Jacksonville, which entered the game with an undefeated record, got on the board first with an early goal, but Laing and his teammates took over from there. The Jamaican international curled in an effort from an impossible angle just before halftime to give North Carolina a 2-1 lead. He then doubled the hosts' lead in the 69th minute when he blasted home a penalty kick that he earned himself a moment earlier.
A native of Trelawny Parish, Jamaica, Laing has kicked off the 2017 season in scintillating form. The 29-year-old midfielder has tallied a league-high four goals, along with two assists, in six appearances so far this year. He has been one of North Carolina's most dynamic attacking players, using his speed and technical abilities to create eight chances and send in 24 crosses through the first seven games.
Laing's early-season success should come as no surprise to seasoned NASL followers. He is a three-time NASL Best XI selection, earning the honours twice with FC Edmonton (2014, 2015) and once with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2011). Laing spent last season with Minnesota United FC.
North Carolina has a busy week ahead with a pair of road games on the docket. The club will visit the Carolina Dynamo in the second round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET before paying a visit to Puerto Rico FC on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Through eight weeks, North Carolina sits just three points back of first-place Miami FC in the Spring Season Standings.