No. 2 Florida State, No. 5 North Carolina play to 1-1 tie in ACC showdown
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Second-ranked Florida State and fifth-ranked North Carolina went toe-to-toe Thursday night at Fetzer Field as the Tar Heels came back to tie the Seminoles 1-1 before a crowd of 1,322.
The Seminoles, who had won four consecutive games against Carolina since 2011, struck in the first half off the head of Dagny Brynjarsdottir, but the Tar Heels equalized in the second half off the foot of freshman midfielder Annie Kingman.
The two teams came into the match as the only remaining unbeaten and untied teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. After the draw both teams remain tied for first at 7-0-1 in the league while Virginia at 7-1 sits in third place. Carolina is unbeaten in its last 10 matches, going 9-0-1, although it did see its nine-match winning streak end. The Tar Heels are now 10-2-2 on the campaign. Florida State had won 10 matches in a row since a loss to Florida on Sept. 5. The Noles are now 14-1-1 overall.
It was a relatively quiet half for both teams in the opening 45 minutes as the two squads were feeling out each other's strategy. But the calm was disrupted by an excellent goal by the Seminoles in the 32nd minute. Just moments after Cassie Miller made a save for the Seminoles on a close-range shot by UNC's Amber Munerlyn, the veteran Noles, defending ACC Tournament champions and NCAA finalists, struck on the other end as Marta Bakowska-Mathews fed a perfect ball from the left side of the of pitch near the end line that Brynjarsdottir headed home into the left side from 10 yards out. It was her team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Neither team would seriously threaten again in the first half but the second half was a different story for UNC, defensively and offensively. Florida State would put five of its seven shots on goal in the second half, but UNC's Lindsey Harris, who played the second half and overtime, came up big, making a career high six saves in the final 65 minutes of the game. Earlier this season she had made three saves on three occasions.
The two teams traded some good early scoring chances in the first 17 minutes of the second half before the Tar Heels struck for the tying goal. At 62:25, UNC head coach Anson Dorrance made five substitutions. Twenty-nine seconds later, three of the players who had just come on to the pitch, combined on the tying goal.
Sarah Ashley Firstenberg and Summer Green exchanged crisp short passes to start the scoring sequence. Green sent the ball back to Firstenberg who slipped a nifty ball to freshman Annie Kingman at the 18-yard line on the left side. Kingman took one dribble and sent a low left-footed shot that eluded Miller before settling into the far right side netting. The goal at the 62:54 mark was Kingman's second of the season.
Less than four minutes later, Brynjarsdottir hit the post on a header, nearly giving FSU the lead. In the 77th minute, she had another excellent chance, but the ball was cleared off the line by UNC'sMegan Buckingham. Carolina's best chance to end the game in regulation came with 1:12 to play when Emily Bruder's shot from the 18-yard line sailed just wide to the left.
In overtime, FSU had three shots in the first overtime. Lindsey Harris again came up big for UNC as she skied to knock down a shot by Bakowska-Mathews 2:42 into extra time. She scrambled to her feet and saved the ball from going over the end line and giving FSU a corner kick.
Neither team had any success generating offense in the second overtime with no shots being taken.
FSU outshot the Tar Heels 15-12 in the game while Carolina had a slight edge in corner kicks 7-6. Miller finished with two saves for the Seminoles. UNC finished with eight saves on Florida State's 15 shots on goal - one by Bryane Heaberlin in the first half, six by Harris, and Buckingham's save off the line in the second period.
Carolina's energy in the second half helped it come back against the Noles as Dorrance used 10 substitutes and Florida State used only two. Twenty of the 21 players UNC used played at least 14 minutes.