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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels 'Noles end night even

Just when it seemed that the No. 2 North Carolina women's soccer team's train couldn't be stopped a giant barricade appeared on its tracks.

The roadblock came in the form of Sanna Talonen and No. 6 Florida State UNC's closest competition in the ACC standings.

FSU arrived in Chapel Hill on a seven-game winning streak and with the conference's regular-season title on the line" the top two teams slugged their way to a 2-2 tie.

""There's quality players on both teams and there comes a point where physicality comes into play" defender Whitney Engen said. When you've got a high-level matchup like this" you're going to see a lot of hits.""

The Tar Heels drew first blood with two first-half goals. They wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard" getting a goal from midfielder Allie Long in the game's 10th minute. Long headed the ball into the net off a high-arcing corner kick from Yael Averbuch.

A logjam of players had gathered directly in front of the net while Averbuch's ball hovered in the air but Long was able to out-jump the rest of the pile.

UNC's Tobin Heath pushed the margin to a comfortable level in the 40th minute with a header of her own and it seemed the table had been set for another easy win.

But that's when Talonen the Seminoles' leading goal scorer" decided to put the game on her own shoulders.

Talonen eluded UNC's defense for a breakaway score shortly after Heath's header to cut the lead in half and draw the ire of coach Anson Dorrance.

""That's like a junior high team assuming that there's only a couple minutes left on the clock and we were fine" he said. That wasn't indicative of the team we want to be" which is to focus and close out a half like we could have.""

Florida State capitalized on this momentum in the second half" completely flipping the script of what had transpired all game.

FSU finally showed its prowess on offense and peppered six second-half shots on the Tar Heels — putting five of those on goal.

One of those six was another Talonen breakaway" and she again was able to put away an easy finish.

""The defense and the goalkeepers were pretty disappointed in the goals"" Engen said. They were just two small breakdowns that we just lost focus.""

After the Seminoles' second goal" both teams went cold on offense. When the game stretched into double overtime play slowed as both teams began to fatigue.

Casey Nogueira came closest to ending it connecting on a laser in overtime that FSU keeper Kate Milstead barely managed to get hand on and push over the frame.



Contact the Sports Editor at sports@unc.edu.


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