Nov. 28, 2010

Courtesy of UNC Athletics

The No. 4 North Carolina Tar Heels were down to the final seconds Sunday afternoon at Fetzer Field but sophomore Enzo Martinez came through with just nine seconds remaining to force overtime against Michigan State. The Tar Heels picked up another save from Scott Goodwin and a second-straight 5-4 penalty shootout win to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinal round for the third straight year.

The Tar Heels were looking at elimination as the clock ticked down Sunday afternoon but Carolina's leading scorer came through once again. Carolina earned a corner kick with less than a minute to play that Michael Farfan sent in with only 18 seconds remaining. The Spartans attempted to head the ball away but were only able to get the ball out of the box to a waiting Enzo Martinez.

Martinez called off goalkeeper Scott Goodwin, who had pushed forward for the corner kick, and made a touch to his right before lofting a ball to the top right corner of the goal. Michigan State's Avery Steinlage leaped for the ball but was unable to get a finger on it as pandemonium ensued with Martinez being mobbed by his teammates with only nine seconds showing on the clock.

As overtime commenced it looked like it would end early as MSU's Garret Back made a run in the 92nd minute. A Spartan midfielder fed Back a ball behind the Tar Heel defense. Back reached the ball just as Scott Goodwin was coming out forcing a shot into the hands of Goodwin. The ball bounced off Goodwin and was bounding toward the goal but rolled wide giving the Spartans a corner kick instead of the game-winning goal.

Michael Farfan was looking for the game-winner in the 96th minute when he sent a low-driving shot at net but Steinlage was able to corral the ball. A little more than two minutes later Kirk Urso gathered a deflected ball 25 yards from goal with Steinlage scurrying back to his post. Urso blasted a shot that never reached the six-yard box as Michigan State deflected the ball away.

The Tar Heels controlled possession in the second overtime period and made several challenging runs but only sparingly tested Steinlage before the match went to a shootout.

Carolina was facing a shootout for the second straight week and produced a similar 5-4 result.

MSU's Domenic Barone stepped to the spot first and went top left for the opening tally before Michael Farfan calmly made it 1-1 with a shot middle right. Cyrus Saydee, who put the Spartans in front in the 65th minute on a give and go with Rubin Bega, was next up for MSU. Saydee went low left into the diving arms of Goodwin who made his second penalty save in as many weeks to put Carolina in control.

Kirk Urso made it 2-1 in favor of Carolina with a shot bottom left. Rubin Bega and Drew McKinney traded penalty makes making the score 3-2 after three rounds. Brett Rosendall and Jalil Anibaba did the same in the fourth round forcing MSU's Spencer Thompson to make his attempt.

Thompson converted giving Martinez the opportunity to tally not only the equalizer but also the game-winner. Martinez went top left on Steinlage and deposited the ball into the back of the net to give Carolina the 5-4 penalty win.

Saydee's goal came on a Spartan counter attack in the 65th minute. Saydee corralled a deflected ball and found Bega who gave it to Saydee in open space. Goodwin came out cutting down Saydee's angle but the Spartan midfielder touched the ball to his left and fired around Goodwin for the opening tally.

Carolina has now advanced to quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament seven times in school history, including the last three seasons.

The Tar Heels will take on the winner of SMU and William & Mary on Friday at 7 p.m. at Fetzer Field with a trip to the College Cup on the line.