CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A clash between two top five teams lived up to its billing Thursday night in Chapel Hill as second-ranked Florida State (14-1-1, 7-0-1 ACC) and fifth-ranked North Carolina (10-2-2, 7-0-1 ACC) played to a 1-1 tie on Fetzer Field.
The two teams, which entered Thursday night’s primetime showdown tied atop the ACC standings, leave with 22 points each and two more games apiece in the regular season to determine who will take the regular season crown.
Florida State broke through with the game’s first goal in the 32nd minute on a header by Dagny Brynjarsdottir, while North Carolina found the equalizer in the 63rd minute on a goal by Annie Kingman.
“We knew coming in here that Carolina would put up a big test for us,” Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian said. “I thought at times we played pretty well but there was a stretch in the second half where we lost all rhythm in the game and they took it to us. Fortunately, we were able to get it back a little bit and control the game a little bit more. Overall, a tie is a good result and is fair for how the game went tonight.”
The tie keeps the Seminoles unbeaten against the Tar Heels in the last five meetings (4-0-1), while extending their overall unbeaten streak to 11 games (10-0-1).
Brynjarsdottir led all players with five shots including three shots on goals. UNC’s Emily Bruder led the Tar Heels with four shots. Florida State finished the match out shooting North Carolina 15-12, while the Tar Heels held a 7-6 advantage in corner kicks.
The Seminoles broke the scoreless tie in the 32nd minute on a header by Brynjarsdottir. Following a save by Cassie Miller off a close range shot from Amber Munerlyn, the Seminoles got the ball down the field quickly with Marta Bakowska-Mathews sending a cross from the left flank inside the 18-yard box. Brynjarsdottir timed her run through the box perfectly finding the ball with an aggressive header from 12 yards out that bounced once before passing inside the left post for her 10th goal of the season.
“A fantastic goal,” said Krikorian on Brynjarsdottir’s header to give the Noles a 1-0 lead. “We had nice build-up; played a nice ball out wide to Marta, who made a quality serve and of course a big finish by Dagny.”
A nice diving save by UNC’s Bryane Heaberlin in the 22nd minute denied Brynjarsdottir of a goal and an early Florida State lead. The shot was created off FSU’s first corner kick of the contest. The Noles played the ball short to Michaela Hahn, who sent a nice cross into the 18-yard box that Brynjarsdottir headed toward the left post. Heaberlin made a nice diving save to her left just getting enough of her hand on the ball to send it out of bounds.
Both teams combined for eight shots and five corners in the first half as Florida State went into the locker room with a 5-3 edge in shots and a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks.
The first good look of the second half came from Florida State as Cheyna Williams sent a cross to the top of the box where Michaela Hahn one-timed a blast that was saved by Lindsey Harris, who started in goal for the Tar Heels to start the second half.
Four minutes later, a UNC corner kick led to a header by Satara Murray that traveled across the six-yard box. The Seminoles attempted to clear the ball but it went right to the foot of Bruder as her shot was saved by Miller.
North Carolina tied the match at one when Annie Kingman’s low-lining shot just beat a diving Miller inside the right post for her second goal of the season. The goal came off a nice give-and-go from S.A. Firstenberg and Summer Green.
After Carolina found the equalizer in the 63rd minute, Brynjarsdottir came within inches of giving the lead right back to the Seminoles less than four minutes later as her header off a cross from Michaela Hahn went off the left post.
“I thought we bounced back pretty well after Carolina scored,” added Krikorian. “Sometimes when you score a goal, you have a tendency to protect the game a little more and you lose a little bit of what makes you successful. But overall, it was an even game against two good teams.”
Brynjarsdottir continued to pepper the Tar Heel defense as yet another header, this time off a throw-in from Megan Campbell in the 77th minute, beat Harris but Megan Buckingham was there on the right post for the save.
The Seminoles were called for a foul deep in UNC’s attacking third in the 81st minute leading to a free kick opportunity from about 20 yards out. Joanna Boyles fired a shot but it was blocked off the Florida State wall.
A late scoring chance by UNC’s Bruder from just outside the 18-yard box sailed high leading to the eighth overtime contest between the two schools in the last 15 games in the series.
Florida State outshot North Carolina 3-0 during the overtime periods with the lone scoring threat from either team coming off the foot of Bakowska-Mathews in the 93rd minute. The senior midfielder sent a big bending shot from 20 yards out that was headed toward the upper left corner, but Harris came through with a fantastic diving save.
Miller played all 110 minutes between the posts for FSU on Thursday night as she finished with two saves. Harris finished the evening with a career-high six saves.
The tie on Thursday night clinched a spot for both schools in the ACC Women’s Soccer Championship to be played at the UNCG Soccer Complex in Greensboro, N.C., November 7 & 9.
The Seminoles will wrap-up their three-game road swing on Sunday, October 26 when Florida State faces NC State in Raleigh at 1:00 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3. Live stats will be available for the match at Seminoles.com. As always, in-game updates will be posted on the official twitter page of the Seminole soccer team (@FSU_Soccer).