JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 22, 2009) - An overtime goal by North Carolina's Billy Schuler was the difference as the ETSU men's soccer team took the second ranked Tar Heels to the wire, falling 2-1 on a rainy Tuesday night at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.
"I am incredibly proud of the effort of our team tonight," said head coach Scott Calabrese. "Coming into this game we asked them to outwork and outfight UNC, and they did just that. It is very encouraging to see our team truly compete with one of the top teams in the country. We had opportunities to win this game, and our team continues to improve."
The Bucs (1-3-2) had the Tar Heels (5-0-1) on the ropes for a good part of the match as UNC had a slight edge in shots 11-8. North Carolina had a 3-2 corner advantage and held possession for much of the game, but the Buccaneers had more quality goal scoring chances testing UNC's Brooks Haggerty several times on the night.
Sophomore Sean Hoek (Newburgh, Ind.) gave the Bucs a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute as Hoek headed the corner from Theo Yang (Lilburn, Ga.) into the back of the net.
The Tar Heels tied the match at 1-all in the 33rd minute as Zach Loyd knocked the rebound from an incredible save by Scott Rosman (Kenner, La.) on a Loyd penalty kick into the goal.
ETSU had another good look in the first half as Kyle Franklin (Maryville, Tenn.) got to a loose ball deep in the UNC half of the field a blasted a shot from 20-yards out that was just knocked over the crossbar by the North Carolina keeper. The score remained tied 1-1 at the break as the Bucs outshot the Tar Heels 4-3 and had a 2-0 advantage in corners in the first half.
North Carolina quickened play in the second half as the Tar Heels outshot the Bucs 6-3 in the half. Rosman came up with some big saves late in the period as the score remained tied 1-all at the end of regulation.
In the first overtime period, freshman Alesi Osorio (Austin, Texas) had a good look at the net, but Haggerty made a good save for UNC.
The Tar Heels got the game-winner in the 98th minute as Enzo Martinez found a streaking Schuler on the counter attack, as Shuler just touched the ball past Rosman on the ground into the goal.
"Overall the team performance was phenomenal," Calabrese said. "In particular Scott Rosman, Sean Hoek and Guilherme Reis (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) showed their class tonight. These players drove us on to compete and fight. If we can perform at this level every time in training and on the field, we can achieve great things."
The Bucs are back in action on Saturday at 7 p.m. as they head to High Point for a non-conference match. For more information on Buccaneer men's soccer and all other Buccaneer athletic news, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.