Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications
Despite dealing with a high influx of new players from last season, North Carolina is poised for yet another postseason run.
The Tar Heels comfortably rolled past in-state counterparts North Carolina State 4-0 in the ACC quarterfinals on Tuesday night, as Jordan Gafa, Matt Hedges, Mikey Lopez and Carlos McCrary all found the back of the net within the first 50 minutes of the match.
One team that UNC won't have to deal with later in the ACC tournament, meanwhile, is Maryland. The Terrapins, in the midst of a late-season swoon — now winless in their last four games — crashed out at home after a 2-1 loss to Boston College.
The Eagles punished a pair of defensive blunders from Maryland to go 2-0 up in the first 20 minutes and then held on for the win. Freshman Diego Medina-Mendez pounced on a rebound in the 14th minute, before Charlie Rugg doubled the lead on a counter less than five minutes later.
Maryland pulled one back through Casey Townsend just over a minute into the second half, but the Terrapins couldn't produce an equalizer.
But the game of the night took place in Charlottesville, Va., as Wake Forest saw a valiant comeback thwarted by Virginia. Down 3-1 with 10 minutes to go, Wake scored two goals in two minutes to tie the game and send it into extra time.
Just when it looked like the game was headed to penalty kicks, Virginia sophomore Cobi Span popped up at the far post on a 109th-minute corner kick, poking home a loose ball to secure a Cavaliers victory.
Rounding out the semifinal field is Duke, who advanced on penalty kicks after a scoreless draw against Clemson. Action resumes on Friday with the semifinals in Cary, N.C.
UNC faces Virginia, while Boston Colleges take on Duke in the ACC Championship semifinals.
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, college and youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com.