While UNC football battled Notre Dame in Kenan Stadium, the North Carolina men’s soccer team (4-2-2) traveled to South Bend, Ind. and secured a 1-0 victory over the Fighting Irish (3-3-1).
Early game-play consisted of a lack of clear goal-shooting and a lot of play in the midfield, with the first two shots by the Tar Heels missing the goal entirely and preventing an early lead. After multiple failed attempts to score, a foul in the box was called midway through the first period on junior forward Akeim Clarke. Fifth-year midfielder Milo Garvanian scored the penalty shot to drive the Tar Heels to their first and only goal of the night.
The Fighting Irish outshot the Tar Heels 10-6 throughout the matchup, but a strong goalie presence kept them inaccurate and far into the midfield for a majority of the game. Later shots by the Fighting Irish were stopped by goalie Andrew Cordes, and the defensive line held Notre Dame to only one shot on goal in the entirety of the first half.
A double shot on goal during the 89th minute of play could have been an equalizer and drawn the game into overtime, but both missed the goal to keep the Tar Heels in the lead. This game marks the third shutout win of the Tar Heels’ 2022 season.
Who stood out?
Garvanian’s penalty score was the defining goal of the night, and he also maintained a strong presence on the field during early play, firing off an attempt on goal alongside sophomore Juan Caffaro within the first 10 minutes of the first half.
Defensively, Cordes held strong in goal to stop Notre Dame and prevent them from equalizing the score. Defenders Til Zinnhardt and Matt Edwards started and remained on defensive for all 90 minutes of play and held the Fighting Irish back from successfully shooting on goal for a majority of the first half.
When was it decided?
Garvanian’s penalty gave the Tar Heels their lead, keeping them in a stronger position to actively work against Notre Dame’s defensive strategy. While later defensive moves in the midfield and in goal also played a large role in maintaining that lead, UNC’s ability to move down the field and shoot on goal was also severely limited by Notre Dame’s defense.
Why does it matter?
The win against Notre Dame was the Tar Heels’ first on the road and first ACC win of the season. Upcoming competition is tough for the Tar Heels, and their defensive capacity on the field tonight remains promising for the upcoming weeks of conference opponents.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will return home to compete against 2021 national champions, Clemson University, on Friday, Sept. 30 on Dorrance Field.
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