#1 North Carolina Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

North Carolina Tar heels

Overall Rank: #1
Conference Rank: #1 ACC
North Carolina Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
North Carolina Team Page


Head Coach Carlos Somoano knows how to make a first impression just like his mentor Elmar Bolowich. Coach Somoano was an assistant under Coach Bolowich for nine years before taking over the helm at UNC after Coach Bolowich moved on to Creighton. Even though he was an assistant when he stepped into the head coach slot, he won a national championship, which is quite an outstanding job for the first season at the helm. His mentor, Coach Bolowich was just as impressive. He stepped in at Creighton and took them to the College Cup and ended his first season with a 21-2-1 record. Needless to say, Coach Somoano had learned a few things from his mentor. The Tar Heels not only ended the season with the national ring, but the ACC crown as well. After such a terrific season the Tar Heels look to the 2012 season as a new time and a chance to defend their crowns.  

2011 Record: 21-2-3, 5-1-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Carlos Somoano

Thirteen players return to the pitch from the national championship team, expecting to take another national title. Leading the pack of Tar Heels are forwards Rob Lovejoy, Josh Rice, and Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler. All three spent time on the pitch last season but Lovejoy was the only one to find the net. Lovejoy scored seven goals, which tied him for third on the team last season. Mikey Lopez, Jordan Gafa, Martin Murphy, David Walden, and Glen Long return to fill out the midfield positions, while Boyd Okwuonu and Daniel Tannous are the only two returning defenders for the Tar Heels. Jordan McCrary will also be coming back to the field either in the defender or midfield slot. Scott Goodwin, UNC’s starting keeper, and his counterpart, Brendan Moore, both return looking to continue to fill the net after only allowing 18 goals last season. The Tar Heels welcome in a recruiting class of fifteen freshmen that Coach Somoano will be looking to rotate in throughout the season to help the Tar Heels to another winning season.

UNC is another team with very few apparent weaknesses, aside from filling vacant slots on the team, which shouldn’t be a problem with the incoming class. And with their schedule, one would be hard press to find a reason for this team not to win another championship. Coach Somoano will do a good job picking out the kinks on the team and making sure everyone is ready to play when the season starts. Coach Somoano will have the team leaders to fall back on if any of the new recruits need assistance. But his biggest concern is keeping up the high standards that he cursed himself with during his first season…not just the program standards but his own standards. Winning a championship like that your first season can make the pressure to win even heavier the next season.      

Final Projection:
UNC has a good diverse team with a mix of old and new players. The coach himself is a mix of old and new. A veteran to the program, but only one season as head coach, makes Coach Somoano still young and in the spotlight after a championship season. High standards, an already winning record coach, and a diverse squad will make this team a contender for titles. The Tar Heels have a good shot at the ACC tournament crown and will make an NCAA appearance. UNC’s toughest matches in the ACC will be against Virginia, Maryland, and Boston College before making their way to the College Cup.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Rob Lovejoy, Forward, F, 7
Assists: Rob Lovejoy, Forward, F, 5
Shots: Rob Lovejoy, Forward, F, 53
Saves: Scott Goodwin, Senior, GK, 55

Madness 2013 MLS Draft Rankings:
#27 Billy Schuler
#41 Jordan McCrary
#52 Boyd Okwuonu
#53 Mikey Lopez

Madness 2012 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#13 Joe Amon
#16 Daniel Garcia
#25 Nico Melo
#31 Jonathan Campbell
#53 Nicolas Rittmeyer
#90 Alexander Olofson
#97 Nicholas Williams
#109 Nyambi Jabang