The North Carolina men’s soccer team struck gold at Dorrance Field against No. 11 Notre Dame Friday night.
The Tar Heels quickly found themselves ahead 2-0 against the Irish — scoring two goals in the first two minutes of the game — and never looked back in the 3-1 victory.
The first of these goals came off an assist from senior midfielder Milo Garvanian to first-year forward Tega Ikoba, who put the ball into the net with a powerful header. Just 28 seconds later, the Tar Heels scored again on an improbable shot from first-year midfielder Ken Bellini.
“I think (scoring two goals early) was just us coming out ready to play," Ikoba said. "We were focused on getting a good start, and that’s what happened. We were all together, the way we played, the way we started, our energy before the game and everything — it all contributed.”
Scoring two goals early in the game gave UNC the momentum, and its stingy defense limited Notre Dame’s opportunities the rest of the way.
Throughout the first half, the defense shut Notre Dame down. Every time the Irish had a chance to send a ball into the box, the UNC defense took it away or headed it out before any Irish player could get their head on it.
The strong defensive play from the Tar Heels allowed Notre Dame to only get one shot off in the first half, which was comfortably corralled by graduate goalkeeper Alec Smir.
The second half was much of the same story with Notre Dame only getting two shots off, the first of which Smir saved. However, Notre Dame kicked the rebound into the net and got themselves on the board as there was no one there to stop it.
Aside from these three shots, UNC’s back line completely shut down Notre Dame’s offensive attack.