The UNC men’s soccer team dropped yet another game on Tuesday night, losing to Appalachian State 1-0. This was the Tar Heels sixth loss of the season and fifth straight game without a victory.
The game got off to a slow start with UNC's first shot of the game not coming until the 24th minute off a missed opportunity for North Carolina. The Tar Heels’ only shot on goal wouldn’t come until the 84th minute when senior Jelani Pieters header attempt was easily corralled by the Mountaineer keeper.
Appalachian State also struggled offensively, putting only two shots of its own on frame.
Before the halftime break, each team created chances that easily could have been capitalized on. The best opportunity of the first half came on a cross from the right side that somehow made it all the way through North Carolina’s box and to the feet of an Appalachian State striker, who failed to convert on the open-goal opportunity from just a few feet out.
Minutes later, the Tar Heels won a corner that led to some quick passing in the box. The ball ended up at the feet of junior, Alex Rose, who’s outside of the foot tip would roll just past the right goal post in the 37th minute.
Around the 70th minute of play, the Appalachian State offense started to turn up the pressure on the Tar Heels, earning multiple corner kicks in a row. A corner kick in the 71st minute put the ball into the box for the Mountaineers where a foul was committed by junior defender Mark Salas, giving ASU a penalty kick opportunity.
The Mountaineers converted the penalty kick and took the 1-0 lead that they would hold for the rest of the match.
The Tar Heels turned up the offense after the Mountaineer goal, getting off two more shots included one on goal, but it wasn’t enough to equalize the score.
Who stood out?
Junior center-back, Matt Constant made his return to play after missing the last three games dating back to the Tar Heels’ loss against Syracuse. The defender made a significant impact on the Tar Heels’ back line in a good defensive game where the only blemish was the conceded penalty kick.
Senior midfielder, Jeremy Kelly played all 90 minutes and contributed three of North Carolina’s 10 shots.
When was it decided?
In a defensive-heavy game, the first team to score holds a significant advantage. Once Appalachian State converted on its penalty kick opportunity, it was able to fall back and focus solely on the defensive scheme that held the Tar Heels scoreless throughout the game.
Why does it matter?
This is the Tar Heels’ fifth straight game where they’ve failed to get a win as their record drops to 7-6-3 on the year. With this loss it is unlikely that UNC will be granted an NCAA tournament berth unless it finds a way to win the ACC tournament.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels take on the University of Virginia on Friday, Nov. 1 in Charlottesville for their last game of the regular season.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.