SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Two of the top teams in collegiate men's soccer battled at the SU Soccer Stadium on Friday night when No. 3 Syracuse hosted No. 4 North Carolina. The Orange held the advantage in shots and corner kicks, but couldn't take advantage of their opportunities as the match ended in a 0-0 tie.
Sophomore goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert posted his 12th career shutout in the tie, which ties him for sixth place on Syracuse's career record list.
"They have a lot of weapons and I thought we did a good job defending them," Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre said. "We had a couple of chances – hit the woodwork, had a couple of scrambles – but I thought they did a pretty good job of defending against us as well."
Syracuse senior Chris Nanco was the most dynamic player throughout the match. He had Syracuse's first chance when he ripped a shot from 25 yards out, but it went just wide. The Orange (8-1-1, 2-1-1) continued to put pressure on the Tar Heels (7-1-1, 3-0-1), but James Pyle made four saves and the teams went into the locker rooms tied, 0-0, at halftime.
The Orange continued to apply pressure at the start of the second half as they recorded a corner kick and three shots in the first 12 minutes. North Carolina gained some momentum, earning three corner kicks in a span of five minutes, but Syracuse did not allow a shot on any those opportunities.
Nanco again was causing problems for the Tar Heels in the 80th minute. He had a shot blocked and then hit the crossbar. His shot off a corner kick in the 82nd minute went wide on what was Syracuse's final scoring chance in regulation. North Carolina earned a corner kick in the 88th minute, but couldn't get off a shot as the game went into overtime.
2OT FINAL: UNC 0, Syracuse 0 pic.twitter.com/98ao0dclpN— UNC Men's Soccer (@UNCmenssoccer) October 1, 2016
Syracuse had two corner kicks in each of the extra sessions. The final one came with 10 seconds remaining in the second OT, but the Orange couldn't get off a shot as the match ended in a 0-0 tie.
Hilpert made two saves for Syracuse and posted his sixth shutout of the season. Pyle finished with five saves for the Tar Heels. Syracuse outshot North Carolina, 13-6, and had seven corner kicks to four for the Tar Heels.
Friday's match marked the second consecutive game in which the Orange faced a team ranked in the top five. Syracuse had its eight-game winning streak snapped last Friday at No. 2 Notre Dame.
"The next step for us is to get a win against one of these national title challengers," McIntyre said. "I thought we bounced back (from the Notre Dame game). I think we were a little bit unfortunate not to come away from South Bend without at least a point. Two points out of the two games would have been a fair reflection of the effort we put in. This was a hard-fought game between two good college teams."
The Orange will hit the road for a pair of road matches this week, starting at Albany on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. Syracuse returns to ACC play on Friday, Oct. 7 at No. 9 Louisville at 7 p.m.