WINSTON SALEM N.C. — The No. 14 North Carolina men’s soccer team (6-2-4, 1-2-3 ACC) extended No. 4 Wake Forest’s (10-1-3, 4-1-1 ACC) undefeated home record this season with a 1-0 conference loss at Spry Stadium on Saturday. The Tar Heels have failed to best the Demon Deacons in the regular season since a shutout win against the team in 2011.
The Tar Heels fell short in displaying any ball control in the opening minutes of the match, providing the Deacons several opportunities to dominate both field territories for a large portion of the first half. UNC redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Cordes was challenged early on with aggression in the attacking third by a shot from Wake Forest midfielder Cooper Flax.
Cordes managed to save the shot low to his left, leaving an opportunity open for the first goal of the match. In the 20th minute the dominance of the Deacons was challenged, after a powerful shot by graduate forward Martin Vician unsuccessfully skated past the top crossbar.
This turning point of a play was coupled with another Tar Heel sequence, led by a free-kick loose ball save from junior midfielder Andrew Czech that forced Wake Forest goalkeeper Trace Alphin to act quickly with a crucial fingertip save.
From this point on, both teams managed a much more aggressive remainder of the half. The Tar Heels fought to prevent a Deacon goal until the buzzer, leaving the first 45 minutes scoreless. Although Wake Forest dominated the ball to start the first half, North Carolina evened it out as the frame progressed, to end the half with 46 percent possession in comparison to Wake’s 54 percent.
North Carolina kept the gas on entering the final half, however, it proved to not be enough to stop Deacon forward Roald Mitchell, who scored a goal in the opening minutes of the second period to allow the match its first point. From that point on, neither teams were able to put additional points on the board despite continued aggressive offensive performances in the head-to-head battle. This outcome gave the Tar Heels their second loss of the season as the Deacons would close the game out, 1-0.
The Tar Heels will return home to Chapel Hill in hopes to improve their season record as they take on William & Mary at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17th.