The build up
UNC started off slow, allowing Louisville to run off with a 2-0 lead after the first 35 minutes of play.
Facing a two-goal deficit at halftime, Coach Karen Shelton knew her team needed a boost coming out of the locker room — a boost Moyer provided, scoring 15 minutes in to cut the Cardinals’ lead in half.
Still, Louisville flashed a robust defense for the next few minutes, holding the score at 2-1.
In the 62nd minute, Shelton called a timeout in order to bring in an extra field player in hopes of netting the tying goal.
Less than two minutes later, Moyer put the tying goal past the Louisville keeper.
“Once we got the tying goal, we had a lot of momentum moving into the last minutes of the game.” Shelton said.
A yellow card for UNC with five minutes left meant the team would be a player down for the rest of the game. But the Tar Heel defense, anchored by ACC Defensive Player of the Year Julia Young, kept the Cardinals’ attack at bay.
“We had come back after being down before,” Young said. “Our mindset didn’t change.”
It was with mere seconds remaining that UNC found an opportunity in Cardinal territory.
A whistle blows — a corner. Moyer looks up at the clock. Ten seconds remain.
Then the final buzzer sounds — this is UNC’s chance to win in regulation.
Gab Major takes her place, set to slide the ball into the circle as UNC has already done six times in the game — none of which the team converted.
Young sets her stick on the turf. Major knows it’s her target, glancing in the direction of her teammates.
Moyer looks toward the cage she had already found twice this afternoon, yearning to find it just once more.
Major fires. Young settles. Moyer rips. The ball clangs against the back of the cage.
A whistle blows.
Moyer looks up at the scoreboard. It reads 3-2. UNC wins.
The goal propelled the Tar Heels to victory.
“It was well-executed, good team setup,” Young said. “We stayed aggressive and focused on executing our game.”
UNC — who was shut out by Louisville earlier in the season — notched two goals in the last six minutes.
“Knowing we can crawl back, even when we’re down,” Moyer said. “It’s nice to know we have that ability.”
With the win, the Tar Heels move to the semifinals, where they will face No. 1 Duke.
Having already faced Duke twice in the regular season — the first time a 3-2 win and the second time a 3-0 loss — North Carolina knows what looms ahead.
“They’re our archrival, heavily favored, coming off a bye,” Shelton said. “We’re shifting our sights to tomorrow.”
Preparation for Duke involves maintaining a clear head and keeping composure. Young knows this better than anyone.
“We’re not dwelling on the past,” she said. “Just playing our game.”