No. 6 North Carolina shuts out No. 7 Clemson to advance to ACC Men's Soccer Finals
Nov. 11, 2005
CARY, N.C. - North Carolina's Ben Hunter scored twice in the second half to lead the sixth-seeded Tar Heels past seventh-seeded Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Soccer Championship semifinals on Friday, 2-0.
After a scoreless first half, Hunter got the scoring started at the 54:37 mark. Corey Ashe started the play from the left corner, where he served a ball into the box for Hunter. Hunter settled the ball from 12 yards out and blasted a shot into the upper left 90 for the 1-0 lead.
The Tar Heels (15-3-2) added another goal in the 73rd minute, when Hunter pounded home a saved Scott Campbell shot. Dax McCarty started the play by sending a thru ball to Campbell, and Campbell raced in against a drawn-out Phil Marfuggi. Marfuggi saved Campbell's shot, but Hunter was there to put home the rebound.
Hunter nearly added a third goal in the 77th minute, but his bicycle kick hit the left post, keeping the score 2-0.
Clemson (11-5-3) had most of its scoring opportunities in the first half, but could not convert any of them. Bradley Gibson sent a blast in from 30 yards out in the 11th minute of play, but the shot was just high, and sailed over the crossbar. In the 32nd minute, Randy Albright's header went wide, and just a minute later, Nathan Sturgis' free kick from 40 yards out was saved by North Carolina keeper Justin Hughes. Justin Moore had his shot in the 35th minute saved and Dane Richards' shot in the 39th minute went just wide.
The Tigers' best scoring chances in the second half came in the waning minutes. Hector Quintanar sent a rocket shot just wide right in the 88th minute, and with just 10 seconds left he sent a shot high over the crossbar from just three yards out.
The shutout was North Carolina's sixth straight, sending the Tar Heels into the finals for the fourth time overall, and for the first time since 2000. UNC has won titles in two of its last three championship game appearances.
North Carolina will face No. 5 seed Duke on Sunday in the finals, guaranteeing that the championship winner will be the lowest seed ever. No team seeded lower than fourth has ever won the tournament title. UNC and Duke will be meeting in the final for the first time, as will a 5 seed and a 6 seed.
The championship game is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday at the SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The contest will be televised regionally by FSN South, Comcast Sports South, FSN Florida and NESN.