The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday December 5th

UNC Faces UVa. in ACC Opener

Cavaliers have won 5 of last 6 meetings.

A common thread the defending ACC regular season champion Virginia and the defending national champion North Carolina men's soccer teams don't share, however, is the number victories in head-to-head contests.

Since Elmar Bolowich took over as UNC head coach in 1989, UVa. has dominated the Tar Heels, going 15-2-1.

"They seem to have our number," Bolowich said. "If I could put a number on it, I would change it around."

Considering what happened after last year's game, Bolowich might not want to change a thing.

On Sept. 22, 2001, the Tar Heels traveled to Charlottesville, Va., to play the Cavaliers. They lost 2-0, but after that game, North Carolina went on a nine-game winning streak and won 17 of its final 19 en route to the national championship.

On Saturday, No. 9 UVa. (3-2, 0-1) and No. 16 UNC (4-2, 0-0) meet again, this time at Fetzer Field.

Although the two teams match up evenly all over the field, Virginia coach George Gelnovatch gives the Tar Heels a slight edge.

"They've got the home field," Gelnovatch said. "That's a huge bonus."

But regardless of where the game is played, if the Tar Heels want to come out victorious, they know they must do it together.

"We've got to come out playing as a team," said Logan Pause. "Our two losses ... were a big result of (not) doing that."

Pause added that UNC must produce on both sides of the ball. But that's easier said than done.

"They have a dynamic duo we need to keep in control," Bolowich said, referring to Virginia forwards Alecko Eskandarian and Ryan Gibbs.

Eskandarian has scored seven goals this year, and Gibbs' two goals won last year's game for UVa. As dangerous as they are, Pause expects to shut them down.

"Defense is an attitude," Pause said. "I think we match up well."

Although the Cavaliers have come out of intermission strong this season - they've scored more goals, taken more shots and earned more corners after the break - Pause said the Tar Heels will not change their game plan.

"There's no alterations," he said. "We're going to after them both offensively and defensively and hope to make things happen."

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

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