Rob Lovejoy scored twice for North Carolina in a 2-1 victory Sunday against Clemson in the third round of the NCAA men’s soccer tournament.
North Carolina (15-5-1) reaches the quarterfinals for the sixth time in the past seven years. The Tar Heels next play either second-seeded UCLA or 15th-seeded California. The two played late Sunday night. The quarterfinal match will be played Friday or Saturday.
Lovejoy broke the tie when he buried a shot into the lower-right corner past diving Clemson goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell in the 71st minute.
Lovejoy beat his defender down the left side, pulled inside and drove the ball into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season. He has four career postseason goals.
UNC keeper Brendan Moore was stout in goal, making seven saves. Perhaps his best came in the 78th minute off a shot by Diego Campos that kept the Tar Heels in front.
Clemson (12-7-3), the seventh seed, outshot the Tar Heels 11-10. North Carolina had a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks.
In the first half, a giveaway by the Tigers in their end led directly to the Tar Heels’ scoring in the 13th minute. A corner kick by Omar Holness was headed in by Lovejoy for a 1-0 lead.
Clemson scored the equalizer a little more than 10 minutes later on a penalty kick by Kyle Fisher. His shot deflected off Moore’s leg and into the net.
The Tar Heels had a free kick in the 29th minute that nearly put them back ahead. Raby George’s shot from 25 yards was covered by Tarbell, one of his two saves in the match.
Minutes later it was Moore making a big save for North Carolina, as he stuffed the shot from Austen Burnikel in the 34th minute.
Moore turned in another stop in the 39th minute, this time from Campos to keep the match tied 1-all.