The No. 18 North Carolina men’s soccer team (3-1-1, ACC 1-0) defeated No. 9 Virginia Tech (4-1, ACC 0-1) on Friday, 3-1, to win its third straight game and first conference game of the season.
The game against Virginia Tech was UNC’s first ACC game of the 2019 season. Early in this matchup, Virginia Tech tested North Carolina.
In the first 19 minutes of play, the Tar Heels had no shots on goal while the Hokies had three. Neither team could find the back of the net.
This continued until the 23rd minute when Virginia Tech’s Brendan Moyers threw the ball in and teammate Kristo Strickler was able to head the ball past UNC goalie Alec Smir. With that goal, the Hokies took an early lead, 1-0.
Although the Tar Heels were down, they rallied to bounce back. Less than five minutes after Virginia Tech's goal, UNC’s Jelani Pieters scored to tie the game, his first goal of the season.
After tying the game, it didn't take long for UNC to take the lead. In the 32nd minute, Mauricio Pineda scored on an assist from Jeremy Kelly, giving North Carolina a 2-1 lead.
In the first half, Virginia Teach had five shots on goal to UNC's three. In addition, the Hokies had five corner kicks while the Tar Heels had just one. Even though Virginia Tech led North Carolina in these offensive categories, UNC was able to capitalize on its opportunities and minimize the Virginia Tech offense.
At the start of the second half, North Carolina and Virginia Tech took shots at each other, but both team’s defenses were able to hold off the efforts. In the first, eleven minutes of the half, the Tar Heels had one shot while Virginia Tech had two.