By Joe Disney
GREENSBORO - It was payback time this weekend for the men's soccer team at the Spartan Classic in Greensboro.
With victories against Dartmouth and Rider during the weekend, fifth-ranked North Carolina captured the overall tournament title on goal differential against UNC-Greensboro.
In mid-September, the Spartans won the Nike Carolina Classic, claiming the title against UNC by one goal in goal differential.
The Tar Heels' performance in the two tournaments was completely different.
In its home classic, UNC had problems putting the ball in the net although it outshot its opponents 33-12.
This weekend, North Carolina didn't have that problem.
"Like Brad Thomas, our keeper, said, `They came to our place and stole our apples from our tree, and we came down here and stole the whole tree,'" UNC forward Caleb Norkus said.
The Tar Heels scored 14 goals in two games, including an 11-0 victory against Rider on Sunday.
Norkus led the way against the Broncs with four goals, and Chris Carrieri added three goals with three assists.
Carrieri tallied five goals for the tournament on the way to increasing his ACC-leading goal total to 17. He also earned all-Classic honors along with Norkus, Danny Jackson and Michael Bucy.
"It was important because UNC-G played in our invitational and ended up winning that," UNC midfielder Matt Crawford said. "We wanted to come back and make a statement."
The Tar Heels maintained control of the game on offense, limiting Rider to two shots, neither of which were on goal.
UNC, on the other hand, had 28 shots, with 18 of those on goal.
"The way we were playing, it did look easy," Norkus said. "Our offense is just clicking, and it is awesome to be a part of."
Norkus, who scored in his fifth straight game, began the scoring only five minutes into the game on a running header from Crawford.
Just 42 seconds later, Crawford got the second Tar Heel goal after an assist from Eddie Robinson. Crawford faked past the defense and put a shot in the middle of the net.
Carrieri scored the third UNC goal, but his most spectacular goal of his three came in the 56th minute from Bucy. After taking the pass, Carrieri dribbled to his right before doubling back to the left to defeat the Rider defender.
"No disrespect toward Rider, but we wanted to win this tournament," Carrieri said. "We owed it to ourselves."
Carrieri and Norkus had the only goals in Friday's 3-1 victory against Dartmouth. Norkus scored his second game-winner with a shot from 18 yards away.
Crawford found it odd that the two most competitive teams in these two tournaments didn't face each other
"I don't know why we don't play them," Crawford said. "It would definitely be a good game."
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