Engel leads UNC men's soccer in romp past Coastal Carolina

kcoons@newsobserver.comSeptember 2, 2013 

— With his top seven goal scorers from a year ago unavailable this season, North Carolina men’s soccer coach Carlos Somoano had questions about where he would find his offense.

Junior forward Tyler Engel provided some answers during the weekend. A transfer from Southern Methodist, he scored his second game-winning goal, leading the Tar Heels to a 4-0 rout of Coastal Carolina on Monday at Fetzer Field.

The match was postponed from Sunday evening, when a violent thunderstorm swept through the area. Engel didn’t seem to mind the 10:30 a.m. kickoff and had a hand in three of North Carolina’s goals.

He broke open a tightly played game during the 68th minute when his close-range volley finished off a corner kick by Marco Sunol. At the far post, Colton Storm headed the kick back toward the middle of the penalty area, where Engel connected for his second goal.

He scored in a 1-0 victory Friday against Monmouth in the first round of the Carolina Nike Classic.

“Perfect,” Engel said of the two games. “Coming to a new place, you want to start off well. It calms the nerves.”

With the momentum swinging in their favor, the Tar Heels (2-0) poured it on, scoring four times during an 18-minute span in the second half. Engel’s cross in the 78th minute was deflected by Coastal Carolina goalkeeper Devin Cook, but the ball bounced right to a wide-open Jordan McCrary 20 yards out. The junior defender buried his shot in the left corner for his first career goal and a 2-0 lead that deflated the Chanticleers (1-1).

The Tar Heels weren’t done. Reserve midfielders Glen Long and Alex Walters worked a perfect give-and-go into the penalty area, and Walters’ return pass inside 10 yards allowed Long to score his first career goal in the 83rd minute. Midfielder Raby George closed out the scoring in the 86th when he lofted a 30-yard shot over Cook’s head and into the net.

Engel sort of earned an assist there, too. He played with Cook at SMU and had informed his new teammates that the goalkeeper might stray off his line and be susceptible to chips.

North Carolina goalkeeper Brendan Moore earned his second shutout without having to make a save. The Tar Heels outshot Coastal 10-4, allowing only one shot in the second half.

Somoano said Engel’s offensive role has changed since the players reported three weeks ago.

“The funny thing is, we brought him in and figured to use him more as a playmaker,” he said. “Then Danny Garcia left (for Major League Soccer), and Robby Lovejoy got injured, and Andy Craven got injured.”

Craven had foot surgery last week, and Lovejoy has a groin injury. Both are expected to sit out the season and receive medical redshirts.

Their absence meant the Tar Heels would be without the players who accounted for 27 of their 33 goals a year ago. Engel, however, has proven a solid addition as a creator and finisher.

“He’s one of those in-between players, like Ben Speas and Danny Garcia,” Somoano said, comparing Engel, from Orland Park, Ill., to two former Tar Heels. “He’s very calm in the box, very efficient in the final third.”

He’s also very happy to be at North Carolina, having contacted Somoano last spring that he was leaving SMU.

“Coming here has always been a dream for me,” said Engel, who described himself as a lifelong Tar Heels fan. “There are baby pictures of me wearing a UNC hat.”

Coons: 919-829-4635

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