Alan Winn photo by Turner Walston
North Carolina men’s soccer coach Carlos Somoano preaches a one-game-at-a-time philosophy. It was hard not to look past Tuesday night’s match against James Madison, though. That’s because UNC’s next opponent is No. 2 Wake Forest.
If the Tar Heels were overlooking the Dukes, it sure didn’t look like it. Forward Alan Winn added one to his ACC-leading goal total, Cam Lindley continued his hot streak with a pair of goals and an assist and the defense registered its third consecutive clean sheet as the Tar Heels (11-1-0, 4-0-0 ACC) blasted the Dukes (4-4-3, 1-0-2 CAA) by a score of 6-0.
Lindley notched his second consecutive game with a PK conversion after his game-winner against NC State Friday. The sophomore midfielder also added an assist to his team-leading number in that category. Lindley attributed his success to his teammates. “The team is letting me play the role that I want to play, and Carlos is kind of giving me the freedom to do what I want,” he said. “I know if I go forward to try to score a goal or have an assist, I know the guys in the back are going to have me, so I feel really comfortable this year.”
So now can the Tar Heels get excited for their showdown with ACC Atlantic Division Leader Wake Forest? Not so fast.
“Do you think we’re doing anything different for Wake Forest because it’s a Wake Forest game?” Somoano asked. “It just doesn’t work that way. They are an exceptionally good team, but it doesn’t change how we prepare.”
Lindley also stressed that nothing would change just because of a great opponent. “We get our rest, we work on our set pieces offensively, defensively, and we come out here, and we hopefully get a win here on Friday night,” he said.
The midfielder was willing to look a little further, though. “Obviously, as a team we want to win the national championship, and we know we have to win the game on Friday to do that,” Lindley said. “I want to win the ACC player of the year, and hopefully be a first-team All-American.”
If Tuesday night’s drubbing was any indication, Lindley’s goals are definitely achievable. His coach, meanwhile, will take it one game at a time.