Oct. 28, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Sophomore Alex Dixon recorded North Carolina's first hat trick since 2005 to highlight a 7-0 win for the No. 3 Tar Heels over Stetson Wednesday in the regular season home finale at Fetzer Field. Dixon scored three times in under seven minutes to lead Carolina (11-2-2) to its largest offensive outburst of the season.
Dixon, a native of Humble, Texas, netted successive goals in the in the 40th, 45th and 47th minutes for Carolina's first three-goal effort since Scott Campbell against Boston College in 2005. Joining Dixon in the scoring column in the first half was Jordan Gafa, who was credited with the game-winner with his first career strike in the 13th minute.
Enzo Martinez, Martin Murphy, who also added an assist, and Dustin McCarty all found the back of the net after intermission. Kirk Urso picked up a pair of assists on the night for the Tar Heels, who also defeated the Hatters (11-3-2) by the same 7-0 score in their only previous meeting in 1990.
With Carolina outshooting Stetson by a 21-5 margin, freshman goalkeeper Scott Goodwin was not challenged often but picked up one save and earned his second straight shutout and the eighth on the year for the Tar Heels.
The Carolina backline hooked up on the night's first score, as center back Drew McKinney played a long service into the box to Gafa, who drilled an eight-yard header from the left side into the upper right corner for his first career goal at the 12:49 mark. McKinney's assist was his first.
After Urso had a near goal deflected and saved by Stetson goalkeeper Logan Potter, who made four saves and allowed six goals, in the 33rd minute, he set up back-to-back strikes from Dixon to give UNC its biggest offensive output in an opening half this season.
For the Tar Heels' second goal, Urso sent the ball up the left side to Dixon, who dribbled into the box and took a six-yard shot that deflected off a Stetson defender and past Potter for a 2-0 UNC lead at the 39:48 mark.
Just over four minutes later, the tandem connected again to lift the Tar Heels to a three-goal cushion just before intermission. Urso sent a free kick from the left side towards the near post, and Dixon headed it just inside at the 44:20 mark.
Dixon, who now gives the Tar Heels four players with five goals on the season, picked up where he left off early in the second half when he intercepted a misplayed clear by a Hatter defender and deposited the ball into the lower left corner of the net at 46:29 for a 4-0 lead and his second career multi-goal effort and first since scoring twice at Liberty last season.
After being held without a goal for just over 20 minutes, Carolina scored three times in under five minutes for the final seven-goal margin. After an initial shot by Murphy was saved by Potter, Martinez was there to muscle home a rebound for his third goal in the 68th minute.
Under two minutes later, Murphy tallied his first career strike when Billy Schuler sent a cross from deep in the right corner to the Murphy at the far post for a tap-in goal in the 70th minute.
McCarty close the scoring in the 73rd minute when he claimed a loose ball and tactfully headed it over Stetson reserve keeper Dan Billman from 15 yards for the 7-0 win and his second goal of the season.
After taking nearly a week off, the Tar Heels will be back in action Tuesday, Nov. 3 at Elon.