Sept. 25, 2010

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - A strike off the foot of senior Michael Farfan less than 10 minutes into Friday night's top 5 battle helped propel No. 3 North Carolina past No. 5 Maryland (4-2-1, 1-1-1 ACC) by a 2-1 margin. With the win Carolina improves to 5-1 on the year and 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time since 1967.

Maryland came into the contest holding a nine-game unbeaten streak and had held the Tar Heels winless since 2003. The Terrapins looked like they were going to make it 10 straight early as they maintained possession in the midfield and tallied three shots in the opening eight and a half minutes of the first half.

The momentum would change quickly, however, as the Tar Heels drew a foul in the Maryland half. Enzo Martinez played the ball quickly to Farfan who left a defender behind him with a swift move and then lined up a shot from 35 yards out.

Farfan blasted the ball forcing it to bend away from one of the top goalkeepers in the country, Zac MacMath, and into the back of the net giving Carolina a quick 1-0 advantage in the 10th minute.

The Tar Heels and Terrapins would trade runs for the majority of the first half after the opening tally each testing the opposing keeper with four shots apiece. Kirk Urso nearly made it 2-0 when Enzo Martinez found the junior midfielder cutting near the edge of the box but the linesman's flag came up signaling offside, a routine sight throughout the evening.

Stephen McCarthy found himself in the box on a corner kick in the 41st minute when he nearly picked up his second goal of the season. McCarthy's header off the ball from Farfan hit the ground and bounced into the arms of MacMath.

Farfan would strike early again in the second half but this time from the penalty spot. A Maryland defender was whistled for a handball in the box at the 52:05 mark in the second half giving Carolina a shot at bumping its lead to 2-0.

Farfan calmly stepped to the spot and delivered a low drive into the bottom right corner of the goal for his first brace as a Tar Heel and the first since Billy Schuler accomplished the feat against Elon in 2009.

The Tar Heels were not going to rest with the two-goal advantage as the forwards pressed up drawing four offside calls in the process and 10 for the night.

In the 75th minute the Terrapins were on the other side of a handball in the box as the referee whistled a handball on Stephen McCarthy giving Maryland a chance at cutting the deficit in half.

Matt Kassel converted the penalty for his third goal of the season as Maryland cut the lead to 2-1.

The Terps would continue to push the action in the final 15 minutes and nearly picked up the equalizer in the 80th minute when Casey Townsend connected on a header from 8 yards out that went directly into the hands of Scott Goodwin.

Goodwin would be challenged with several crosses in the final five minutes but was equal to the task punching numerous balls away from danger. The sophomore tallied a career-high four saves en route to improving to 5-1 on the year.

Next up for the Tar Heels will be a two-game road swing to Old Dominion on Tuesday followed by a clash with the Cavaliers of Virginia on Friday. Both matches are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.