Nov. 13, 2011
CARY, N.C. - Top-seeded North Carolina scored a pair of goals in the first half and went on to defeat the seventh-seeded Boston College men's soccer team, 3-1, in the final of the 2011 ACC Championship Sunday afternoon at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The Eagles, ranked seventh in the RPI entering this week, will find out their NCAA Championship fate when the selection show is aired live on Monday at 4:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Ben Speas played a part in all three scores for North Carolina with two goals and an assist. Carlos McCrary scored the game's first goal and Billy Schuler added a helper.
Junior Kyle Bekker scored the lone goal for BC on a free kick in the 62nd minute.
North Carolina controlled the early pace by recording three shots, including two on goal, in the first 11:24. The shots posed no real danger and junior Justin Luthy easily stopped both attempts. UNC went on to have an 8-2 advantage in first-half shots. The Tar Heels kept pressing and finally got their first goal in the 38th minute.
Speas worked the right side of the box with the ball and made enough room for himself to loft a short cross to the far post. McCrary was waiting there and headed the ball down. The ball bounced and Luthy got a hand on it, but not enough as it still trickled into the goal for a 1-0 lead.
Bekker, who recorded both of BC's shots in the first half, made a nice attempt at goal in the 40th minute. Classmate Charlie Rugg found him about 21 yards out to the left side of the box, but Bekker's curving shot was easily saved by Scott Goodwin.
The Tar Heels doubled the lead in the 43rd minute on a long free kick. Speas stationed the set piece from 40 yards out near midfield and sent a volley into the box. Luthy came off his line to thwart the attack, but a pair of UNC players obstructed his path. Luthy leaped to catch the ball but ran into the Tar Heels, allowing it to bounce behind him and then into the goal.
Boston College went on the attack in the second half and outshot UNC, 7-3. It also got five shots on goal. The Eagles got a good look at goal 10 minutes in when Rugg fed junior Kevin Mejia
with a back heel pass 25 yards out. Mejia ripped a shot toward net, but his attempt sailed a bit high over the crossbar.
A couple of minutes later, the BC attack strung together a couple of nifty passes to free up Rugg just outside the six-yard box on the right side. Without much of an angle, he took a hard shot right at Goodwin who made the save. The Eagles got a couple of corners out of it, but no real threat came of them.
The Eagles finally broke through in the 62nd minute after some more quality passing. Bekker and Rugg provided some spark up top and fed senior Steve Rose just outside of the box. A couple of defenders converged on Rose and knocked him to the ground, drawing a yellow card and a free kick. Bekker set up from 20 yards out and his shot bounced off the right post and into the left side netting to make it a 2-1 game.
North Carolina got the goal back three minutes later on a counter attack. Schuler sent a low cross into the box from the right side where it found Speas who had beaten his man. Speas put the ball in the back of the net to make it a two-goal game once again, 3-1.
The BC offense kept the pressure on to make it an eventful final 20 minutes, but with no scoring. Junior Colin Murphy provided the first attempt when he fought a UNC defender off the ball at the top of the box. The ball rolled toward goal and Goodwin came off his line to meet it. Murphy tried to chip a shot over him, but with a defender on his back, his shot was saved by Goodwin.
BC got another chance in the 79th minute when Rugg found an open Isaac Taylor on the right side of the box. His shot was saved by Goodwin, but the rebound fell to senior Amit Aburmad. He fired another shot on net, but the ball went wide to the right.
With seven minutes left, Aburmad sent a ball into the middle of the box. Mejia got a head on it and put it towards goal, but Goodwin made his fourth save of the half to keep the score at 3-1.