Amidst hundreds of Brigham Young students who stormed the field, the North Carolina women’s soccer players were hidden in white — some standing, some sitting, but all crying and all in utter disbelief.
Leading BYU 3-0 with just 30 minutes left, it seemed almost impossible that North Carolina wouldn’t advance to the 2023 College Cup. But for the rest of the game, the Cougars pounced on every opportunity they were presented, slowly unraveling the UNC defense.
At the end of the NCAA tournament quarterfinals game in Provo, Utah, all that was remained for North Carolina was a feeling of disbelief as the scoreboard lit up the final score, 4-3 — a result that tied the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history.
But in reality, Friday ruminated a feeling of disbelief.
The theme for most of the latter half of the season was North Carolina's inability to score goals, only achieving a multi-goal game twice — once in October and once in November.But less than two minutes into the game against BYU, North Carolina had already found the back of the net.
Redshirt sophomore midfielder Ally Sentnor connected with redshirt senior defender Maycee Bell on a corner kick, who floated a header past the keeper to notch the fastest goal the Tar Heels had scored all season. Then, on top of this, Sentnor added two goals of her own over the next 18 minutes to give UNC a three-goal advantage just 20 minutes into the game.
This was almost unheard of from the Tar Heels this season.
Three goals in the first half?
The last time they did that was against Gardner-Webb in their fifth game of the season in August. For North Carolina to have scored three goals in a half, let alone before the midpoint of the period in an NCAA tournament game, was almost unbelievable.