COLLEGE PARK, Md. - It took a brief scare in the form of an early deficit, but the North Carolina men's soccer team added another chapter to what continues to develop into a breakthrough year.
The No. 10 Tar Heels rattled off five goals after falling behind in the eighth minute against Maryland, taking out the Terrapins 5-1 Saturday night at Ludwig Field.
The victory gave UNC (10-2, 3-1 in the ACC) three road wins against ACC opponents for the first time since 1962 - one more sign that this is shaping up as a not-so-typical year.
"We weren't able to break a team down and come back from behind," UNC coach Elmar Bolowich said of last year's team. "And last year, we struggled more because we were shut out a few times. So far, we haven't been shut out."
UNC junior midfielder Matt Laycock provided the game-winner in the 31st minute off a cross from junior forward Chris Carrieri, who also added two goals.
The sequence began when Carrieri tapped a right-corner kick back to sophomore midfielder Matt Crawford.
Crawford returned the ball to Carrieri, who immediately swung the ball into the middle, where Laycock headed it in from 8 yards out.
"It was kind of like a slow, floating ball," said Laycock, who is from nearby Ellicott City and had a number of relatives in the stands. "I just kind of cut in front of my defender and headed right into the near post because the goalkeeper was off his line. It all happened pretty quick."
Nearly as quick was the Terps' deflation of UNC's confidence entering the game.
The Tar Heels were riding high after a 4-2 victory last Sunday against then-No. 5 Duke - their first against the Blue Devils since 1996 - and a 2-0 shutout of William & Mary on Wednesday.
But the Terps' Phillip Salyer brought them crashing back down in a hurry.
The freshman midfielder headed a beautiful cross from freshman Abe Thompson into the left side of the goal from 6 yards out to stake the Terps to a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.
"Our coaches knew at the beginning. They said, `Look, you guys come off the bus lackadaisical, you go in the tent lackadaisical, you're going to get stung if you don't pick it up,'" Carrieri said. "And I think the goal was definitely a wake-up call.
"Going into the ACC tournament, we're not going to be able to do that. We need to start from minute one. It was definitely a wake-up call. We weren't ready to play."
The situation looked dire for UNC when less than a minute later senior defender Eddie Robinson - who would return in the 70th minute - limped off the field with a reaggravated groin injury.
His replacement, freshman Logan Pause, performed admirably in his absence, tying the score with a boot from the top of the penalty area off a Caleb Norkus assist in the 26th minute.
That set the stage for Laycock's strike minutes later, and from there, UNC had complete control of the game.
Bolowich took advantage of UNC's edge in depth, subbing frequently to keep fresh legs out on the field.
While the Terps (5-6, 1-3) wilted, UNC kept the pressure on the UM defense and senior goalkeeper Christian Lewis.
Norkus blasted a shot from 20 yards out off a pass from senior midfielder Michael Bucy in the 48th minute to put UNC up 3-1.
Carrieri, sprinting through the listless Terp defense as if the game had just begun, rounded out the scoring for the Tar Heels.
His first goal came in the 85th minute off a feed from Norkus. The second came with less than a minute remaining after he tore through the UM defense and beat Lewis one-on-one.
"The effort that this kid puts in is unbelievable," Bolowich said of Carrieri, who has 12 goals and six assists on the year. "His work rate, his work ethic is unmatched. As a result, because of his hard work, he reaps the benefits. Plus, he has matured a lot as a player."
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