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The Daily Tar Heel

Testo Reminds USC of Skills

Testo, a junior transfer from USC, had the game against his former school circled on his calendar all season.

"I couldn't wait for this game, but I could have done without it too," Testo said. "It was just an awkward situation."

Testo had a chance to show his old team what it is like to compete against him instead of with him, and he took advantage of the opportunity early.

In the fourth minute of UNC's game with the Gamecocks, Testo took a ball from Chris Leitch and rifled a low shot into the net from the top of the 18-yard box. The goal proved to be the game winner in the 1-0 UNC victory Friday.

"It was early in the game, and my adrenaline was pumping," Testo said. "I saw an opening, so I just put my head down and hit it."

The Gamecocks' loss has been the Tar Heels' gain. The goal gave Testo nine on the season, tying him with Ryan Kneipper for the team lead.

His scoring ability has helped answer some of the glaring questions that were raised about the Tar Heels' offense at the beginning of the season.

"He was a fantastic addition," said North Carolina coach Elmar Bolowich. "Having had the departure of three forwards from last year's team, he is ... filling the void there as an experienced player."

South Carolina coach Mark Berson said his team is looking forward to meeting Testo again.

"Obviously the guys know David, so I think everybody wanted to play well," Berson said.

Testo, who is from Arden, transferred to UNC in the spring of 2001. He started every game for USC in 2000 and was third on the team in points with 12.

He said he needed a change and was familiar with many of the Tar Heels from playing with them on club teams.

While he said UNC had been his first choice all along, the decision to transfer wasn't an easy one.

Testo is still friends with most of his former teammates and talked with several of them on the phone Tuesday. He said the conversations were more tense than usual.

That matched the feeling of the game. Testo wasn't bashful about attacking his old teammates' goal, and they weren't dancing around him on the field.

Testo found himself on the receiving end of a couple of hard tackles, including one by Dave Moore that left him stunned on the field for a moment.

"I'd be disappointed if they didn't go after me," Testo said. "It means they care. I'm sure they were pretty upset that I left."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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