After the No 4. North Carolina men's soccer team scored its third goal against Bucknell in the 21st minute of Thursday's match, it was obvious that the team had gotten off to a blazing start.
But the fashion in which they did so shows the level of chemistry and unselfishness that this UNC men’s soccer team already has so early in the season.
The first three goals each consisted of an assist from a cross and a one-touch finish from the scoring player. Junior midfielder Cameron Fisher was involved in two of these goals, with his goal in the 14th minute being a textbook finish — a poised but powerful volley off of a high-flying pass from sophomore midfielder Tim Schels.
“Tim just saw where I was making a run in behind,” Fisher said. “The left back kinda just stepped up a bit so I kind of just moved in behind, and then just hit it one touch to the goalie’s near post.”
As great as Schels' cross was, Fisher played his role perfectly to fill in the hole behind the defender, receive his teammate’s cross and get a shot on target.
The Tar Heels' passing against Bucknell was crisp. They were patient. But their crosses were successful because their spacing spread out the Bison defense and created lanes for attackers to make runs toward the goal.
If anyone knows the significance of spacing to convert in the attacking third, its 11th year head coach Carlos Somoano.
“Spacing in general is important to us, and I think it’s more take what they give you,” Somoano said. "I think they were playing very narrow and very tight in the middle of the field giving us the flanks."
Crossing and spacing go hand-in-hand, evidenced by graduate midfielder Chris Sullivan, who scored his two goals of the night by filling in gaps and creating good spacing.