Oct. 7, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - North Carolina's Casey Nogueira spoiled a terrific comeback by the University of Maryland women's soccer team with a goal in the 93rd minute to give the No. 12 Tar Heels a 2-1 overtime victory over the Terps Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of 2,072 at Ludwig Field.
The win drops the Terps' record to 5-4-2 on the season, 0-3-0 in the ACC. Carolina improves to 8-3-0 overall, 3-1-0 in the conference.
Maryland competed hard with the defending national champions, battling to a 0-0 halftime tie despite being out-shot 10-2 in the first 45 minutes.
North Carolina came out of the break with some urgency and scored the game's first goal in the 65th minute. Nogueira set-up this score with a good through ball to Nikki Washington, who finished the ball into the right side of the Terrapin net with a good strike from 15 yards.
It looked as if Maryland was going to tie the match in 77th minute when sophomore midfielder Maureen Dowling got on the end of a Kaila Sciascia cross with a solid header that had UNC goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris beat, but the ball sailed just inches to the right of the far post.
Maryland finally got that tying goal five minutes later on freshman midfielder Caitlin McDowell's first collegiate score. Junior forward Aimee Bresani play a nice cross to redshirt junior Nataly Arias at the top of the 18-yard box of the Tar Heels. Arias' shot was blocked, but McDowell was right there to clean up the rebound and knot the game at 1-1.
That goal gave the Terps some much needed energy and they responded by getting off the final four shots in regulation, but none found the back of the net and the match went to overtime.
Less than three minutes into the overtime period UNC's Whitney Engen settled a second ball off of a Maryland goal kick and played a perfect through ball to Nogueira, who finished with a nice touch into the right side of the Terrapin goal just past a diving Yewande Balogun.
Balogun was fantastic in goal for the Terps, making a career-best eight saves. Maryland entered the game without the services of defender Mary Casey, who was out due to an injury suffered in the Wake Forest match, but freshman Olivia Onyeador stepped-in and gave a solid effort at the right back spot.
"Our kids played so well today," said Maryland coach Brian Pensky. "North Carolina is still the most talented team in the country, despite their three losses - there should be no mistaking that. And our players were up to the challenge. We continue to get better each game. And at some point our kids will be rewarded with a result.
"This conference is so special. Our next challenge is just as exciting - an opportunity against Florida State, which has been to two consecutive College Cups."
Maryland embarks on a five-day, two-match road trip to the Sunshine state next week. The Terps will play at No. 17 Florida State on Thursday, October 11. Maryland then heads to Coral Gables, Fla., for a match at Miami on Sunday, October 14.