Oct. 8, 2010

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. - A pair of Tar Heel freshmen midfielders connected on the game-winning goal Friday night, allowing third-ranked North Carolina to depart Klockner Stadium with a 1-0 overtime win against sixth-ranked Virginia in collegiate women's soccer action. In a matchup of the NCAA's top two scoring offenses, it was the defenses that carried the day before Crystal Dunn scored off an assist by Kelly McFarlane in the 99th minute to give the Tar Heels the victory.

North Carolina improves to 11-1-1 overall this season and 3-1 in the ACC with the win over the Cavaliers. Carolina is now tied for second place in the ACC with Wake Forest behind only Florida State, which is the league's only unbeaten and untied team in conference play. Ironically, the Tar Heels and the Seminoles are next on each other's docket as they will battle for the league's top spot next Thursday at 7 p.m. at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill. FSU is 10-2 overall and ranked ninth in this week's Soccer America poll.

Virginia fell to 8-3-1 with the loss and the Cavaliers are now 2-2 in the ACC. The sixth-ranked Cavaliers were facing their second foe in five days ranked among the nation's Top 3 squads. The Wahoos had come from behind to beat then top-ranked Boston College 3-2 in overtime last Sunday at Klockner Stadium.

On Friday Virginia had the better of the hand statistically through the first 55 minutes of play before the Tar Heels turned the tide, holding Virginia to only two shots in the game in the final 44:50 of the match.

Virginia outshot the Tar Heels 6-4 in the first half and Carolina did not have a shot on frame in the first 45 minutes. Meanwhile, UNC sophomore Hannah Daly turned away two shots in the first half to keep the game scoreless at halftime. UNC freshman Elizabeth Burchenal came close to putting the Heels on top at 20:17 but her shot bounced off the post. Daly's first half saves came against Gloria Douglas at the 29:56 mark and against Colleen Flanagan at 33:15.

As is UNC's custom, Anna Sieloff came on in goal for the Tar Heels in the second half and she was tested early by the Virginia side. Sieloff made three saves in the first 10 minutes of the second half to keep the score tied. She turned away Flanagan 40 seconds into the second half and then had saves against Lindsey Miller at 50:03 and 54:48. At that point, UVa had outshot the Heels 9-5 but from that point on UNC allowed only two shots while peppering away at the Wahoos' net.

It was Chantel Jones' turn to play the stopper. Carolina's first seven shots of the game were not on frame before Rachel Wood's header off a corner kick by Katie Klimczak was saved by Jones in the 71st minute. Klimczak follow shot 13 seconds later went wide. Neither team got a shot off in the next 10 minute before a shot by Amber Brooks at 80:34 went high. UNC's best offensive thrust of the game came in a two-minute span shortly thereafter. Jones made saves on shots by Kealia Ohai at 83:14, by Meghan Klingenberg at 84:20 and by Ohai aghain at 84:50.

Virginia had two corner kicks in the final five minutes of the half with a shot by Amanda Fancher at the 86 minute mark blocked by UNC. The second half ended and the teams went to overtime for the fifth time in the last nine meetings between the clubs.

At the 98-minute mark, Virginia's Meghan Lenczyk had a header saved by Sieloff, the freshman's fourth save of the game and UNC's sixth overall. Carolina scored just 32 seconds later as McFarlane sent a through ball to Dunn, who pushed up to forward for the overtime period. Dunn gathered in the ball and finished from 10 yards out for her third goal of the season and the first game-winning goal of her career.

It was a very even game all around befitting of a battle between two teams in the Top 6. The Tar Heels outshot the Cavaliers 14-11 but Virginia had a 6-5 edge in shots on goal. Both teams had three corner kicks. UNC finished with six saves (two by Daly and four by Sieloff) while the Cavaliers had four saves.

Carolina will host No. 9 Florida State next Thursday at 7 p.m. at Fetzer Field while Virginia will play the third game of a four-game homestand next Thursday when the Cavaliers host Duke at 7 p.m. at Klockner Stadium.