Seahawks fall to UNC in second round of NCAA Tournament, 2-1

Brandon Sans

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Seahawks fall to UNC in second round of NCAA Tournament, 2-1

Phillip Goodrum (10) weaves his way through a pair of North Carolina defenders in Sunday's 2-1 loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Phillip Goodrum (10) weaves his way through a pair of North Carolina defenders in Sunday's 2-1 loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Joe Browning/UNCW Athletic Communications

Phillip Goodrum (10) weaves his way through a pair of North Carolina defenders in Sunday's 2-1 loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Joe Browning/UNCW Athletic Communications

Joe Browning/UNCW Athletic Communications

Phillip Goodrum (10) weaves his way through a pair of North Carolina defenders in Sunday's 2-1 loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Brandon Sans, Assistant Sports Editor

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CHAPEL HILL — UNC Wilmington men’s soccer’s once-promising season came to an end with its 2-1 loss to No. 3 North Carolina on Sunday night.

The Seahawks (12-8) fell in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history while the Tar Heels (15-3-1) advanced to the third round for the fourth-consecutive season.

It was a disappointing loss, but advancing to the second round was not lost on coach Aidan Heaney.

“It’s incredibly difficult to get to the second round,” said Heaney. “For us to say we fell short again, there are [many] teams sitting home right now.”

The Seahawks stuck to the plan Heaney emphasized in practice after the win over Presbyterian. The Tar Heels just had too much firepower from too many positions.

The game was scoreless through the first half, but the way the Tar Heels kept attacking the Seahawk defense (with eight shots taken in the first half), it felt like it was only a matter of time before they broke through.

Eight minutes into the second half, the Tar Heels finally did.

Back-to-back goals by forward Jelani Pieters and defender Mauricio Pineda within minutes of each other broke the game open for UNC and it appeared as if the Seahawks were beginning to unravel.

Then, as he had so many times before in his UNCW career, forward Julio Moncada rallied his team and the fans who showed out to support the Seahawks after his free kick led to him scoring a goal in the 74th minute.

“We tried to press them a little bit, we got the goal and tried to keep pressing them,” said Moncada. “We wanted the second goal, but unfortunately didn’t get it. It was interesting at the end.”

The Tar Heels played keep away and ran out the clock, despite the Seahawks getting seven of their nine shots in the second half. The final buzzer then sounded on UNCW’s season and Moncada’s career.

Holding back tears, he was nothing but positive about his time at UNCW.

“We gave it all on the field, but sadly we couldn’t get the result,” said Moncada. “I leave this team with a family. They’re my brothers. I’m just happy for the opportunity coach gave me. I just want to thank UNCW and everybody.”

Assistant Sports Editor Brandon Sans can be found on Twitter @bsans10. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to uncwseahawksports@gmail.com. For video updates from The Seahawk, subscribe to our YouTube channel.