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The Daily Tar Heel

2nd-Half Proficiency Propels UNC

As the two embraced, Ramsey lifted Reddick and twirled her around before letting her go.

Just seconds before, Reddick had notched the equalizing goal off a pass from Ramsey, who was on a fast break after getting a touch from forward Susan Bush.

With a quick one-touch to the far post, past Tennessee's goalkeeper Ellen Dean, Reddick relieved the Tar Heels' 1-0 deficit in the first half. This was the first time in this year's NCAA Tournament that UNC has had to battle from behind.

The goal surged the Tar Heels to go on to defeat Tennessee 3-1 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament at Fetzer Field on Friday night. The No. 2 Tar Heels advance to the fourth round when they will play Texas A&M on Friday, also at Fetzer Field at 6 p.m.

UNC fought from behind for about 14 minutes before Reddick notched the goal. In the 19th minute of the game, Tennessee midfielder Tara Minnax, who registered two shots for the Lady Vols, snuck a ball past UNC goalkeeper Jenni Branam.

Minnax scored after rebounding her misplaced shot in UNC's goalbox. Minnax's first shot went right, the second one left. The second time worked.

"It was a misclear," said senior defender Leslie Gaston. "Then Jenni came out. It was actually great because we had four people in the goal when she left, and we had a superb finish but the next one was miscleared."

That goal prompted the Tar Heels to pressure the Lady Vols with seven shots in the first half -- two of which found the back of the net. Tennessee cranked out three shots in the first half, all before Reddick's goal. UNC didn't let the Lady Vols earn a fourth.

Freshman Lindsay Tarpley buffered Reddick's goal about 10 minutes later, after Reddick sent the Tar Heel forward a cross off a pass from Leigh Blomgren.

Despite the goals, UNC coach Anson Dorrance thought his team respected Tennessee too much in the first half.

"We played a very sloppy, direct game, which basically indicated in my mind panic, and I felt that we corrected that at the half and played a better game in the second half," Dorrance said.

But Ramsey said the team's mindset had little to do with the fact that UNC (20-1-4) wasn't winning the contest in the opening minutes.

"When we play behind I don't think there's a sense of panic because we're still playing well," she said. "I think there's more of a sense it was mentally calm."

It was this confidence that helped Ramsey tally UNC's third goal of the game, her 15th of the season. On the far side of the field, the junior received a pass from Bush and launched a 20-yard shot that careened toward Dean, who followed the ball as it ricocheted off the far post and into the opposite pocket.

"That was not an accident," Dorrance said. "She finished the ball very well. You saw her prepare it, look up and then deliberately send it back post."

Tennessee coach Angela Kelly, who played for four consecutive national championship teams at UNC from 1991-94, said she knew what to expect.

"Carolina is Carolina," Kelly said. "They kind of wear teams down. I think if that second goal hadn't occurred, not saying the result would have been different, the run of play might have been different in the second half."

The Tar Heels found success with their depth, something Tennessee (18-6-1) lacked as Kelly made one substitution throughout the game. UNC was able to reach a little further Friday, utilizing previously injured freshman Lori Chalupny.

Kelly said she expects UNC will use its depth to maintain an up-tempo game.

"If I'm not going to win the national championship, I want North Carolina to continue to win it and tournament time is kicking into high gear, and they have a renewed focus. ... It's going to be very hard for a team to discontinue that run."

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