A dog-pile or dance move usually follows a game-winning golden goal, but the No. 1 North Carolina men’s soccer team left the field Tuesday night with a lot more on its mind than celebration.
In the 97th minute, sophomore midfielder Raby George scored his third goal of the season to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 win against unranked Campbell on the road. But this non-regulation result is one the team is becoming all too familiar with.
Out of the past five games, North Carolina has carried the pressure of golden goal on its backs for four.
“This was fourth time we went into overtime in five game and although it’s not terrible it’s not ideal,” redshirt junior goalkeeper Brendan Moore said. “Going into Campbell we wanted to progress and get a win in 90 minutes so we were a little disappointed in our performance tonight.”
UNC (3-0-2) remains undefeated, but the physical exhaustion of the extra minutes combined with the frustration of morale is not lost on the team.
“I say to them, ‘We’ve been here before so it doesn’t matter if we’re in overtime or regulation, it’s going down as a W,’” coach Carlos Somoano said.
“I don’t want them feeling like there is some pressure like they’ve failed.
“We try to keep the psychology of the team positive and not so that they start to look at themselves like, ‘Here we go again.’”
Although the Tar Heels had struggled in the past with finding cohesion on offense, they doubled the Camels’ shots on goal with an aggressive, season-high 16 attempts.