With a 1-0 overtime victory, No. 7 North Carolina men's soccer defeated No. 10 Syracuse on Wednesday to advance to the second round of the ACC Championships.
Despite the aggressiveness of play, the first half of the game ended with no goals. Even with four corner kicks, most of which were led by fifth-year Santiago Herrera, UNC was unable to convert. In the chippy-ness of the game, No. 10 Syracuse recorded 13 fouls in the first half. By the end of regulation, the Orange had 22 with North Carolina totaling eight.
Throughout the entirety of the game, Herrera continued to take shots which were blocked by Syracuse’s goalkeeper Russell Shealy. UNC goalkeeper Alec Smir made some beautiful saves, the most memorable of which occurred in the first half where he was shot on by midfielder Hilli Goldhar and forcefully dived right protecting the goal.
With 10 minutes left to play in regulation, the score remained 0-0 as both teams tussled for dominance over the field. None of the five shots taken by the Tar Heels or eight by the Orange were successful. The game was forced into overtime where Syracuse controlled the offensive possession. UNC faced a scare when a red card was placed on defender Riley Thomas, resulting in the Tar Heels having to play with only 10 men on the field.
The game was forced into 2OT, and a little over two minutes, in Syracuse was given a red card when Goldhar fouled out of the game when up against junior Jonathan Jimenez. It was then that the game turned into a 10 v 10 match.
The game was on the line when North Carolina was awarded a penalty kick for Orange’s Christian Curti’s foul against senior Milo Garvanian. Garvanian made the shot giving Carolina its first goal of the night and the 1-0 victory.
Who Stood Out?
Herrera demonstrated an aggressive offensive approach, attempting up three shots and one shot on goal. After an injury that took him out in the second half, first-year forward Tega Ikoba came back with a mission to help his team secure a victory and he proved to be an asset.
It was Garvanian, however, who added action to the final minutes of 2OT when he made the winning goal by penalty kick.
When was it decided?
After over 100 minutes of play, a foul against Orange’s Christian Curti occurred within the goalie box, resulting in a penalty kick led by Garvanian. The midfielder made a quick and thoughtful shot, sending the ball soaring into the net. A relatively stagnant game was made thrilling when he secured the winning goal, making the score 1-0. His teammates proceeded to fly onto the field with pleasure.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels are now on a four-game winning streak, with previous wins against nationally ranked opponents No.15 Loyola Marymount, No.13 Virginia Tech and No. 11 Notre Dame. The last time UNC played the Orange, the game ended in a 0-0 2OT tie. This time, North Carolina came out victorious in extra time.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will play No. 2 Clemson on Sunday, Nov. 7th as they proceed to the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship.
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