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Oct 08, 2012

#6 UNC’s defense has allowed 3 goals through 11 games and only getting better

No. 6 North Carolina (9-1-1, 4-0-1) began the season by shutting out three of its first four opponents and since then, the Tarheel defense hasn’t even had a lapse six games further into the year. They have allowed only three goals through ten matches and have just put together another streak of three shutouts in span of four outings.

The Tarheels began the weekend behind only No. 2 Connecticut in Division I for goals against average, and with a conference-leading eighth shutout in their 2-0 blanking of Clemson Friday night, they are only continuing becoming tougher to score on and that’s a scary thought.

UNC senior goalkeeper Scott Goodwin set a school record with his 29th career shutout on Sept. 21 in a win over Virginia and has extended his record to an astounding 32 over former leader Michael Ueltschey (1998-2001). However, Goodwin is not the only important aspect of the Tarheels’ outstanding defense. Second year head coach Carlos Somoano preaches a team-wide defensive approach which begins with the front line.

“He’s an exceptional goalkeeper and a great leader, and a very important part of our team,” Coach Somoano said of Goodwin in an interview with Soccer Wire earlier this season. “Defensively we look at this team as a unit, and everybody has to continue to fill their role in order for us to be successful.”

With the exception of his senior goalkeeper, Somoano’s defensive unit is a young one, which explains why they have only gotten better as the season has gone on. Freshman Jonathan Campbell and sophomore Boyd Okwuonu have each started all 11 games for UNC this season, and sophomore Jordan McCrary has started all 10 matches he has appeared in.

Look for this young but highly athletic and intelligent defense to continue to dominate down the stretch this season. The Tarheels go for a third consecutive clean sheet Tuesday when they host Davidson.

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