Perhaps not the most rousing start to the Tar Heels title defense, but they manage to overcome a gritty Akron squad 2-1 in OT. It was a soggy night at Fetzer, and it made for some pretty rugged play in both games of the Carolina Classic. After starting well with a goal around 13' from a perfectly played ball from Daivd Testo to a flying Ryan Kneipper, the Heels quite simple lost all the ability to do anything particularly threatening. Akron played a solid, if not spectacular game of team defense, and kept most of the Tar Heel forwards at bay. After a couple of early runs, Storey was pretty much a non-factor in this one, other than a woeful dive that the referee bought. The new look four back set did reasonably well, especially since the Tar Heels had very little working in the midfield. Akron defended the midfield tight and countered quickly. Their goal was off a keeper mistake, but it wasn't undeserved. Surprisingly, the shakiest part of the Heels' defense was David Stokes, particularly in the first half. I don't think I have ever seem him misplay so many balls out of the back as he had tonight. Granted, he is now a center back, and it may take a him while to adjust. MOTM: Mike Gell, and this was even before he ripped a 19-yd freekick into the net to end the game about 30 seconds into the OT. No one else on the field for UNC showed as much poise on the ball as he did tonight. UNC will have to improve to threaten this year, but pulling out a win in a game where a tie would have been a fair result is also a key to being a consistently good team.