WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Freshman defender Hjalmar Ekdal's goal in the 27th minute proved to be enough as UNCW posted a 1-0 victory over No. 3 North Carolina in front of 1,778 fans at UNCW Soccer Stadium on Friday evening.
The win allowed the Seahawks to remain unbeaten with a 3-0-0 record. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels suffered their first loss of the season following wins over No. 12 Providence and Rutgers.
Ekdal, the reigning Colonial Athletic Association Rookie-of-the-Week, tallied his second goal of the season when he headed in a corner kick from junior midfielder David Lozano with 18:44 left in the first half.
UNCW used a strong defensive effort, including three saves from redshirt junior goalkeeper Ryan Cretens, to complete the shutout.
North Carolina, which had a six-game unbeaten streak that dated back to last season snapped, outshot the Seahawks by a 12-6 margin. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Drew Romig recorded two saves in the loss.
• UNCW recorded its fourth win over an opponent ranked in the top five since 2003.
• The win over the Tar Heels marked the highest-ranked opponent the Seahawks have defeated since upending No. 1 UNCG on Nov. 3, 2004.
• The attendance of 1,778 fans marked the third-largest crowd in UNCW Soccer Stadium history.
• Cretens moved into a tie for eighth place in program history after notching his eighth career shutout.
• Four of the last five meetings against North Carolina have been decided by a one-goal margin.
• UNCW is now 7-6-0 against nationally-ranked opponents over the last three years.
• The Seahawks earned their first win over an ACC opponent since a 3-0 victory over Duke on Sept. 15, 2015.
• North Carolina entered the game tied with Evansville for the NCAA lead with 10 goals.
Up Next: The Seahawks face their second consecutive nationally-ranked ACC opponent on Monday, Sept. 4, when they visit No. 12 Virginia for a 7 p.m. contest against the Cavaliers.
College Men's Soccer: UNCW 1, No. 3 North Carolina 0
North Carolina 0 0 - 0
UNCW 1 0 - 1
Goals: UNC – n/a; UNCW – Hjalmar Ekdal (26:16). Assists: UNC – n/a; UNCW – David Lozano. Saves: UNC – Drew Romig 2 (90:00, 1 goals allowed); UNCW – Ryan Cretens 3 (90:00, 0 goals allowed) Shots: UNC – 12; UNCW – 6. Corner Kicks: UNC – 6; UNCW – 2. Attendance: 1,778.