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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 9 UNC men's soccer defeats William and Mary 4-1

The team huddles up before the start of the first half against Pitt.
The team huddles up before the start of the first half against Pitt.

The No. 9 North Carolina men’s soccer team defeated William & Mary 4-1 Tuesday night in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Tar Heels put forth a complete team effort to come away with a dominant victory and a season-high four goals.

What happened?

As has been the case with many of their nonconference games this season, UNC (6-1) dominated the Tribe (5-3) from the moment the ball was kicked off.

The Tar Heels' midfielders and forwards pressured the Tribe every time a player got hold of the ball, forcing William & Mary to make mistakes and turn the ball over.

It took the Tar Heels only 13 minutes to start scoring.

First-year Jeremy Kelly coolly chipped the ball over the Tribe’s goalkeeper from close range after receiving a cross from junior forward Zach Wright to put North Carolina up 1-0. Less than five minutes later, UNC doubled its lead when Wright fired a shot past the keeper.

Just when it seemed that the Tar Heels had the game under complete control, William & Mary got right back in it. William Eskay found a gap in the Tar Heels’ backline and sent the ball skipping past goalkeeper James Pyle in the 21st minute to pull one back for the Tribe.

However, William & Mary could not keep pace with North Carolina’s gritty style of play over the course of an entire game.

Redshirt seniors Tucker and Walker Hume each scored in the second half, while the defense held strong to seal the 4-1 victory for UNC.

Who stood out?

Coach Carlos Somoano used Tuesday’s game as an opportunity to give some of his younger players extended playing time. This decision paid off for the Tar Heels, as first-years were directly involved in the first two goals they scored.

Kelly’s goal was the first of his collegiate career, while redshirt first-year Jelani Pieters earned the assist on North Carolina’s second goal in his first career start.

When was it decided?

With the score sitting at 2-1 entering halftime, it appeared as if the Tribe still had a chance to take the game.

Tucker Hume scored his team leading fourth goal of the season early in the second half to put William & Mary in an even deeper hole. Tucker’s brother Walker then put the game completely out of reach with a headed goal in the 72nd minute.

Why does it matter?

After scoring only three goals in its past three games, the UNC offense needed a confidence boost. That is exactly what the Tar Heels got on Tuesday night.

North Carolina will need to continue this type of performance as it enters a grueling stretch of matches over the second half of the season — which includes three games against opponents currently ranked in the top 25.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will return to action Friday night when they host Boston College at 7 p.m.

@The_Belshe

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