When the No. 20 North Carolina men’s soccer team is “mission focused," like against Harvard on Friday night, the Tar Heels are tough to beat.
“Every single day you’re locked in,” senior Jack Skahan said. “You’re focused. You’re trying to get better with the single goal in mind — winning every game we play.”
After starting off the season with a nerve-racking double overtime tie against Creighton and falling 2-1 to UCF, something clicked for the Tar Heels that resulted in collective explosive play on Friday night. UNC (1-1-1) blew past Harvard with a 6-0 victory, tallying over 30 shots by the end of the night.
“I felt like we were getting better,” head coach Carlos Somoano said. “... I think we did a much better job of sticking to the game plan. We certainly weren’t perfect, a lot of things still to work on, but all I’m asking the guys is to try and get better every single day.”
Not even 10 minutes later, Skahan doubled UNC's lead.
He had multiple near misses against UCF the previous weekend, and it was only a matter of time before the senior midfielder found the back of the net. When the Crimson defenders gave Skahan too much space, he rocketed a shot 20 yards out from the goal, driving the ball on the ground to the opposite corner.
“We work all the time, especially during the spring, on long distance shots. So I just let it go,” Skahan said. “It went in, and it doesn’t always go in.”
While UNC didn’t score for the remainder of the first half, the defense preserved the shutout while the offense continued to press, taking another 14 shots for a total of 18 before half.