CARY — The No. 3 North Carolina men’s soccer team defeated Clemson, 2-0, on Sept. 28 at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The Tar Heels (7-1, 3-0 ACC) had a quick start against the Tigers (4-4-1, 0-3 ACC) during the Friday night game with junior Mauricio Pineda earning himself a yellow card after a little over a minute of play.
This play set the tone for the rest of the evening — intense and unforgiving.
The first goal wasn’t scored until the 21st minute by sophomore Giovanni Montesdeoca. After a perfect cross from senior Nils Bruening from the right side of the box, Montesdeoca banged a shot into the near post.
“On the first goal, Nils was able to get it one v one and take it down the line,” Montesdeoca said. “I just made my run to first post, and I put it in. It’s something we practice every day in training, and we were able to implicate that in the game today.”
Despite having two additional shots from inside the box during the first half, Montesdeoca couldn’t capitalize before halftime.
It was evident at the beginning of the second half that the Tar Heels were ready for more. UNC dominated possession, leading to a second goal by Montesdeoca in the 58th minute. Although the game had other nerve-wracking moments, UNC pulled out with a 2-0 win, maintaining its perfect ACC record.
Who stood out?
Montesdeoca had the night of his collegiate career, scoring both goals for the Tar Heels. He earned his second brace of the season, and the result marked UNC’s third consecutive shutout.
UNC welcomed a familiar face back to the field Friday night — junior Jack Skahan. Skahan had been out of play since Sept. 8.
When was it decided?
The beginning of the second half sealed North Carolina’s fate. The team came out with more aggression, dominating possession over the Tigers. Despite how many fouls were called throughout the night on both teams, the Tar Heels didn’t back down until they scored the second goal.
Why does it matter?
While the game itself was another conference win, the stats made the night one to remember. With the completion of the shutout it has been 383 minutes since the last time a team scored on UNC’s defense.
Where do they play next?
The Tar Heels will return to action in Cary at WakeMed Soccer Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against UNCW.
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