Nov. 23, 2014
|SCORE BY PERIODS|
|Post-Game Press Conference|
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Junior Raina Johnson’s goal in the 23rd minute and a stellar team defensive effort propelled No. 18 South Carolina past No. 6 North Carolina, 1-0, and into the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time in program history on Sunday afternoon at Fetzer Field. After advancing on penalty kicks in the previous two contests, the Gamecocks (14-5-5) took down the Tar Heels (14-4-2) in regulation and collected their third shutout in as many games in the NCAA Tournament.
Just seconds into the match, South Carolina nearly punched in their first goal of the tournament. Sophomore Sophie Groff found Johnson in the box, and the Gamecock tried to power it past Tar Heel keeper Bryane Haeberlin. Haeberlin was in position for the save though.
In the 23rd minute, South Carolina did find the back of the net for the first time of this year’s NCAA Tournament and for the first time in 366 minutes of play. Johnson’s shot from 20 yards out hit the right post, and Haeberlin appeared to have the shot wrapped up. The ball dribbled past her and in for the 1-0 lead.
The Tar Heels registered their first shot on goal of the match with four minutes to play before the break. Amanda Rooney sent one in from outside the penalty area on the right side and tried to one-bounce the equalizer. The shot did not faze freshman Abbey Crider, who collected her first save of the afternoon.
In the 56th minute, North Carolina’s Summer Green went down to the end line, made a turn and tried to hit the far corner, but she couldn’t bend her shot in, and the Gamecocks kept their 1-0 advantage.
Needing a score to keep the season alive, North Carolina bumped up the pressure and unleashed five of its six second-half shots off in the final 15 minutes of play.
With just over 11 minutes to go, Greene fired a cross into box that senior Andie Romness deflected out of bounds. On the ensuing corner kick, the serve from Green found Paige Nielsen, but Crider corralled it to save the shutout.
In the final two minutes, South Carolina faced a battery of North Carolina shots. The Gamecock defense deflected the first two, but Joanna Boyles settled a rebound and nearly leveled the match with just 37 seconds to go. Boyles spun a shot in that Crider stopped with her chest to preserve the shutout and advance the Gamecocks.
Raina Johnson broke a 366-minute scoring drought for the Gamecocks in the 23rd minute of the match with a goal that stood up as the game-winner
South Carolina put five of its 11 shots on frame and outshot the co-ACC regular season champions 11-9.
- South Carolina handed North Carolina its sixth home loss in the NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels have won 84 home NCAA contests and 120-10-3 overall.
- With a 2-1 edge, South Carolina is the only active team in the NCAA to hold an all-time series lead over the Tar Heels. The Gamecocks have a two-game winning streak at North Carolina’s Fetzer Field after taking down the top-ranked Tar Heels, 1-0, in 2007 in the season opener.
- Until Johnson’s goal in the 23rd minute, South Carolina had not scored in 366 minutes of play, a streak dating back to a 2-1 SEC Quarterfinal win over Missouri on Nov. 5.
- The goal in the 23rd minute was the fifth of the season for Raina Johnson and her fourth game-winner of 2014.
- North Carolina had trailed at the half just three times this season before today. The Gamecocks dealt them their second loss in such a situation.
- Freshman goalkeeper Abbey Crider, who stepped in for an injured Sabrina D’Angelo on Friday night, has posted a pair of shutouts in her first two starts. Crider tallied three saves today.
- North Carolina has reached the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 in each of the event’s 33-year history. Today was South Carolina’s second appearance.
- Sophomore Paige Bendell earned her first career start, stepping in for senior centerback Taylor Leach. Leach was forced to sit after receiving a pair of yellow cards in Friday’s match vs. Seattle.
TWEET OF THE GAME
— M Patton (@pattonm29) November 23, 2014
UP NEXT The Gamecocks will take on the winner of this evening’s Florida State – Central Florida contest. The in-state rivals are set to play at 6:30 p.m. ET. Stay tuned to GamecocksOnline.com for full details on next weekend’s NCAA Quarterfinal match.