No. 5 North Carolina Takes OT Thriller From No. 12 Virginia
Oct. 3, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Junior midfielder Cameron Brown's 109th minute header snapped a scoreless tie and sent No. 5 North Carolina to a 1-0 double overtime victory over No. 12 Virginia Friday at Fetzer Field. The dramatic win vaulted the Tar Heels (7-1-1, 3-1-0 ACC) to the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings and their best league start since the 2001 national championship season.
With the top two defensive squads in the ACC on the pitch, neither team could find the back of the net until Brown deposited his third game-winner with just 1:39 left in the second overtime period. Captain Zach Loyd sent a throw in from the right side into the box, and Jordan Graye flicked it to the left to Brown, who buried an eight-yard header at the near post for his career-best fourth goal of the season.
Loyd earned his second assist off a throw in this year on the play, while Graye picked up his first helper.
Senior goalkeeper Brooks Haggerty made four saves to nail down his ACC-leading fourth shutout of the season and his second in a row. Virginia keeper Diego Restrepo also had four stops and kept the Tar Heels off the board until Brown's game-winner.
Carolina limited the Cavaliers (6-3-0, 1-3-0 ACC) to just five shots on the night and only two after halftime. Haggerty's only save in OT was key, as he stopped a shot by Virginia's Will Bates off a free kick in the 106th minute.
Before Brown's goal, the Tar Heels nearly won it in the first overtime period when Kirk Urso volleyed a corner kick from 20 yards out just over the crossbar in the 96th minute. Michael Farfan also put a shot on frame in the second extra period when Restrepo halted his 21-yard free kick.
In regulation, Urso and Graye hooked up on a nifty give-and-go in the 86th minute that also nearly resulted in a goal, but Graye's shot attempt was just high.
Scoring opportunities were few and far between in the opening half, as the teams combined for just seven shots. The Tar Heels thwarted the Virginia's best chance when center back Drew McKinney cleared a ball off the line on a free kick into the box in the 15th minute.
Carolina had a pair of quality chances midway through the half when Loyd sent header just over the crossbar in the 22nd minute, and Urso followed two minutes later with a free kick that was tipped off the crossbar by Restrepo.
The Tar Heels, who have not allowed a goal in their last two matches, outshot the Cavaliers by an 11-5 margin and held an 8-3 advantage in corners.
UNC is 7-1-1 for the second straight season but its three league wins already match its total for each of the last four years.
Carolina is back in action Tuesday, Oct. 6 at Fetzer Field against Liberty at 7 p.m.