COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 4 North Carolina got back on the winning side Tuesday night as the Tar Heels rolled to a 4-0 victory against South Carolina (8-6-1). The Tar Heels picked up goals from Rob Lovejoy, Kirk Urso, Billy Schuler and Ben Speas in the win as they improved to 12-2-2 on the year.
Rob Lovejoy opened the scoring for the Tar Heels in the 29th minute when he finished off a picture-perfect cross from Ben Speas for his sixth goal of the campaign. Speas gathered a ball on the left side and chipped a ball across the box. Lovejoy ran onto the ball and slotted it past the recovering keeper for the goal.
UNC entered the match having scored 10 goals in the first 45 minutes this season but were able to notch its third two-goal first half of the season. All three two-goal first halves have come against teams from the Palmetto State as the Tar Heels tallied two goals against Clemson and College of Charleston as well.
Kirk Urso came up with North Carolina’s second goal of the match when he found some space in the midfield in the 37th minute. Urso dribbled to his right after a pass from Mikey Lopez and unleashed a shot from 40 yards out that dipped to his right and beat the keeper for senior’s second goal of the year.
The Tar Heels upped their lead to 3-0 in the 62nd minute when the workhorse Billy Schuler worked his way into the box and was tripped up from behind giving Carolina a penalty. Schuler calmly took the penalty for the Tar Heels and beat the keeper for his team-leading 11th goal of the year.
Less than three minutes later Schuler added an assist when on a breakaway he slotted a pass to his left where Speas was waiting. Speas unloaded a shot from 18 yards out that was deflected by a sliding Gamecock defender and bounced over the keeper for the fourth goal of the night.
The four goal outburst came on the heels of Carolina being held to one goal over its previous two matches. The Tar Heels reached the 20-shot plateau for the eight time this season and held the Gamecocks to just four shot attempts, none of which were put on frame.