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North Carolina 3, Boston College 1: Eagles Soccer Falls Short In ACC Championship Game

The Tar Heels scored two first half goals in the 36th and 43rd minutes, which was enough to knock off the seventh ranked Eagles in the ACC men's soccer Championship Game. The win gives North Carolina its first ACC men's soccer Championship since 2000.

In the 36th minute, North Carolina's Carlos McCrary headed a Ben Speas cross into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Heels. Then right before the half, Speas made it 2-0 off a free kick where BC keeper Justin Luthy was interfered with but no call was made. Luthy was pretty much mauled and never had a chance to make a save on the free kick.

In the second half, BC's Kyle Bekker cut the lead to 2-1 on a beautiful free kick goal that hit the far post and ricocheted into the back of the net. The one goal deficit was short-lived, however, as Speas put in his second goal of the match with just 25 seconds on a Heels crossing pass and an Eagles defensive lapse. 

Final score: North Carolina 3, Boston College 1

Despite the setback, a tip of the hat to Boston College coach Ed Kelly (soccer Jerry York?) and the Eagles men's soccer team. Kelly has taken a strong Big East soccer program and helped the Eagles transition into a strong contender in the nation's best college soccer conference. BC made its fifth straight ACC Championship semifinals appearance and will similarly be making its fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance when the field is announced on Monday. 

In all, Kelly has led his teams to six conference tournament titles -- five in the Big East and one in the ACC Tournament. Kelly won two Big East Tournament titles with Seton Hall (1986 and 1987), three with the Eagles (1990, 2000 and 2002) and guided the Eagles to the 2007 ACC tournament title.

It's on to the NCAAs for the men's team, with the Men's Soccer Selection Show set for tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. over at where the Eagles will find out their NCAA Tournament draw.

Go Eagles!