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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 4 UNC men's soccer topples No. 20 UNC-Wilmington 1-0

No. 4 North Carolina overpowered No. 20 UNC-Wilmington for a 1-0 victory at Fetzer Field on Tuesday.

What happened?

Despite dominating possession and getting seven first-half shots on goal, the Tar Heels (8-1-1, 3-0-1 ACC) could not break through and played the Seahawks (6-2-1) to a 0-0 draw.

North Carolina peppered UNC-Wilmington with eight more shots in the second half. With 22:10 left, the Tar Heels finally broke past the Seahawks. Redshirt senior midfielder Nico Melo drilled a shot into the back of the net after the Seahawks mishandled a clearing attempt.

UNC-Wilmington tried to speed up the game after Melo’s goal, but the defense stiffened. The Tar Heels were able to run out the clock and escape with another victory.

Who stood out?

Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper James Pyle again showed why he was named ACC Men’s Soccer Co-Defensive Player of the Week last week. He managed the match from his back line throughout. It is Pyle’s seventh shutout of the season and third in a row.

When was it decided?

North Carolina largely controlled the match, but frustration built as the Tar Heels struggled to break the Seahawks' defense. Yet with 22:10 to go, the Tar Heels let out a collective sigh of relief when Melo rebounded a shot from redshirt senior forward Tucker Hume.

In a game that featured relatively few set pieces, North Carolina collected 15 shots to UNCW’s four.

Why does it matter?

Tuesday’s victory can be considered a bounce-back game of sorts after North Carolina’s overtime draw with Syracuse, where they played 30 extra overtime minutes. It also marks the first of a three-game home stand and a bit of a respite from the Tar Heels’ grueling ACC schedule.

The Tar Heels and Seahawks have met each of the previous three seasons, and the Seahawks held a 2-1 advantage. It is North Carolina’s second win in a row over the Seahawks, defeating UNCW 3-0 last October in Chapel Hill.

Where do they play next?

The Tar Heels host Virginia on Friday at 7 p.m.


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