The No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels trounced the Winthrop Eagles, 4-0, Tuesday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
After losing to N.C. State, 1-0, on Oct. 12 — a game in which the Tar Heels (10-2-1, 4-1 ACC) outshot their opponents 18-2 — North Carolina bounced back Tuesday night against Winthrop (3-9).
The Tar Heels were aggressive early and often with four shots in the first seven minutes of the contest.
In the first 12 minutes of the game, North Carolina took eight shots, four which were on goal. A shot in the 11th minute became the first goal of the game, and the only goal of the half, from the foot of Jack Skahan.
The Tar Heels also played excellent defense throughout the first half, as the Eagles did not get their first shot off until 35:49 in the first half.
Even with rain showers, the Tar Heels kept the fire going into the second half, pushing the score to 2-0 a little more than four minutes after the break. Soon after, in the 56th and 58th minutes, North Carolina found the back of Winthrop’s net twice to push the score to 4-0.
North Carolina hung on the rest of the game for the shutout victory.
Who stood out?
Jack Skahan had a career game Tuesday, finishing with a hat trick. It was the first multi-goal game in his college career. The first goal came early in the game — pushing UNC into the lead with only 10:22 played so far. In the second half, Skahan struck twice more to put his team up 4-0.
Skahan's three goal effort was the first Tar Heel hat trick since Oct. 12, 2016, when Mauricio Pineda achieved the feat in a 7-0 victory over UNC Asheville.
Giovanni Montesdeoca also provided some offensive firepower as he scored a goal of his own. He also assisted Skahan’s second goal of the contest.
When was it decided?
While North Carolina scored early in the contest they finished the first half with only one goal. With the game close until the break, that left plenty of time for Winthrop to even the score. However, within the first 11 minutes of the second half, North Carolina scored two goals and push the lead to 3-0. This set the game out of reach.
Why does it matter?
In the previous game, North Carolina set a season high in shots with 18 — but couldn't find a goal when they needed one. Against the Eagles, the Tar Heels came out aggressive early with the intent of making sure it didn't happen again.
The aggressiveness and determined demeanor never faded as North Carolina struck throughout the game. The new season high of 18 shots didn't stand for long. Against the Eagles, the Tar Heels finished with 22 shots, 10 which were on goal.
And with the victory, North Carolina now has double digits in the win column.
Where do they play next?
North Carolina will have a short rest as they travel to Massachusetts to face another Eagle team in Boston College on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.
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