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Sept. 21, 2002

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.–The defending national champion North Carolina men’ssoccer team solved the riddle of defeating the Virginia Cavaliers, winningat Fetzer Field for the first time since 1994 in a 2-1 victory Saturdaynight before 3,055 fans. Senior David Testo, coming off a two-gamesuspension for violating team rules, scored the game-winner for the TarHeels in the 21st minute of play.

UNC (#22 NSCAA coaches, #16 Soccer America, #13 Soccer Times) improved to5-2 on the season while winning its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.Virginia (#19 NSCAA coaches, #9 Soccer America, #14 Soccer Times) fell to3-3 with the loss and 0-2 in the ACC.

All the scoring took place in a four-minute span in the first half of play.Virginia opened the scoring at 16:40 when junior forward Alecko Eskandarianstole the ball in the UNC penalty area and converted a tough angle shot justinside the left post. It was Eskandarian’s eight goal of the season out ofthe 13 the Cavaliers have scored.

But the Virginia lead would be short-lived. Just 58 seconds later, UNCsenior forward Ryan Kneipper also converted a turnover in the box by aVirginia defender and struck a ball from 15 yards out to the right of UVagoalkeeper David Comfort. It was Kneipper’s fifth goal of the season.Testo, who missed UNC’s games last weekend against Yale and Brown, hadentered the match at 16:40 after Eskandarian’s goal. Shortly afterKneipper’s goal UNC won a corner kick and senior midfielder Matt Crawfordsent a strike to the far post where Testo headed it home from short range.A couple of Virginia defenders got a head on the ball but by that time ithad already crossed the goal line.

After outshooting Virginia 8-4 in the first half, it was the UNC defensewhich stood tall in the second half. Virginia kept the pressure on theentire 45 minutes, taking six shots to only one for Carolina, but UNC’soffense, organized by senior captain Logan Pause and junior standout DavidStokes was impenetrable.

In the waning minutes Virginia did produce two outstanding chances to score.Senior forward Ryan Gibbs once got past the UNC defense but pushed his shotto the left from 15 yards out. A couple of minutes later, Jonathan Cole hada point blank shot off a corner kick by Eskandarian but UNC goalkeeper FordWilliams found a way to tip it over the bar at the last second.

The win was especially satisfying for Carolina as Virginia had gone 7-1-1 inits last nine matches with the Tar Heels and 24-3-2 in matches against UNCsince 1981. It was Carolina’s first home match since the Tar Heels had a15-game home winning streak ended on September 7.

For Virginia, the post-game notes were less positive. The Cavaliers, wholost to Penn State 4-2 September 8 and to Wake Forest 2-1 September 14, havelost three successive games for the first time since 1981. Virginia alsostarts the ACC season 0-2 for the first time since 1977.

The Cavaliers will return to action on Wednesday, September 25th when UVatravels to Newport News, Va. to face the William & Mary Tribe in a non-conferencematch at Christopher Newport University. The contest is schedule to begin at 7:30 PM.

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