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The Daily Tar Heel

With the game over and a tough 2-1 loss in the books, each of the North Carolina players slowly made their way across the field and onto the steps of the McCaskill Soccer Center.

Each of them except for Cameron Brown.

The junior midfielder was still pacing the far sideline, his head down, not quite ready to walk off the field.

“We shouldn’t have lost that one,” he said after finally leaving the field. “It’s frustrating. I’ve got to forget all about this game.”

It was a night many of the No. 2 Tar Heels would love to forget. Despite out-shooting unranked Boston College by a 16-7 margin and controlling the ball for the vast majority of the contest, UNC was simply less opportunistic than the Eagles.

Boston College freshman Charlie Rugg scored two sudden goals within the Eagles’ first three shots, and BC (8-6-0, 3-2-0 in the ACC) withstood a flurry of chances for UNC (9-2-2, 3-2-1 ACC).

Of North Carolina’s 16 shots, 10 of them were on goal. Many of them, though, were struck right at the keeper, as the Tar Heels couldn’t take advantage of their chances.

“I think we weren’t calm enough in front of the goal,” said UNC coach Elmar Bolowich.

“We rushed our chances. We just rushed the shot, and I think if we look at it in a replay they might be able to see how open the goal really was or where the angle was.”

The Tar Heels were never out of the game, though. And at the start of the second half, they seemed to snatch the momentum back with a quick goal.

In the 52nd minute, Brown fired a left-footed shot into a crowd at the top of the 18-yard box. When the blocked attempt bounced right back to him, he gathered it and hooked a falling-away right-footed shot into the upper corner of the net.

“Their keeper’s unbelievable — I’m surprised he let that one by,” Brown said. “I’ll take it, but it’s nothing compared to the loss. I’d rather not score and win than score and lose.”

The rest of the half was a lot like most of the first half — an awful lot of fruitless Tar Heel chances.

With just more than a minute remaining, UNC’s Enzo Martinez laid a touch pass off to Billy Schuler, who found himself just above the six-yard box with only the goalie to beat.

His strike, though, was deflected just wide of the net.

“It was just like a blur, just trying to get the shot off real quick,” Schuler said. “But yeah, I thought it was going to find the back post.”

Though it was just UNC’s second loss of the season, both of them have come in ACC play, which could prove costly in the final standings and the seeding for the ACC Tournament.

The Tar Heels will need to focus on capitalizing on their chances if they hope to rebound, though. It’s been six weeks since they’ve scored more than two goals in a game, a period that has spanned 10 games.

And although they’ve fought through injuries to play some stingy defense during that time, a more opportunistic offense might be just the remedy.

“We’ve just got to put the ball in the back of the net,” Schuler said. “I don’t know what else to say.”

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