Final Score: #3 North Carolina 3, VCU 2
Location: Fetzer Field (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Records: VCU 0-3-0, UNC 3-0-0
The Short Story: A crazy first half of soccer brought five total goals between the VCU Rams and North Carolina Tar Heels on Monday night. After each grabbing two goals apiece in the first half, it would be a single goal in the 82nd minute by North Carolina that would give VCU a 3-2 loss on the road. Both Dakota Barnathan and Lyndsey Moreland would score for the Rams in the match.
- North Carolina outshot the Rams 13-3 in the first half, while also holding an advantage on corner kicks.
- Both goals by Barnathan and Moreland would be their first of the season.
- VCU would have a SOG percentage of 63% on the night (5-for-8), their best mark of the season thus far.
- The Tar Heels got things started early, as UNC's Walker Hume headed a ball past Pierre Gardan off a corner kick. The ball knocked off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net. That would make things 1-0 Tar Heels.
- VCU would even things up just 10 minutes later, as Barnathan knocked home a penalty kick in the 18th minute. The play was set up from Luc Fatton getting taken out by UNC goalie James Pyle. The penalty kick would help the Rams tie the game at 1-1.
- Just a minute later in the 19th minute after a caution was given to UNC's Mauricio Pineda, Moreland would knock in a goal off of a free kick cross from Jorge Herranz. The lightning in a bottle would give the Black and Gold a 2-1 lead.
- Pierre Gardan would be tested twice as North Carolina aimed for an equalizer. However, Gardan made back-to-back tough diving saves to keep the Rams up 2-1.
- However, the lead would not hold up before halftime, as Tucker Hume scored in the 30th minute off an assist from Zach Wright to even things up at 2-2. The Rams were unable to clear the ball, allowing Hume a chance from four yards out, which he slipped pass Gardan for the equalizer.
- A slow start to the second half would hold both sides to just one shot apiece through the first 10 minutes of the half. However things would heat up thanks to strong play from Rafael Andrade Santos, as he began it with missed a free kick opportunity high 64th minute. He also had two other solid offensive opportunities himself with shots, and led a pass for Luc Fatton in the 75th minute, a shot that went just wide of the post.
- The go-ahead goal would come in the 82nd minute, as VCU gave the ball away in their defensive end, right to Tucker Hume. Hume then took a shot and snuck it by Gardan in the lower left corner of the net to put North Carolina ahead 3-2, which would stick right through the final horn.
VCU will return to action this next Friday, September 9 when they return home to Richmond and Sportsbackers Stadium. They will take on Radford starting at 7 p.m.
COACH ON THE MATCH
"Against the #1 team in the country, I thought our guys made another step forward and were on the doorstep of taking the 3-2 win on the road. What I asked the guys to do before the game, is the same thing we have asked of them all season. Let's try to give our very best each time we step out to training and to games and try to learn from what the day before teaches us.Tonight, I thought we did that and for the 3rd consecutive game, we improved. The way college soccer works, is we are guaranteed 15 more games. If this group will continue to stay on the path that we are on, I like our chances of advancing game after game when it becomes knock out time. Right now, we are in a race against time to see how good we can be, but the ceiling for this team is quite high. The team and I believe we can get there, but we have to stay the course and keep following the process."