North Carolina tops Davidson 5-4, Notre Dame and Syracuse post 1-0 shutouts in exhibition play
Questions about how preseason No. 5 North Carolina will fill the scoring void left by the graduations of Andy Craven, Tyler Engel and Rob Lovejoy (28 goals combined last season) have been emphatically answered in the preseason by redshirt freshman Andy Lopez, who got on the scoreboard yet again in North Carolina’s exhibition match Wednesday.
Lopez (the younger brother of former Tar Heel and Sporting Kansas City midfielder Mikey Lopez) was credited with a 74th minute winner for the Tar Heels in a wild 5-4 victory over Davidson Wednesday night. North Carolina scored three times in a five-minute span in the first half with a David October strike and a Raby George brace. Zach Wright, who drew a penalty to set up George’s second goal, added a fourth first half goal in the 37th minute. But a 73-minute weather delay turned the game around as Davidson got a second half brace from Valeriy Sviderskiy and goals from Jordan Hill and Matt Reinikka to complete the remarkable comeback in the 71st minute.
No. 15 Syracuse no longer has Norwegian danger man Emil Ekblom, who left after his sophomore season to sign with the Bob Bradley-coached Norwegian Premier League club Stabæk, but they do have a new freshman Norwegian import in Andreas Jenssen. Jenssen scored a 50th minute winner for the Orange in a 1-0 victory over Buffalo Wednesday. Freshman goalkeeper Austin Aviza made a case for filling the vacancy in goal from Alex Bono’s departure with a five-save outing that included three saves in the final 11 minutes.
Senior Patrick Hodan did what he does best for preseason No. 4 Notre Dame on Wednesday, delivering a 59th minute winner in a 1-0 win at Butler. Goalkeeper Chris Hubbard helped to preserve the clean sheet with a couple of saves in the second match of the day between the two teams – Butler won 1-0 in a 45-minute game earlier in the day.
Junior midfielder Napo Matsoso scored a goal and was involved in two others as Kentucky shut out Lipscomb 4-0. Kristoffer Tollefsen, Noah Hutchins, Andrew McKelvey added goals for the Wildcats, which received votes but aren’t in the preseason Top 25.