#2 North Carolina Men's Soccer 2013 Preview

North Carolina Tar Heels

Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #2 ACC
#2 North Carolina Men's Soccer 2013 Preview
North Carolina Team Page


The Atlantic Coast Conference is regarded as one of the toughest leagues in the country, and the upper part of the College Sports Madness top 25 reflects that. North Carolina played a tough schedule that paid off handsomely with a trip to the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, national champion Indiana stood in the way and upset the Tar Heels to put a sour end to the team’s season. North Carolina will have another solid team, but the Tar Heels are missing some key players that could hamper them in the short term.

2012 Record: 16-4-3, 6-1-1
2012 Postseason: NCAA tournament (lost in quarterfinals, 1-0, to Indiana)
Coach: Carlos Somoano

Top scorer Andy Craven is back on the roster, and he brings his six goals and five assists with him. The nice thing about the Tar Heels is their scoring depth. Seventeen players scored at least one point last season, and while some of those players are gone it demonstrates North Carolina not putting all of its eggs in one basket. Rob Lovejoy, who scored five goals last season, also returns. North Carolina’s recent successes have resulted in a large influx of recruits, so the roster will be loaded with potential stars in the making. A lot of top talent from high schools committed to the Tar Heels in the last year or two.

It is a good thing North Carolina has all this incoming talent. Scott Goodwin, the goalkeeper who helped North Carolina to No. 1 showings in goals-against average and shutout percentage, has graduated. This means North Carolina will have to break in a new keeper in the early stretches of the season. Three of the five top scorers from a year ago are gone. This will put more pressure on Craven and Lovejoy to produce more goals and assists until others can take over.

Final Projection:
Just because North Carolina has to break in a new keeper and replace some top scorers does not spell the end of the Tar Heels as a dynasty. North Carolina is just like other programs in that it constantly rebuilds and reloads its talent to offset graduation losses. It may take a bit for North Carolina to replace that talent, but it should be among one of the top teams in the nation once again. After a big early-season matchup Sept. 13 against Maryland, the schedule gets a little easier for a while. That should give the Tar Heels time to breathe and build up at least 14 or 15 victories.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Andy Craven, Senior, F, 6
Assists: Andy Craven, Senior, F, 5
Shots: Andy Craven, Senior, F, 56
Saves: None

Madness 2014 MLS Draft Rankings:
#17 Boyd Okwuonu
#29 Rob Lovejoy
#41 Jordan McCrary

Madness 2013 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#13 Colton Storm
#24 Warren Marshall
#25 Jalen Markey
#145 Eric O'Brien


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