CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Unable to hold off the athletic and aggressive Tar Heel attack, No. 8 Florida State (12-3-2, 6-2-2 ACC) dropped its final match of the regular season by a score of 1-0 at No. 16 North Carolina (11-3-3, 6-2-2 ACC) on Thursday night.
It marked FSU’s first loss in the last eight matches of the series with UNC as the Seminoles had gone 6-0-1 against the Tar Heels since 2011.
It also snapped a three-match unbeaten streak for FSU at Fetzer Field, dating back to 2010.
“The quality of their pressure was better than our quality with the ball, and that won out today,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “I thought in the first half, they overran us and were able to impose a very athletic style into the game and we weren’t able to cope with it very often. But in the second half, we were able to settle the game and I thought our passing, spacing and movement was much, much better.
“For a lot of these players, it is the first time they’ve played against the quality of pressure that Carolina brings, so it is a good learning experience for them. We know that we’ll get better and be better for it. Credit to Carolina, they played a good game and deserved the victory.”
North Carolina held the majority of possession in the opening half and earned the first corner of the game in the fourth minute, though the Tar Heel header went over the goal.
Macayla Edwards recorded the first FSU shot of the half in the ninth minute, striking a ball from 20 yards out that went wide of the net.
UNC continued to pressure and Bridgette Andrzejewski took a shot in the 16th minute that hit the underside of the crossbar, down toward the goal line and back into the field of play. FSU goalkeeper Cassie Miller eventually secured possession to end the threat.
The game settled down as neither team was able to take a shot for over 20 minutes in the middle of the half, but the Tar Heels broke that drought with the only goal of the game in the 39th minute.
Megan Buckingham drove a shot from 25 yards out that FSU’s Miller saved up into the crossbar and the ball then settled inside the six-yard box. As players from both teams scrambled to reach the ball, UNC’s Madison Schultz was the first one there and tapped it in for a 1-0 Tar Heel lead.
The goal snapped a streak of 424:15 without allowing a goal for the FSU defense, dating back to the first minute of the Syracuse match on October 9.
Florida State closed out the half with the better part of possession and Megan Connolly collected a ball at the top of the penalty area in the 42nd minute and turned her defender, but her low shot was saved by UNC’s Lauren Harris.
The Tar Heels held a 7-2 lead in shots at the intermission, including a 3-0 advantage in corners.
In the second half, Florida State improved on breaking down the UNC defense and in the 52nd minute, had a great scoring chance as Olivia Bergau, Dallas Dorosy and Kristen McFarland worked a combination play along the right side to get the ball near the penalty spot. McFarland appeared to slip as she approached Dorosy’s final pass, and her shot rolled wide of the net.
Less than a minute later, Bergau found space along the right side and took a shot of her own that was blocked away by a UNC defender.
In the 67th minute, Bergau turned on a shot from outside the penalty box and a diving save from UNC’s Harris kept it out of the net, but gave the Noles their first corner of the match, though they were unable to take a shot off the set piece.
The Noles continued to pressure to try and find the equalizer, taking the final three shots of the match, including shots on goal by Edwards in the 70th minute and Malia Berkely in the 81st minute. UNC’s Harris made a save on each one to ensure the North Carolina victory.
For the match, UNC outshot the Noles 10-7 as both teams had four shots on goal.
2016 ACC Championship Information
The Seminoles have finished in a tie for fourth place in the conference and will enter the ACC Championship as the No. 6 seed, competing in the quarterfinal round at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 30 at Duke. Ticket and broadcast information will be posted on Seminoles.com as it becomes available.
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