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UNC men’s soccer opens with a win over #12 Providence

The Tar Heels picked up a big victory to start their regular season.

NCAA Soccer: Men's College Cup-North Carolina vs Stanford Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The fourth-ranked Tar Heels men’s soccer team started their season with a big win over a ranked opponent at Elon’s Rudd Field Friday night. Carolina secured a 4-0 victory over the twelfth-ranked Providence Friars to kick off their 2017 regular season.

UNC opened scoring in the 15th minute when freshman John Nelson found the back of the net for his first career goal. Minutes later, sophomore Cam Lindley made it 2-0 Carolina off of an assist from sophomore Jeremy Kelly.

Providence came storming right back at the end of the first half, scoring two goals to even the score at halftime. The Friars’ second goal came off of a free kick in the 42nd minute with Joao Serrano tying things up just before the whistle.

Carolina controlled most of the second half, adding two more goals before it was all said and done. Redshirt sophomore Jelani Pieters was full of nifty moves all night, and he scored to put the Heels back on top for good in the 63rd minute. UNC’s final goal of the night came after senior Zach Wright was taken down in the box at the 86th minute. David October easily executed the penalty kick to put Carolina up 4-2 in the final minutes of the match.

With Fetzer Field undergoing renovations this season, the Tar Heels are playing their home games at various spots around the region. Last night’s contest was on the campus of Elon, but the majority of Carolina’s “home” games will be played at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. All games hosted by the Heels this season will have free admission.

Next up for Carolina is a date with Rutgers in Cary on Sunday at 7:30 pm.