Chants’ season comes to a close with loss to Tar Heels

ccusoc-UNC_1Coastal Carolina’s Tobenna Uzo scored in the 88th minute, but the Chanticleers were unable to find the game-tying goal against fifth-seeded North Carolina in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Men’s Soccer Championship as the Tar Heels hung on for the 2-1 victory.

The loss ends Coastal’s season with a 13-3-4 record. The victory advances North Carolina (15-1-3) to the round of 16 where they will host Creighton Saturday.

North Carolina quickly broke through on the scoreboard with Tucker Hume’s second-minute goal. David October crossed the ball in from the right that was punched away by Fernando Pina, but directly to Hume for the easy shot. The goal was Hume’s 11th of the season and the Tar Heels’ 38th of the season.

The Chanticleers settled down following the goal and controlled possession for much of the remainder of the half. Despite dictating the pace, Coastal was unable to connect the final passes as North Carolina took the 1-0 lead into the intermission.

Uzo had CCU’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes as he broke free behind the Tar Heel defense. Uzo was headed toward a 1v1 with UNC’s Pyle, but his final touch into the box was too heavy and the ball was controlled by Pyle before Uzo was able to shoot.

Play in the opening 20 minutes of the second half was centered in the midfield with neither team able to build much toward goal. Coastal then opened up and used its speed to gain and maintain possession over the ensuing 10 minutes, creating several threatening chances along the way.

North Carolina added an insurance goal in the 85th minute with Zach Wright finding the back of the net off a Hume assist. The goal would prove crucial as nearly three minutes later Coastal’s Uzo scored. Uzo cashed in for his sixth goal of the season after tracking down a rebound off a Sergio Camargo shot.

Coastal pushed forward in through the final three minutes, earning a prime free kick from 23-yard out with 1:55 to go. Camargo lined up over the ball and sent his shot toward the left upper 90, but the attempt went inches over the crossbar.

The Chanticleers had one final push forward, but Jair Espinoza’s shot from inside the box was blocked and North Carolina held on for the 2-1 victory.

North Carolina ended the match outshooting Coastal 16-11. CCU did outshoot their hosts 8-6 in the second half. North Carolina’s James Pyle and Sam Euler made four saves in the winning effort, while Coastal’s Pina made three saves.

Coastal is now 11-12-1 all-time in its 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 10-11-0 under the direction of head coach Shaun Docking. The Chanticleer senior class finished their careers with a 6-4 record in their 10 NCAA Tournament matches.

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics

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