Jacksonville men's soccer (0-4-0) faced the nationally ranked North Carolina Tar Heels Monday evening, falling 2-0 to the ACC foes in a Labor Day matchup. The Dolphins maintained their composure and made a late second half push that was silenced in the final minutes.
The Tar Heels broke the game open in the 12th minute of the match when a corner kick was headed off one attacker, and then booted to the far post by Mauricio Pineda for his second goal of the season.
Though the first score came early, the 'Phins would keep it a game throughout the remainder of the 90 minutes. "I thought our boys handled themselves very well," said Dolphins' head coach Mauricio Ruiz. "They made it difficult for a very talented UNC team to break us down."
Igor Ferreira provided Jacksonville's lone shot in the first half, while goalkeeper Patrick Harding recorded a save. During the second half Harding would turn away three more attempts at the net as the Dolphins tried to even things up. A shot sent by Ferreira in the 75th minute was blocked before having a chance at the net, and would prove to be the Dolphins last hope.
North Carolina's second goal came in the 88th minute when a deflection from the goalkeeper was played by Tar Heel sophomore Alex Rose.
"We're not where we want to be, but tonight's performance against a top team shows me that we're capable of competing," said Ruiz. "After the first four games we learned some good lessons, we closed out a chapter in the first phase of the season, and we look forward to the next challenges in the next four games."
Next, Jacksonville travels to Oregon for a Sept. 8 match with Portland. 10:30 PM is the scheduled start.