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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC men's soccer extends its win streak to four against Davidson

Mens soccer v Pittsburgh
Center defender John Nelson (5) fights for the ball against midfielder Tim Townsend (18) during Saturday night's game against Pittsburgh at Koskinen Stadium.

In 2011, the UNC men’s soccer team made its last trip to Davidson, and left devastated after a goal by Davidson in the 82nd minute concluded the game 1-0. Tuesday night, they came out determined not to face the same fate — and won 1-0.

What happened?

The game began, but did not last long, as there was over an hour lightning delay after only six minutes of play. When both teams finally came back out on the field, it was Davidson (2-3) who shocked the crowd by controlling the momentum against the No. 3 North Carolina (5-1) team.

Soon after play resumed, Davidson registered the first shot of the game, but it was saved by UNC goalie James Pyle. This strong start from Davidson began to set the Tar Heels in motion, and their level of play quickly increased as well.

Only four minutes later, UNC earned the first corner of the game and took full advantage of it. 

Sophomore Lucas Del Rosario swung the ball to the near post where senior Nils Bruening was waiting to head the ball into the goal. This goal put the Tar Heels up 1-0 early in the first half. 

For the remainder of the half, both teams traded possessions and shots with no success in reaching the back of the net.

Following halftime, the Tar Heels came out slower and less aggressive, but they were still able to hold Davidson to only one shot on goal in the second half.

The game concluded with North Carolina outshooting Davidson 8-4, winning the game 1-0 thanks to Bruening’s lone goal early in the first half.

Who stood out?

The Tar Heels walked away as winners last night thanks to Bruening’s goal, assisted by Del Rosario. Junior Jelani Pieters was also a force on offense Tuesday night with two shots of his own. 

Senior goal keeper James Pyle recorded three saves, with help from the North Carolina defense that held Davidson to only four shots throughout the game.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels have the decisive all-time record over Davidson (25-5-2), but their past four meetings have been close games that were decided by only one goal. Their win over Davidson Tuesday night improved the record of their last five meetings to 3-2.

This win also extended the Tar Heels winning streak to four games, a feat that should improve the confidence of the team.

However, Bruening said that the game against Davidson was “not the level we want to play at.” When asked what the team will be working on to improve their level of play moving into the tougher part of their schedule, he said, “Putting in our full effort because every game will be hard and close.”

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels were scheduled to take on Duke on Friday at 5 p.m. in their second of four consecutive road games, but that game has been postponed due to the potential threat posed by Hurricane Florence.

As a result, North Carolina will prepare to take on UNC-G in Greensboro on Tuesday, September 18th at 7 p.m. 

@megandennehy

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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