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The Daily Tar Heel

Another Year, Another Shot at Virginia

After losing 3-1 to Virginia in 2000, the men's soccer team strung together a 15-game winning streak.

When the North Carolina men's soccer team lost 3-1 to Virginia on Sept. 24 last season, its players realized there was a need for change.

"It was losing to them that made us refocus," UNC defender Chris Leitch said. "They beat us and made us take the mindset that there were better teams out there."

There weren't many better teams for long. The Tar Heels strung together 15 straight wins, catapulted themselves to the top of national polls and avenged their loss to the Cavaliers, beating UVa. in the ACC Tournament finals.

But that was last year.

Saturday night, the No. 13 Tar Heels (4-1) will look to work out their early season kinks against Virginia in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers (4-0-1) are the No. 2 team in the nation.

UNC has at times shown that it deserves to be considered among the nation's top teams. Yet the offense has been inconsistent, and the defense has been periodically shaky, especially on restarts.

And though both units are still learning to play with a new assortment of midfielders, UNC coach Elmar Bolowich said the Tar Heels' front line needs to do a better job on both sides of the ball.

"If your forwards don't make the right runs at the right times, it doesn't matter who you have in the midfield," he said.

Bolowich also said he hopes to get continued production from forwards Mike Gell, Sean McGinty and Marcus Storey. McGinty was named to Soccer America's team of the week Tuesday and leads the team with four goals and nine points.

But the defense will be key to a positive result at Kl

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