After its Friday game against Florida Gulf Coast was canceled, the No. 9 North Carolina women’s soccer team defeated Florida Atlantic on Sunday, 3-2, with a golden goal by first-year Zoe Redei.
North Carolina struck first when first-year forward Bridgette Andrzejewski put the Tar Heels up 1-0 in the 17th minute.
Florida Atlantic (2-2) equalized 10 minutes later on a goal from Asta Arnadottir. It was the first goal the Tar Heels (3-0) had allowed this season.
In the second half, it looked like the two teams were going to quietly head to extra time with one goal apiece. But after a 30-minute rain delay with two minutes left in regulation, each team scored in the span of a minute. Andrzejewski scored her second goal for the Tar Heels in the 88th minute, and Sammy Rowland scored in the 89th minute for FAU to tie it up and send the game into extra time.
In the second period of overtime, Redei struck gold with a goal three minutes in, allowing North Carolina to escape the weekend unscathed.
Who stood out?
The Tar Heels were pleased to see Andrzejewski score the first and second goals of her young career. The Lutherville, Maryland native was one of UNC's biggest recruits in the Class of 2016. She’s a veteran of the US Women’s National Team circuit, having played on various U.S. teams since she was 13 years old.
Andrzejewski had four shots in the Tar Heels' first two games the weekend before. She could use this performance as a launching point toward becoming a bigger part of the UNC offense.
When was it decided?
Redei’s goal in the third minute of the second overtime locked up the game for the Tar Heels. The first two times UNC scored, Florida Atlantic quickly answered to even the contest. But in sudden death, the Owls didn't have a chance to counter Redei’s brilliant strike.
Why does it matter?
On the surface, it’s a good day for the Tar Heels because they improved to 3-0 on the season. More importantly, though, the Tar Heels have found two first-years — Redei and Andrzejewski — who stood out in these first three games.
The question coming into the season for the Tar Heels was who would do the scoring. But Redei and Andrzejewski have stepped up into those roles, quieting for the moment any concerns that Coach Anson Dorrance might have had in that department.
North Carolina travels to Duke for a Friday faceoff at 7:30 in the Duke Nike Classic.
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