UNC women's soccer claws back, claims 1-1 draw against California
DURHAM — All it took was one shot to stun the the North Carolina women's soccer team.
On California’s first shot of the game, UNC quickly found itself behind. The goal was the first allowed by the Tar Heels this season, and it wouldn’t be an easy road back.
For 110 minutes on Friday night, UNC and California clashed in a double-overtime thriller. And behind a goal by Megan Buckingham with less than three minutes left in regulation, the Tar Heels managed a 1-1 draw in the Nike Duke Classic at Koskinen Stadium.
The fourth-ranked Tar Heels (4-0-1) looked poised to score early, but couldn’t muster any points despite leading the shooting battle.
The going got harder for UNC when senior Katie Bowen went down after a sliding tackle. She later returned to play, but was ultimately unable to finish the game.
Coach Anson Dorrance sent wave after wave of fresh players — 20 to be exact — at the Golden Bears, but their defense stayed sure.
California (2-1-1) did more than simply fend off UNC, as the Golden Bears attempted to extend their lead to two. But two late saves by goalkeeper Lindsey Harris kept the Tar Heels in the match — just long enough for one last push.
California’s defense frustrated the Tar Heels at times, holding UNC scoreless for 87 minutes. But Buckingham wouldn't be thwarted.
The sophomore put one away with just 2:52 left in regulation to send the match to overtime.
The match ended in a tie, but the Tar Heels stole a point — and in stunning fashion.
“I couldn’t be happier for Megan Buckingham. I told her we were going to play her today, and of course, she thanked us with a goal.” — Coach Anson Dorrance on sophomore midfielder Megan Buckingham.
Alexa Newfield, who leads UNC with five goals scored, did not play in Friday's game. After a hot start to the season, she is day-to-day after being unable to practice this week. Newfield sat out the entire 2014 season after having knee surgery.
Three numbers that matter
374: The Tar Heels held a clean sheet for the first 374 minutes of the season before California scored in the 15th minute of Friday's match.
110: Julia Ashley was the only UNC player to play all 110 minutes. California had six players play the entire match.
3: UNC's lone goal came on just its third shot on target.
The Tar Heels play No. 15 Southern California at 11 a.m. on Sunday in the Nike Duke Classic at Koskinen Stadium.
Next up in Sports
The Daily Tar Heel welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic.