from last year's team that finished 16-5-4, including 2011 Soccer America National Freshman of the Year Giuseppe Gentile and 2011 All-Atlantic 10 picks Donnie Smith and Tyler Gibson. Charlotte returns one of the top goalkeepers in the Atlantic-10, Klay Davis, as well as a standout senior class that includes Aaron Weldon, Owen Darby, Isaac Caughran, Donnie Smith and Jennings Rex.
NEWCOMERS.The 49ers added a pair of transfers from Akron: English defender David Mayer and midfielder Dominic Bonilla. Both should contribute for Charlotte as sophomores.
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