CARY, N.C. – Two goals by Giovanni Montesdeoca propelled the No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels to a 2-0 victory over the Clemson men’s soccer team at WakeMed Soccer Park on Friday night. With the loss, Clemson fell to 4-4-1 overall and 0-3-0 in the ACC, while North Carolina improved to 7-1-0 overall and 3-0-0 in conference play.
The first shot of the game by either team did not come until the 21st minute, and it proved to be the first goal of the matchup after Nils Bruening found Montesdeoca from the right side of the box. Montesdeoca fired two more shots from close range six minutes later, but Jonny Sutherland was there to save the first, and the second sailed wide right to keep the score at 1-0. Sutherland had one more save before the first 45 minutes expired, putting the halftime score at 1-0.
It was also Montesdeoca who gave the Tar Heels a two-goal advantage in the 58th minute when he sent a header to the back of the net for his second goal of the night and fifth of the season. A header by Tanner Dieterich in the 66th minute was one of Clemson’s best chances of the match, but Tar Heel keeper James Pyle made the save to keep the Tigers scoreless. Malick Mbaye also got a good look in the 84th minute on another header off a corner kick, but it went wide.
“It was a disappointing result, but you see progress with every game,” said head coach Mike Noonan. “We’re playing a lot of young guys…we make mistakes, and really good teams like North Carolina punish those mistakes. I thought that our second half was better, and I thought that we were better this week than we were last week. If we continue to do that, the mood will start to be much more positive after games.”
The Tigers return to action on Tuesday, when they host the College of Charleston Cougars at 7 p.m. at Historic Riggs Field.