MEN'S SOCCER CLAIMS NATIONAL TITLE!
Release: 12/16/2001

Dec. 16, 2001

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- In a rare year in which North Carolina's women lost the NCAA soccer championship, the North Carolina men did their part.

The Tar Heels won their first men's title Sunday, beating Indiana 2-0 on goals by Ryan Kneipper and Danny Jackson.

The North Carolina women's team was playing for its 17th championship in 20 seasons last week when it lost 1-0 to Santa Clara.

Five-time champion Indiana entered the tournament having given up just six goals all season. St. John's was the only other team to score two goals on the Hoosiers.

"We knew we would face a very tough, battle-proven opponent and we needed to combat that," coach Elmar Bolowich said. "I think we deserved to win the game, we stayed focused and didn't make any errors."

The Tar Heels avenged last year's 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Indiana.

Kneipper scored on a header in the 12th minute and Jackson made a penalty kick in the 75th as the Tar Heels raised their record to 21-4. Indiana ended the year at 18-4-1.

Kneipper beat defender John Swann and goalkeeper Colin Rogers to a long cross from Matt Crawford and headed a shot from six yards out just inside the right post.

"I saw that the goalkeeper wasn't going to get there and the defender on me was a little bit shorter, and I knew I could beat him in the air," said Kneipper, who scored on two headers in the quarterfinals. "I just jumped up and got it."

Jackson made it 2-0 with a penalty kick into the top left of the net, just past Rogers' fingertips. Indiana was awarded the penalty kick after Josh Rife pulled down Marcus Storey in the box.

Indiana pressed forward in the second half, trying to find an opening in the defense. But the Hoosiers were knocked off the ball when they got close to the box.

"We told our defense not to panic when they have the ball and keep them wide and not let them cut inside," said Bolowich, who was an assistant coach on the 1987 team that reached the semifinals in 1987.

Indiana wanted a penalty called after Vijay Dias was taken down inside the box by David Stokes in the 52nd minute, but the referee allowed play to continue.

"I think David -- as well as our entire defense -- played a fantastic game and the team effort was there," Bolowich said.

Indiana's best scoring chance came just before halftime when Pat Noonan dribbled past the defense. His 12-yard shot was blocked by the leg of goalkeeper Michael Ueltschey. Ueltschey has 14 shutouts this year, giving him 30 in his career.

"We're not used to not getting plenty of scoring chances in a game," Noonan said. "Today, we just weren't able to get things clicking. They kind of shut us down."

North Carolina outshot Indiana 9-6 for the game and 7-1 in the second half.

"I felt very confident after they scored that we would score," said coach Jerry Yeagley, whose team is 5-for-11 in championship games. "It's just one of those days, a combination of excellent defending on their part and us being a touch off offensively on our part."

UNC North Carolina Men's Soccer


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