Eight-seeded Boston College (8-7-3, 3-3-2 ACC) came to Chapel Hill playing not just for a win but for its season, as a loss would have ended its chances to make the NCAA Tournament.
But the Eagles stayed alive, blanking the top-seeded Tar Heels (11-3-3, 5-1-2 ACC) in a 1-0 win in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.
Often the nature of a game is discovered through style, tempo or skill. But this matchup was defined by one series of plays, over a span of just 30 seconds, in the 58th minute.
The Tar Heels were attacking off a corner kick in the first 15 minutes of the second half. UNC redshirt sophomore Andy Lopez slid through the box trying to get a foot on the ball — and Boston College keeper Cedric Saladin didn’t appreciate how close Lopez’s slide was.
“I saw the ball loose, so I slid because I thought it was 50-50,” Lopez said.
“I got up and he punched me in the face.”
After mayhem ensued, with both teams corralling in the box, two yellow cards were given to Lopez and Saladin.
“Yeah, it was a little bit of a controversial moment,” Head Coach Carlos Somoano said. “It kind of stunned you there for a moment.”