In its first game in the new UNC Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium, the No. 6 North Carolina men’s soccer team (0-0-1) escaped a 2-0 deficit to tie Creighton, 2-2, in the first game of the the Carolina Nike Classic on Friday.
It was not an ideal start for the Tar Heels. After UNC conceded a foul near the edge of the box in the 18th minute, the Blue Jays took advantage of their first solid opportunity. Senior Yudai Tashiro buried the ball into the top corner of the goal, giving Creighton a 1-0 lead.
In the 31st minute, Creighton added its second goal of the game to take a surprising 2-0 lead. Redshirt first-year Dominic Briggs received a cross from senior Ziyad Fares to tap the ball into the open goal.
North Carolina emerged from the locker room with a new energy, keeping the game close to Creighton’s goal. After a few more chances in the box, they were finally able to convert. During the 52nd minute, senior Mauricio Pineda received a deflected ball and tucked it into the bottom left corner.
UNC’s relentless pressure was able to get them the tying goal in the 68th minute. Junior Alex Rose scored a powerful header off of a well-placed cross from senior Jelani Pieters.
Who stood out?
Pineda was a huge part of the second half comeback. He made plays all over the field, including the goal that cut the Creighton lead to one.
His leadership showed throughout the match. He motivated the players around him, passing his high level of play onto them.