Offense wins games.
Fortunately for the North Carolina men’s soccer team, it was able to muster up just enough to win 1-0 in overtime in its first-round matchup against Syracuse in the ACC Tournament.
After 90 minutes of regulation and 15 minutes of overtime, the Tar Heels had just one shot on goal. But, 24 seconds later, senior midfielder Milo Garvanian stepped up to take a penalty shot after a Syracuse foul in the box.
Garvanian struck the ball past the keeper into the left corner of the net, winning the game for UNC and putting the team through to the quarterfinals against Clemson on Sunday.
“I was really just thinking you gotta put this shot right in the back,” Garvanian said. “I wasn’t really that nervous. We had been practicing all week, so I went up and took it.”
Syracuse found a way to get shots off on a North Carolina defense that had only allowed one goal in the past three games. The Orange attempted nine shots, including four on goal during the match.
The most notable of these shots occurred in the second half with just under seven minutes to play. Syracuse forward Deandre Kerr slipped through the defense with the ball and had a one-on-one with graduate goalkeeper Alec Smir.
But Smir saved the ball and kept the game scoreless, setting the stage for overtime.
“I was thinking just to come out and be big and hold my ground and make sure I made the save,” he said.