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Dec. 3, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Top seeded North Carolina advanced to its fourth straight NCAA College Cup Saturday as the Tar Heels used goals from Matt Hedges and Ben Speas to down visiting Saint Mary's, 2-0, before a record crowd of 5,810. The Tar Heels will now take on the winner of Saturday's other quarterfinal between Louisville and UCLA at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. Friday, Dec. 9.
After a scoreless first half that saw the only shot on target come from a free kick by Saint Mary's goalkeeper Doug Herrick, the Tar Heels came out firing in the second half. Less than eight minutes after the intermission a scramble in the box ended with Rob Lovejoy firing a shot off a diving Gael defender that deflected out for a corner kick.
Kirk Urso stepped to the corner flag and delivered an out-swinging ball that senior defender Matt Hedges and his 6-4 frame ran upon. Hedges delivered a header toward the far post that Herrick and the Gaels were unable to get to as the Tar Heels grabbed a 1-0 lead.
The goal was Hedges sixth of the year, four of which have come in the last eight games for the senior defender. The assist was Urso's 24th of his career and seventh of 2011.
The Tar Heels struck again in the 65th minute when Billy Schuler fed a pass along the turf to a cutting Ben Speas. The junior forward touched the pass around a Saint Mary's defender and corralled the ball in a one-on-one position with the Gaels' goalkeeper. Speas curved a shot around the goalkeeper that found the back of the net to give Carolina the 2-0 lead.