CHAPEL HILL — It wasnt supposed be this hard for the No. 4-ranked North Carolina mens soccer team to move past unranked Georgetown in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Fetzer Field Sunday.
But after the game was declared a tie after two overtime periods, sophomore Alex Walters finally finished off the Hoyas, putting the Heels up 5-4 on penalty kicks.
[Georgetown] broke us down, Tar Heels senior defender Jalil Anibaba said. We have to give them credit. They had us on our heels. But we withstood the pressure.
North Carolinas defense, ranked No. 11 nationally, didnt allow Georgetown (12-6-2) to get much going in the first half.
It looked like we never played soccer before, Hoyas coach Brian Wiese said.
But Georgetown entered the game with the nations 21st-ranked scoring offense, and in the second half, both teams had dangerous scoring opportunities.
We just did a better job of putting UNC under pressure, Wiese said.
It wasn't enough.
Theres something about our defense, Anibaba said. I feel like we never give up the ball. Its not arrogance. Its confidence.
What it took for the Heels (16-3-2) to advance was near-perfect play from former Broughton standout Scott Goodwin, the Heels sophomore keeper, who not only withstood some scary moments in regulation and both overtime periods, but he denied Georgetown senior midfielder Seth CdeBaca on the Hoyas third penalty kick.
I kind of baited him, Goodwin said. When it comes down to that, you have to go with your instincts.
Goodwin, who made seven saves in the game, gave credit to his defense, while Hoyas senior keeper Matthew Brutto made five saves in the game.
[Goodwin] made a couple of terrific saves tonight, Wiese said. Both goalkeepers played well enough to win tonight.
North Carolina had a few scoring chances in the first half, and none were better than senior defender Eddie Ababios hard shot off the right post at about the 25-minute mark.
Georgetown defended extremely well, Heels coach Elmar Bolowich said. They made it very difficult for us.
The Hoyas seemed energized to start the second half, even though North Carolina had the first scoring chance of the period, a serve from the right corner by Heels junior forward Alex Dixon that missed the head of sophomore midfielder Martin Murphy.
Georgetown raged back with a batch of play in front of the Carolina pipes. A corner kick was nearly headed in by Georgetown senior defender Ben Slingerland, but Goodwin deflected the ball high.
Heels freshman forward Carlos McCrary broke away with the ball and fired a hard shot inside the box, one of the better saves of the night by Brutto.
With less than 17 minutes left, Heels freshman midfielder Robbie Lovejoy headed a ball high.
Goodwin made a pair of diving saves in an eight-second span around the 80-minute mark.
There were more scoring chances in both overtime periods, but the game was destined for penalty kicks.
North Carolina will host Michigan State (13-7-1) in the third round of the NCAA Tournament at Fetzer Field next Sunday.
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