Nov. 21, 2010

Courtesy of UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Fourth-seeded North Carolina claimed a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Georgetown Sunday night at Fetzer Field after 110 minutes of scoreless soccer. The Tar Heels converted all five penalty kicks and Scott Goodwin stopped a Hoya attempt to advance the Tar Heels to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season.

Following a scoreless 110 minutes of action, Georgetown and fourth-seeded North Carolina were forced to decide who would advance via a penalty shootout. Georgetown was the first to step to the spot as Ian Christianson converted his attempt before Kirk Urso knotted things up at 1-1 after the first round.

Round two saw the Hoyas' Alex Verdi beat the keeper to make it 2-1. Junior Drew McKinney equalized for the Tar Heels to even things up at 2-2.

Georgetown's Seth C'deBaca was the next to shoot for the Hoyas as he went low right into the waiting hands of Goodwin who parried the ball away and put Carolina in control of the shootout.

Senior Jalil Anibaba put the pressure on the Hoyas to come up with a stop as he made the score 3-2 after three rounds. Jimmy Nealis and Chandler Diggs converted for the Hoyas, while Enzo Martinez made his penalty putting Alex Walters in position to win the match in the fifth round.

Walters calmly placed the ball inside the left post before being bombarded by his teammates giving Carolina the 5-4 shootout win.

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Georgetown was the aggressor in the opening 15 minutes as both C'deBaca and Diggs challenged Goodwin with a pair of shots from distance that Goodwin had no problem controlling.

The Tar Heels rattled off three shots in a span of two and a half minutes before the first intermission as Enzo Martinez, Robbie Lovejoy and Josh Rice all launched shots toward the goal but none challenged Matthew Brutto. The teams would go into halftime with the score level at 0-0.

Ben Slingerland looked to have the game winner in the 53rd minute when he headed a ball that was flicked on following a corner. Slingerland's header was headed toward the top shelf but Goodwin rose up to punch the ball away at the last second for the miraculous save.

The Hoyas would continue to test the Carolina defense with a pair of corner kicks but were unable to keep possession going when head coach Elmar Bolowich turned to his bench for a trio of subs in the 58th minute.

The Tar Heels regained possession and started to mount an attack with the fresh legs on the field. A little over 10 minutes after coming on the pitch, Carlos McCrary launched a shot from 25 yards out that Brutto punched away to his left.

Georgetown made things interesting in the closing minutes of regulation as Rob Burnett ran on a ball and tried to sneak a shot past Goodwin that was deflected toward the top of the box for a waiting Jose Colchao who rifled another shot on net. Goodwin was able to recover and knock the ball away forcing a corner kick with with less than 10 minutes remaining.

The Hoyas were awarded a corner kick in the final two minutes that the Tar Heels easily cleared to force overtime.

In the extra session the Tar Heels were the aggressor and challenged the Hoyas with several shots from long distance. Kirk Urso blasted a shot in the 95th minute that Brutto was able to hang on to before Georgetown's Andy Riemer took a shot of his own from distance.

The Tar Heels looked to have the game winner in the 97th minute when Alex Walters found the ball in open space and launched a shot from 30 yards out. The shot dipped beyond the keeper's outstretched arms but found the crossbar bouncing back into the field of play.

Each team tallied a shot in the second session but neither challenged the keeper as the game would end in a scoreless deadlock forcing a penalty shootout.

The penalty shootout was the first for the Tar Heels since the College Cup a year ago when Carolina fell to Akron, 5-4, on penalties. Carolina is now 1-5 all-time in penalty shootouts, earning their first win since 1992 when the Tar Heels bested Wake Forest, 4-1, in the ACC Tournament.

Carolina advances to take on Michigan State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday, Nov. 28 at Fetzer Field. The meeting will be the second ever between the schools, with the first coming in Carolina's very first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1968. The Spartans claimed a 5-0 win on Nov. 25, 1968 before going on to claim a share of the national championship.