The Washington Post

North Carolina Tar Heels win NCAA championship with 1-0 win over Charlotte

Ben Speas scored a marvelous goal midway through the second half Sunday, leading top-seeded North Carolina to a 1-0 victory over Charlotte in the NCAA College Cup final in Hoover, Ala.

Speas, a junior midfielder who won a national title as a reserve with Akron last year, used clever footwork to create space beyond the box before striking a 25-yard, left-footed shot in the 65th minute that streaked over leaping goalkeeper Klay Smith and dipped into the net for his seventh goal of the year.

The Tar Heels (21-2-3) won their second national title and became the sixth ACC team in 11 years to claim the championship. Unseeded Charlotte (16-5-4) had several quality chances, most notably late efforts that were cleared off the line and hit the crossbar. The 49ers probably deserved a a penalty early in the second half when Donnie Smith was taken down surging into the box.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.


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