For 10 minutes after the starting whistle, the No. 4 North Carolina men's soccer team and No. 22 Virginia Tech shifted the ball up and down the field without a shot from either team.
After the Hokies (10-6-3, 3-4-1 ACC) registered the first shot in the 11th minute, it lit a fire under the Tar Heels (13-2-1, 6-1 ACC). Senior Nils Bruening returned the shot with a shot of his own that was blocked 20 seconds later, resulting in a corner kick.
The ball stayed on that side of the field until forward Jack Skahan took a throw in about 30 seconds later. It rebounded around the box and eventually found Jeremy Kelly, who was positioned at the top of the box. Kelly fired the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal, putting the Tar Heels up, 1-0.
Kelly’s goal marked his first of the season and a momentum shift for UNC in the first half. After the Tar Heels took the lead, they let loose with shots taken by Kelly, Skahan and Bruening all coming shortly after the goal.
“This season I wanted to get more goals, but that didn’t really happen,” Kelly said. “I guess I’ve just been trying to be as good as a defender as I can be. I’ve always been an attacking player, so I think defense comes first and the attack comes from there.”