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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC men's soccer headed to College Cup after 1-0 win over Providence

For the first time since 2011, the North Carolina men’s soccer team is returning to the College Cup following a dramatic 1-0 double-overtime win over Providence at Fetzer Field on Friday.

What happened?

During the first half, UNC (14-3-3) outpossessed the Friars (15-7) but the majority of the game was played in the middle third of the field, as neither side was able to consistently generate scoring chances. For UNC, the best chance came in the 21st minute, when Nils Bruening delivered a cross to forward Tucker Hume, whose header went straight into the chest of Providence goalkeeper Colin Miller. After 20 minutes, Coach Carlos Somoano had to dig deeper into his bench after an injury to midfielder Cam Lindley.

In the second half, the Tar Heels upped the pressure and fired multiple balls into the box but were unable to get anything by Providence goalkeeper Colin Miller. During the first period of overtime, Zach Wright had the best chance of the match when he half-volleyed a shot from outside the box, but Miller deflected after making a full extension dive.

As the second period of overtime began, the Tar Heels were finally rewarded for their relentless attack when a shot from midfielder Drew Murphy went off the hands of Miller and into the back of the net to send the Tar Heels to Houston.

Who stood out?

With Lindley’s absence, Jack Skahan took his place and did not miss a beat. Skahan controlled play as the defending midfielder and sent quality balls into the box for the UNC forwards. With Nico Melo also out with a yellow card, Skahan took the corner kicks for North Carolina and gave Tucker Hume several scoring chances.

Although he was only playing in his seventh game this season, it didn’t take long for Drew Murphy to get comfortable. Murphy played spot minutes in regulation but started the second overtime period after Alan Winn injured his knee in the first overtime. Murphy saw an opening from outside the box and fired a shot in that Miller was unable to get enough of his hands on to keep it out of the goal.

When was it decided?

Murphy’s goal in the second overtime ended the game as the entire North Carolina bench rushed the field and piled on top of Murphy in celebration.

Why does it matter?

North Carolina’s depth was on full display Friday night after two starting players went down with injuries. The contributions from the UNC bench were pivotal and show just how many weapons opponents need to be mindful of when sizing up the Tar Heels.

When do they play next?

North Carolina travels to Houston to play in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Dec. 11. The Tar Heels' opponent is yet to be determined.


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