In a game where both teams were competing for control of the field, it took one penalty kick to solidify the Tar Heels advancement to the ACC quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over No. 10 Syracuse.
The No. 7 North Carolina men’s soccer team was awarded a penalty kick after Syracuse’s Christian Curti committed a foul from within the goalie box during the game's second overtime period.
Senior midfielder Milo Garvanian, knowing that the outcome of the game was on his back, took the opportunity to put the Tar Heels on the board.
“I wasn’t super nervous, I had the opportunity and I took it,” Garvanian said. “If we just stick to the way we play we can achieve success, we’ve been practicing all week.”
The team rushed onto the field in joy after Garvanian made the score 1-0, ensuring the Tar Heels spot in the quarterfinals.
Before this goal, however, the game was a quiet one. Several failed shots on goal, unsuccessful corners and two red cards kept both offenses dormant throughout.
Just last week, Garvanian earned the ACC Offensive Player of the Week award and, prior to Wednesday’s game, he scored two goals against No. 15 Loyola Marymount.
His fellow teammate and close friend, goalkeeper Alec Smir, earned the Defensive Player of the Week award during the same week. Smir attributed the team’s success on Wednesday to a strong defense and the team remaining confident in themselves. In a one-on-one save against Orange midfielder Hilli Goldhar, Smir forcefully blocked Goldhar’s attempt on goal.
“I knew I had to hold my ground, we definitely needed the defense to be strong,” Smir said.