Greenís Spectacular Goal Powers Heels Past Orange
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Fourth-ranked North Carolina utilized a goal by Summer Green in the ninth minute to defeat Syracuse 1-0 Thursday afternoon at Fetzer Field in Atlantic Coast Conference women's soccer action.
The Tar Heels were awarded a free kick after a Syracuse foul 25 yards out on the left side and capitalized to notch the game-winning goal at the 8:06 mark. Kealia Ohai tapped the ball to Summer Green who drove a bending shot into the upper right 90 of the frame past Syracuse goalkeeper Brittany Anghel. It was Green's fifth goal of the season and it held up for the game winner as the Tar Heels dominated the remainder of the game even though they did not put a second goal in the back of the net.
UNC has now won six successive games and improved to 13-2 overall and 7-2 in the ACC. Syracuse, which had won two of its last three games coming into its game with the Tar Heels, fell to 6-9-1 overall and 2-7-1 in the ACC.
Carolina outshot the Orange 22-0 and had 12-2 advantage in corner kicks. Carolina has now posted clean sheets defensively in five of its past six matches and has nine shutouts on the season in 15 games.
Despite the huge edge in shots, Carolina was only able to put six shots on frame, forcing Anghel to make just five saves. Bryane Heaberlin and Anna Sieloff split the assignment in goal for North Carolina and combined on the clean sheet with each playing 45 minutes.
Syracuse was effective defensively in clogging up the middle of the field, dropping nine defenders into UNC's attacking third on a regular basis. Carolina earned 12 corner kicks but was unable to get clean looks off any of them. Syracuse threatened only when the Orange was able to earn throw ins deep in Tar Heel territory where Taylor Haenlin regularly placed them into the box forcing the Tar Heels to make nifty defensive clearances.
Other than Green's brilliant strike, the best scoring opportunity in the first half for the Tar Heels came in the 24th minute when a wicked strike by Kealia Ohai was barely knocked over the bar by Anghel at the last second. UNC ended the first half with seven shots.
The Tar Heels were even more dominant in the second half as they outshot the Orange 15-0 in the second 45 minutes. Anghel made four second-half saves on shots by Crystal Dunn, Kealia Ohai, Cameron Castleberry and Emily Bruder. Ohai's shot at 48:09 was the most dangerous chance the Tar Heels had in the second half.
The win kept the Tar Heels in the top four of the ACC standings heading into a handful of games being played Thursday night around the league. The top four teams are Virginia, Florida State, Virginia Tech and UNC in that order heading into Thursday night's games. The top four regular season finishers earn home field advantage in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals on November 3.
Carolina will play against #1-ranked Virginia on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Fetzer Field. The Tar Heels are winless against the Cavaliers since 2010, having gone 0-2-1 against the Wahoos in their last three meetings.Virginia is 14-0 overall and 8-0 versus the league heading into its game Thursday night at NC State. Sunday's game will be televised on Carolina's official athletic department website at GoHeelsTV and will also be broadcast live on WCHL Radio (97.9 FM/1360 AM/Chapelboro.com).