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Speas leads North Carolina to first double
by Paul Kennedy, November 13th, 2011 8:17PM

TAGS:  college men


[ACC] Junior Ben Speas, who played on Akron's national championship team in 2010, tallied two goals and an assist to lead North Carolina to its third ACC championship with a 3-1 win over Boston College in Sunday's final in Cary, N.C.

The Tar Heels also won the 1987 and 2000 ACC titles. It also marks the first time in school history that Carolina has accomplished the double, winning both the ACC regular season and tournament titles.

The Tar Heels jumped out to a 1-0 lead just before halftime when substitute Carlos McCrary headed home a cross from Speas for his third goal of the year and second of the ACC Tournament.

Just before halftime, Speas sent a free kick toward the near post, where BC keeper Justin Luthy, who played with Speas in the Columbus Crew academy program, tried to punch the ball away but ran into Matt Hedges and Rob Lovejoy and was unable to stop the ball as it bounced into the net for a 2-0 Carolina lead.

Boston College's Kyle Bekker reduced UNC's lead in the 62nd minute when he rocketed a free kick from 20 yards out off the inside of the far post.

Billy Schuler, whose golden goal gave the Tar Heels a 1-0 win over Virginia in the semifinals, came on in the 65th minute to replace McCrary and immediately paid dividends for the Tar Heels with a run down the right side and cross to Speas, who scored to restore UNC's two-goal lead.

Goalkeeper Scott Goodwin made three impressive saves to preserve the win for the Tar Heels.

ACC All-Tournament Team
Ben Speas, North Carolina (MVP)
Enzo Martinez, North Carolina
Matt Hedges, North Carolina
Billy Schuler, North Carolina
Scott Goodwin, North Carolina
Kyle Bekker, Boston College
Diego Medina-Mendez, Boston College
Colin Murphy, Boston College
Charlie Rugg, Boston College
Hunter Jumper, Virginia
Brian Span, Virginia
Luca Gimenez, Wake Forest

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