RALEIGH — North Carolina goalkeeper Scott Goodwin can kick the ball a long way.
But Friday night in UNC’s 2-0 win at N.C. State, Goodwin didn’t punt or take a goal kick deep for the first 75 minutes of the game. Instead, he looked to roll the ball to the backline of defenders.
“We’re a possession-oriented team,” Goodwin said. “My first look, if it’s an easy out, would be to just roll it out to one of the backs or a midfielder just to start keeping the ball.
“That’s what we want to do — we want to have a lot of passes and get up the field through possession.”
The senior goalkeeper was granted the luxury of short passes as N.C. State was focused on playing tight defense.
After the Wolfpack lost possession it would retreat in the hopes of containing the Tar Heel offense. In reality, it was giving UNC the opportunity it was looking for.
“We always start from the back if we can,” coach Carlos Somoano said. “Especially if the opponent is going to give it to us. Obviously, they dropped off so deep they were giving it to us to play around the back.
“We’ll be patient, we’ll wait — no rush. We try to pick our moments.”
That moment came in the 64th minute when Rob Lovejoy broke the scoreless tie when he headed home a free kick taken by Martin Murphy.