JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 12, 2016) – For the second game in a row, the ETSU men’s soccer team will face a ranked team – No. 1 University of North Carolina – in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Tuesday, Sept. 13 with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
About the Bucs
The Bucs nearly upset No. 22 West Virginia in Morgantown, W. Va. as ETSU took the Mountaineers into overtime. The Bucs had multiple chances to get ahead in the second half, but the Mountaineer defense kept a clean sheet against the high-powered ETSU offense. WVU scored the golden goal in the final minute of the first overtime period off a free kick to win 1-0.
This is the second straight match the Bucs have faced a top-25 team nationally. The Bucs will continue that stretch with a match against No. 15 Kentucky on Sept. 21.
Joao Ramalho (Monte Santo, Brazil) leads the team with 2.50 shots with one on goal per match. Cameron Woodfin (Old Hickory, Tenn.) has the most goals this season (2) and points (5). Both Ramalho and Javier Alberto (Johnson City, Tenn.) are tied on the team with three points each. Jonny Sutherland (Chester, U.K.) had a great match at WVU as he tallied five saves versus the Mountaineers to lower his goals against average to 1.95.
The highest ranked team ETSU has beaten was in 2013 when the Bucs defeated No. 8 UAB 1-0 in Birmingham, AL.
About North Carolina
The Tar Heels are ranked No. 1 in several polls after starting the season 4-0. UNC has shutout three teams this year including two at home versus California Poly and St. Louis University. UNC averages three goals per match at home and have only allowed a pair of goals in four games this season.
North Carolina is coming off a big win on the road versus No. 2 Clemson University. Zach Wright scored the game-winning goal after being deadlocked for 87 minutes at 0-0. Clemson outshot UNC 21-10, and each team had six shots on goal in the match.
The 2016 ACC favorite Tar Heels are picked to win the Coastal Division and Overall Championship. They received eight first place votes in the Coastal Division and five first place votes for the Overall Champion spot.
ETSU and UNC have met on the pitch three times, and the Tar Heels lead the all-time record 3-0. The most recent matchup came in 2010 when the Heels snuck out of Johnson City in overtime 2-1, and the Bucs have taken UNC to overtime in two of the three meetings.
Scouting the Tar Heels
UNC takes a lot of shots per match (16.5) with nearly half (47 percent) on goal. The Heels have outscored the opposition 10-2 including 2.5 goals per game. They also dominate corner kicks as they have taken 32 compared to their opponent’s 11.
Tucker Hume has the most goals (3), shots (13), shots on goal (7), and points (6) on the team. He hasn’t started a match this year and averages 47.25 minutes per game. Zach Wright scored the game-winning goal against No. 2 Clemson and is second on the team with a pair of goals and two assists. He has taken eight shots with six on goal (.750 shot on goal percentage). Nico Melo has started every match for the Heels as leads the team in assists (3).
James Pyle has started in net for North Carolina and has allowed just a pair of goals while totaling ten saves this season.
“It is going to be one of those experiences that these guys are ready for. I think we had a good performance by the team working hard and working for each other at West Virginia, and I think we are going to carry that over into Chapel Hill,” said head coach Bo Oshoniyi. “They have guys on the team that are going to be pros after this year, but I think our boys are ready for it. I think we’re excited to show that we are here to play and get a result.”
“I think defending will come first. We need to defend and keep ourselves in the game. I think we will be fired up and if we take our chances, which we will have some, I think we will be in good shape.”
“We performed well against West Virginia, and I think we can also perform well against UNC. We have a good group here, and we have a couple days rest to prepare to head to North Carolina,” said goalkeeper Sutherland.
“We know what to expect because they are the number one team in the country. It is not every day you get to match up against a team like that, so we are beyond thrilled to get the experience,” said red-shirt junior Jeffrey George (Safety Harbor, Fla.). “Our game plan won’t be any different than what we have been preaching throughout the season. We are going to work hard for each other and trust each other while taking chances when they are there.”
How to follow the match
Tuesday’s match will be streamed online and can be viewed by clicking here. Live stats can be followed here. For behind the scenes action on the road, follow ETSUMSoccer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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For more information on Buccaneer men’s soccer, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer page.