Nov. 6, 2010

Courtesy of UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Michael Farfan made a triumphant return to the pitch Friday night as he helped lead the fourth-ranked Tar Heels past Clemson (5-8-4, 2-4-2 ACC) on senior night. The Tar Heels (14-2-1, 7-0-1 ACC), who ran their unbeaten streak to 10 matches, claimed a 2-0 win over the visiting Tigers as freshman Robbie Lovejoy also tallied for Carolina who claimed its first ever ACC regular season title with the win.

The Tigers came out firing in the early going drawing a corner kick just a minute and a half into the contest. Clemson was unable to muster up a shot from the corner but the reigning ACC Player of the Week, K.C. Onyeador, was on the attack less than a minute and a half later. Onyeador had a chance in the box but was only able to poke the ball that went directly to Goodwin for the save.

The Tar Heels would regain control from that point on moving the ball through the midfield and rattling off a pair of shots in the span of two minutes. Carolina would make another run in the 20th minute as Matt Rose found the ball at his feet on the left side of the field.

Rose darted past a defender and found himself in the box before Clemson's goalkeeper Cody Mizell dived into Rose forcing the referee into a yellow card and awarding the Tar Heels a penalty.

Senior Michael Farfan, in his first action since suffering a leg injury against South Carolina Oct. 19, stepped to the penalty spot and delivered a drive into the right side of the net to give Carolina the 1-0 lead.

The goal was Farfan's fourth of the year and moved him into a tie with Kirk Urso for the second-most points on the team with 11 apiece.

The score would remain in favor of the Tar Heels over the next 25 minutes as Carolina entered halftime looking to keep things rolling in the second half.

Josh Rice came on for the Tar Heels to start the second 45 minutes and nearly made it 2-0 on a pair of occasions. Rice ripped a shot wide 1:03 into the second half and less than 30 seconds later was served a ball in the box that he headed just wide.

At the 55:53 mark, Alex Dixon looked to put Carolina up by two goals when he unleashed a shot from 35 yards that shook the crossbar. The ball ricocheted straight down and spun out of the goal keeping the Clemson hopes alive in the process.

Dixon's strike came just minutes after Scott Goodwin made the save of the night on Clemson's Austin Savage. The Clemson forward found a hole in the defense and was less than 15 yards out when he received the ball. Savage rifled a shot but Goodwin was charging from the net and slid to block the shot. The Tar Heel defense regrouped and cleared the danger.

Carolina continued to pepper the Clemson goal tallying seven shots before finally getting one to get past the keeper.

The Tar Heels garnered a corner at the 72:46 mark that Kirk Urso fed into the box. Jordan Gafa rose to head the ball but a Clemson defender was able to deflect the ball to the top of the box.

Dustin McCarty was waiting for the clearance and fired a shot back into the box. Freshman Robbie Lovejoy was in perfect position as he back heeled the ball past the Clemson goalkeeper to give Carolina the 2-0 advantage in the 74th minute.

The goal was Lovejoy's third of the season as the newcomer has only played the last five games for the Tar Heels.

Clemson would be held without a shot the rest of the way as Carolina went on to claim its first ever ACC regular season title posting a flawless 7-0-1 conference record.

Scott Goodwin and the Carolina defense earned their eighth shutout of the year, including four in conference play.

Up next for the Tar Heels is a trip to Cary, N.C. for the 2010 ACC Tournament where they will be the No. 1 seed. Carolina will open up play on Wednesday at a time to be determined. Stay tuned to TarHeelBlue.com for game times.