CARY — One flurry of shots was the difference.
Sophomore forward Enzo Martinez gathered up his own rebound in the second half to give North Carolina a 1-0 win over Boston College in the semifinals of the ACC Mens Soccer Tournament at WakeMed Soccer Park Friday.
Any chance were provided, were going to try to take, Martinez said.
After both teams failed to get a shot on goal in the first half, North Carolina (16-2-1) created a series of scoring chances early in the first half.
Junior midfielder Kirk Urso fired on Boston College sophomore keeper Justin Luthy, who dove forward for the save but Martinez kicked the ball from Luthys grasp, sending a point-blank shot off the left post.
Martinez gathered up the rebound and sent it into the back of the net at 54:01, with Urso earning an assist on the play.
I tried to be as composed as possible, Martinez said.
North Carolina coach Elmar Bolowich was more pleased with his teams second half.
I think everybody could see there was much more direction in our game [in the second half], he said. We were looking for the forward pass. We were looking for the forward run. There are games where you just need that one break, where you just need that one opportunistic play and finish it off to break the ice.
Martinez said the team has practiced on following up shots plenty.
As soon as I saw Kirk wind up, I just took my chance, Martinez said.
Behind, Boston College coach Ed Kelly tried to switch things up, but injuries started piling up.
We stuck with them for a little while, but we were limited as far as injuries, he said. We pushed another forward up, and he almost got one when he put it wide. We pushed up a little higher, but not much changed in what we created out of it.
Boston College 10-4-5) began the game on the defensive, leaving nine men in its own zone early, a tack it took on Wednesday after it took a deciding 1-0 lead on N.C. State on its only shot on goal of the game.
The Eagles did wrest control of the ball for periods in the first half, and there were scoring chances for both teams.
It was a real tough game, Bolowich said. Boston College was well prepared for us, eliminating any threat in the first half. I felt like we had a hard time getting into any sort of rhythm.
After Martinez goal, North Carolina kept up the pressure and ended the game with a 6-0 advantage in the shots on goal column.
North Carolina, ranked No. 4 in the country, will meet No. 2-seed Maryland (16-2-1) in the championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Terrapins are ranked No. 3 in the country.
During the regular season, North Carolina beat Maryland 2-1 in Chapel Hill on Sept. 24.
Asked if there was anything hed try to duplicate from that game, Bolowich said games cant be duplicated.
They go one way or another, he added. Were not just playing Maryland. Were playing for a championship.