In a heartbreaking finish, the No. 18 North Carolina men’s soccer team (7-3-2, 3-2-0 ACC) fell to Syracuse (4-3-4, 1-2-2 ACC) on Saturday, losing on a goal in the final minutes. The Orange came back from a 3-1 deficit in the second half to win the game 4-3, giving them their first win over the Tar Heels in program history.
Syracuse started fast out of the gate against UNC, with the Orange's Ryan Raposo scoring a goal in the first minute of play. But North Carolina answered back with a goal of its own in the 15th minute with a header from junior Alex Rose, assisted by senior Mauricio Pineda, to tie it up 1-1.
UNC added another goal from first-year Jonathan Jimenez in the 33rd minute to take the lead. At the end of the first half, the Tar Heels were up 2-1 and had outshot the Orange 8-3.
After the break, junior Santiago Herrera came off the bench for UNC and made his presence felt by scoring a penalty kick goal for the Tar Heels, extending the lead to 3-1 at the 57-minute mark. The goal was Santiago’s third this season.
But the Syracuse comeback began when Raposo scored again for the Orange in the 71st minute, narrowing UNC’s lead to 3-2. Then, with only 16 minutes left in the game, Syracuse tied it up at three.
Just before the 80-minute mark, UNC sophomore goalkeeper Alec Smir saved a shot from the Orange, momentarily keeping the Tar Heels alive. But with in the 88th minute, Syracuse took a lead it would not give up when Raposo scored his third goal of the day. The final score was 4-3 for the Orange.
Who stood out?
Rose scored for the sixth time this year, and now leads the Tar Heels in goals for the 2019 season.