HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison senior Christian McLaughlin converted a penalty kick in the closing minutes of the first half to lift the Dukes to a 1-0 upset of top-ranked and defending NCAA champion North Carolina Tuesday.
UNC, which entered the game ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA coaches poll, lost for the first time in five games. JMU evened its record at 2-2-1.
Before a University Park-record crowd of 1,531, the Dukes extended their home winning streak to 14 games (12-0-2), tying the school record set during the 2003-04 season (13-0-1).
McLaughlin converted a penalty kick with 3:12 left in the opening half, sending the ball to the left side of the goal while senior goalkeeper Scott Goodwin dived to the right.
The penalty was assessed when UNC sophomore defender Jordan McCrary was called for a shove on freshman Bjarki Aðalsteinsson in the penalty area.
JMU out-shot UNC 9-7, and junior goalkeeper Colin Newcity made three saves to get his second shutout of the year. Goodwin finished with two saves.
“It was in essence the perfect storm,” JMU head coach Tom Martin said. “We had the right team, we worked our socks off, defended very well, were dangerous where we should have been and we got what we deserved, which is not always the case in soccer.”
“[We played] a lot of possession soccer; we felt we had a strength there. We wanted to capitalize on re-start dead ball situations; we thought we had a decided advantage there. We pressured the ball in midfield and got a turnover. They fouled us [and] we got a free kick. Bjarki was pushed in the back on his run [and] the referee was in great position and called it, and that was it.”