Tonight the UNC Men’s Soccer Team took on Georgia Southern. The game took place in Chapel Hill at Fetzer Field, and rather surprisingly took place on schedule with no rain to delay or cause postponement. The Heels won by a score of 2:0, with goals coming from Andy Craven and Cooper Vandermaas Pe. The game was an easy one. It formed a break in the middle of the rigorous ACC schedule and a respite after a pair of long games against Wofford and Duke.
The Heels started the game well. Georgia Southern began the game with pressure, as do many teams against the Tar Heels. Carolina’s players are already used to dealing with such an approach, and they showed their quality by easily passing around it. They showed excellent movement and were willing to play the simple pass instead of the hard one, which allowed them to control possession and attack the Eagles for long spells of the game.
Trapping Georgia Southern in their own half was bound to create chances and in the eleventh minute the Tar Heels saw smart passing unlock the Georgia Southern defense and allow Jordan Gafa a shot on goal. His shot stayed out, but the next Tar Heel opportunity hit the back of the net, only to be called back for offside. When a hard shot was spilled by the keeper in front of Andy Craven there was no chance of the game staying tied. When Cooper Vandermaas Pe received a chipped ball in the box, he brilliantly turned his defender and chipped the ball over the Georgia Southern Keeper, doubling the advantage.
The Tar Heels finished out the first half with a long run of possession. The second half was more even in terms of possession but produced few chances for either team, with the Tar Heels having the obvious advantage in a more open counter- attacking game. The Tar heels really showed that they were of a different class than their opponents, as they didn’t need to apply much pressure to finish out the game. The Tar Heels made a few effective attacks, and were easily able to put out any fires in the defense. When Georgia Southern made a run down the wing and shot across the face of goal in the 87th minute, the move was notable because it was the only time that Georgia Southern managed an attack which wasn’t instantly nullified by either the Tar Heel defense or by keeper Scott Goodwin.
The game was an example of Carolina’s elite status. They barely had to try to build a good lead, and had to try even less to see out the game. The game will be a good way to keep up the players’ form whilst allowing them to have a bit of a rest game before the conclusion of the ACC season. The next game for the Tar Heels will be against Clemson on Friday at 7 PM, it will be covered live by ESPN3.