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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 9 UNC men's soccer demolishes Boston College 5-0

The No. 9 North Carolina men's soccer team cruised to a 5-0 win over Boston College for the team's most dominant display of the season.

What happened?

A four-goal night from sophomore Nils Bruening led the University of North Carolina (7-1, 3-0 ACC) to a decisive 5-0 win over conference opponent, the Eagles (5-3, 1-2 ACC.) Going into the game having scored only one goal before this season, Bruening scored the most goals in one game by a UNC player since Ryan Kneipper scored five against Winthrop in 2002.

Who stood out?

Nils Bruening was a one-man show, scoring four goals and earning an obvious nod as the most impactful player of the game. Bruening, who came off the bench in the 26th minute as a substitution made an immediate impact on North Carolina’s play.

With the Tar Heels unable to convert on close chances, the forward got things going seven minutes into his appearance by charging right into the box to put away a cross from Alan Winn. 

He doubled North Carolina’s lead just two minutes later by effortlessly slipping the ball past Boston goalkeeper Cedric Saladin after Nico Melo found Bruening near the net. 

Bruening added two goals in the second half as well, yet again just minutes apart. He laid it on by scoring in the 82nd and 83rd minutes, with two assists coming from Zach Wright, and one from Jack Skahan. 

North Carolina goalkeeper James Pyle posted his fifth shutout of the season after coming up with six saves. 

Despite not facing an onslaught of shots from Boston College, Pyle did make a huge save in the second half, charging out to scoop up a shot from Isaac Normesinu in order to preserve the shutout.

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels seemed dedicated to adding a win onto their record right from the initial kickoff.

North Carolina denied Boston College time and space repeatedly, making it difficult for the Eagles to travel up the midfield and limiting them to only one shot on goal in the first half.

Obviously frustrated by unhampered pressure from North Carolina, the Eagles were forced to make mistakes as they simply couldn’t keep up with the Tar Heels, committing eight fouls in the first half.

Though North Carolina didn’t officially take control of the game until Bruening gave the scorekeeper some work to do, the game was obviously always in favor of the home team, as the goals poured on and the defense remained sturdy.

Why does it matter?

It was the first game of the season that Coach Carlos Somoano did not have Bruening in the starting lineup, as Somoano said it appeared as though Bruening had been playing tense lately.

Perhaps a four-goal performance will get him a spot back in the starting 11.

As North Carolina heads into the midst of conference play, this statement win is an important one.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels travel to New York to take on Syracuse on Friday at 7 p.m.

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@Nicole_Caporaso

sports@dailytarheel.com