Current Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2014 19:57:43 -0400
The No. 1 women’s soccer team in the land came to Chapel Hill on Thursday night, and the No. 1 women’s soccer team in the land left Chapel Hill with its unblemished record still intact.
Top-ranked Florida State (10-0-0, 3-0-0) beat No. 13 North Carolina 1-0 Thursday night at Fetzer Field, a loss that both stung and proved valuable for UNC.
The Tar Heels (5-3-2, 1-2-1) outshot the Seminoles 14 to five — including seven to two shots on goal — and though they lost, they learned that they could hang with the best team in the country.
“We are leaving this game with the feeling that we can play with anyone,” head coach Anson Dorrance said. “Had we beaten them, we would have left this game with the feeling that we can beat anyone. There was no change in our psychological platform following the loss.”
UNC forced FSU goalkeeper Kelsey Wys to make seven saves, while the Tar Heels’ keepers had only one. UNC had four corner kicks, and the Seminoles had one.
Florida State, though, did what UNC couldn’t: Turn one of its goal-scoring chances into a goal.
“There’s been games where we’re on the other side of that,” junior forward Kealia Ohai said. “That’s just how soccer is. You got to finish the ball. We did play hard, and we did dominate, I would say. But we didn’t get it done, and they did …That’s the difference.”
Ohai looked destined to find the back of the net after a first half of piercing runs through and around FSU’s defense, but her efforts went unrewarded.
“One of our biggest game plans was just to put extreme pressure on them,” senior midfielder Maria Lubrano said. “I think we could count on one hand how many times they got in our half.”
The second half was more of the same — UNC created most of the chances and held most of the possession — but after FSU’s Dagny Brynjarsdottir slotted the ball past UNC goalie Bryane Heaberlin, the Tar Heels pressed for a goal.
“I think we did get a little too frustrated, pushing a little too much after (the goal) instead of letting things come to us,” Lubrano said.
And after UNC’s Crystal Dunn powered into the box and forced Wys to make an acrobatic save with less than six minutes to go, the Tar Heels would have no more close chances to capture the elusive goal.
UNC lost, and it didn’t score, but it learned something when the No. 1 team in the land came to Chapel Hill on Thursday night: It’s not too far behind.
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