UNC Tar Heels Are National Champs!.

HOOVER, Ala. — Ben Speas lofted a 25-yard shot over goalkeeper Klay Davis midway through the second half to give North Carolina a 1-0 victory against Charlotte in the NCAA men’s championship game.

The Tar Heels (22-2-2) earned their first men’s soccer title in 10 years. They lost in the semifinals each of the previous two seasons and fell in the final in 2008.

UNC reached the title game by beating UCLA in a penalty kick shootout in the national semifinals after playing the Bruins to a 2-2 draw. In the game the Tar Heels twice rallied from one-goal deficits.

Charlotte, unseeded in the tournament, advanced to its first championship final by winning as 4-1 shootout over second-seeded Creighton in the other semifinal game. That game had ended in a 0-0 draw.

Speas, who had an assist in North Carolina’s semifinal victory against UCLA, worked the ball toward the middle of the field just outside the Charlotte box and hit a left-footer that barely cleared the outstretched arm of Davis.

Speas, who played for 2010 NCAA champion Akron University, transferred to Chapel Hill for his senior season.

The unseeded 49ers (17-5-3) outshot North Carolina 14-3 in the second half, including a flurry of four shots during a quick burst with about four minutes l

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