Engel Scores Early In 1-0 Shutout Of #11 Virginia
North Carolina (7-3-5, 4-1-5 ACC) not only won its fourth-straight ACC match, but also snapped Virginia's 11-match unbeaten streak that dated back to a 3-2 loss at Wake Forest on Sept. 13.
The Tar Heels are the first team to shutout the Cavaliers (8-4-4, 3-3-4 ACC) since October 8th when they played Duke to a scoreless tie in Durham.
Meanwhile, the victory ties Carolina with Clemson for fourth in the ACC standings. Both clubs will enter next Friday's final game of the regular season with 17 points.
For the second-straight match, North Carolina scored early to grab hold of momentum on the road.
Tonight, a poor clearing attempt by Virginia keeper Jeff Gal started the scoring chance for the Tar Heels as Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler picked off the clearing.
A cross was sent over to Verneri Valimaa who found Omar Holness at the top of the 18-yard box and he unleashed a blast that wasn't handled cleanly by Gal and Tyler Engel pounced on the miscue for a 1-0 Tar Heel lead.
The goal at 10:27 was the team-leading fifth for Engel, while Holness took over team high honors with his third assist for the Jamaican native.
Carolina was awarded four of the five shots in the opening 45 minutes. Gal made the only save of the half on Holness' shot that led to the goal by Engel.
Virginia picked up its offensive pace in the first 20 minutes of the second half, but the defensive game plan set forth by the Carolina coaching staff was executed to near perfection by the 11 players on the field all night long.
UNC keeper Brendan Moore officially made only one save in the match, but he was consistently at the right place during crosses and chips attempted by the Cavaliers.
His lunging stop off a chip into the box with 40 seconds left sealed his ACC-leading eighth shutout of the season.
Carolina improved its road record to 4-0-3 this season and 3-0-3 in six ACC contests away from Fetzer Field.
The Tar Heels held an 8-4 advantage in shots tonight. Both teams had one corner kick.
North Carolina returns home to host the final two regular season games of the 2013 season. Tuesday brings Georgia State to town for a 7 p.m., non-league match, while NC State will arrive in Chapel Hill for a Friday night tilt at 7 p.m. Both matches can be seen on GoHeelsTV.