The No. 3 seed North Carolina men’s soccer team (11-3-7, 2-3-3 ACC) fell to Oregon State (10-5-5, 4-1-5 PAC-12) 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, Saturday at Dorrance Field.
In their last game, the Tar Heels pulled off the comeback victory against Hofstra in the third round. Winning the game in a penalty shootout, UNC converted all five of its kicks and saved one to advance.
In Oregon State’s third-round matchup, the Beavers netted a tournament-high seven goals to defeat SMU on the road.
On Saturday, an opening 20 minutes of play saw little stand-out moments. Oregon State controlled the majority of possession as the Tar Heels looked comfortable sitting back in defense.
“If you let teams be comfortable with the tempo of the game then they’re going to look a lot different, better than we want them to look,” head coach Carlos Somoano.
Before long, the Beaver’s continuous build-up culminated in the game’s opening goal. After shifting the ball around the top of the box, Oregon State focused its attack down the left side of UNC’s back line.
In the 36th minute, Oregon State midfielder Vincente Castro dribbled his way into a dangerous area near the bottom corner of the box. Fighting off a Tar Heel defender attached to his hip, Castro clipped a low-skipping ball into the penalty area.
The cross found wide-open Oregon State midfielder Dante Wiliams camped out in the middle of UNC’s defense. In one touch, Williams steered the ball into the upper corner of the goal – giving Oregon State the 1-0 advantage ahead of the break.
“Speed of play,” Somoano said in response to what plagued UNC in the first half. “Oregon State had the game going at a good tempo and we just didn’t know how to adjust.”