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Men's soccer prepares for Sweet 16 matchup with UNC

November 23, 2010

For the first time since 1968, the MSU men’s soccer team will play in the Sweet 16.

The Spartans (13-7-1) will take on No. 4 seed North Carolina at 3 p.m. Sunday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

MSU was on a five-game winless slide to end the regular season, but opened the tournament with a 2-0 win against Oakland on Nov. 18 and traveled to No. 13 seed Butler and gave the Bulldogs their first loss of the season Nov. 21.

North Carolina (16-3-2) slipped by Georgetown in the second round in a penalty-kick win after a first-round bye.

Statistically, the two teams are similar. MSU has scored 40 goals on the season, while North Carolina has put in 35 goals. The Spartans get off 11.1 shots a game and the Tar Heels get off 16.8.

The teams have similar leading scorers as well. MSU junior forward Domenic Barone has 10 goals and three assists. North Carolina forward Enzo Martinez has nine goals and four assists.

North Carolina and MSU shared No. 3 seed Akron, No. 2 seed Maryland, Georgetown and Duke as opponents this year.

MSU closed its exhibition season with a 1-0 win against Duke, opened the season with a 4-3 win in overtime at Maryland and lost, 4-0, two days later at Georgetown. The Spartans lost later in the season 1-0 to Akron at DeMartin Stadium at Old College Field.

The Tar Heels opened the season with a 3-0 loss at home to Akron. North Carolina beat Duke, 1-0, and Maryland, 2-1, in the regular season. Maryland got revenge in a 1-0 win in the ACC Tournament Championship game. North Carolina played Georgetown to a tie in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and won the penalty-kick shootout 5-4.

The winner of the game will face the winner of the matchup between William & Mary and Southern Methodist.

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