Sept. 18, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Sophomore forward Billy Schuler and junior midfielder Cameron Brown provided the offense, and No. 2 North Carolina turned in a strong defensive effort in a 2-1 win over No. 11 Duke Friday at Fetzer Field. Carolina improved to 4-0-1 and 2-0-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while the previously unblemished Blue Devils dropped to 4-1-0 and 1-1-0 in league action.

The Tar Heels, who have won their first two ACC matches for the first time since 1987, got goals from Schuler in the 22nd minute and Brown in the 69th minute for all the scoring they would need. Duke got back in the match with a 79th-minute goal from Ryan Finley, but Carolina's defense limited the Blue Devils to just five shots on the night - all in the second half.

The Tar Heels, who have not lost to Duke since 2006, extended their winning streak over the Blue Devils to four games, marking the longest such streak for Carolina since the 1954-55 seasons. The victory also secured the first point towards the 2009-10 Carlyle Cup, the all-sports competition between UNC and Duke, for the Tar Heels.

Friday's crowd of 4,439 was the second-largest men's soccer crowd in Fetzer Field history, surpassing the 4,221 that took in Carolina's win over NC State last weekend.

After Brown and Ezno Martinez both sent quality chances high in the opening 20 minutes, Schuler deposited the Tar Heels' third shot into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period. The Allentown, Pa., native pushed forward, found enough room to get a shot off from 20 yards and sent a strike off the left post and past Belshaw at 21:55. Schuler's goal was his first of the season and the fifth of his career.

The Tar Heel defense held the Blue Devils without a shot in the first half and withstood their lone chance in the 41st minute when a loose ball caromed around the box, but Duke could not manage to get a quality foot on the ball. Brooks Haggerty eventually corralled it to end the scoring threat and carry the shutout into halftime.

Carolina doubled its lead at 68:54 when Brown, who nearly scored on a shot just over the crossbar in the 59th minute, converted 10 minutes later off assists from Chris Lebo and Alex Walters. Lebo found Walters, who dribbled into the box and chipped the ball to the left to Brown, who fired from 10 yards off a Duke defender and into the net for this third goal of the season, which is tied for the Tar Heels' scoring lead. Down two scores, the Blue Devils made things interesting when Finley, who also took the first shots of the night for Duke in the 62nd and 67th minutes, followed a Josh Bienenfeld shot from five yards to trim the lead to 2-1. Haggerty got a hand on a Bienenfeld blast, and Finley was there to punch in the follow for his second goal of the season.

Haggerty turned away the only other shot for the Blue Devils in the 80th minute, and Carolina continued to press forward over the final 10 minutes to seal the victory.

In a meeting of two of the top goalkeepers in the league, in terms of goals against average, Haggerty made four stops for Carolina, while Belshaw recorded six saves for Duke. UNC finished with a 17-5 edge on the shot chart and a 5-1 advantage on corners.

The Tar Heels close a six-game homestand Tuesday against East Tennessee State at 7 p.m.