The North Carolina men’s soccer team (11-7-2, 4-4-0 ACC) was defeated, 4-1, by the New Hampshire Wildcats (17-1-2, 7-0-1 America East) in Sunday’s second round match of the NCAA Tournament.
After a thrilling, penalty kick victory in the first round, the Tar Heels traveled on the road to take on the No.16 Wildcats.
Starting off the game, the Wildcats looked like a team worthy of their ranking. New Hampshire’s attack was led early by midfielder Linus Fallberg when he gifted the Wildcats their first corner kick of the half.
Despite the corner kick opportunity coming up empty, the pressure by the Wildcats kept the UNC defense on its heels during the early stages.
The early attack was eventually simmered thanks to the consistent play of UNC graduate defender Filippo Zattarin. His timely headers and clears kept the game scoreless for the first 22 minutes of the game.
However, the Wildcats' persistent attack finally paid off in the 23rd minute, when Bridger Hansen’s bicycle kick ended up in the back of the net.
The early gut-punch seemed to ignite the Tar Heel offense, as the first shot of the day proved to be a good one for UNC. Junior forward Jonathan Jimenez's low cross made its way through the Wildcat defense and ended up on the foot of sophomore midfielder Tim Schels who booted in the equalizer.
From this point on, New Hampshire took full momentum of the game. In the 37th minute, midfielder Rory O'Driscoll scored his seventh goal of the year when his header sneaked past the outstretched arms of UNC's graduate goalkeeper, Alec Smir.