Women's Soccer: #22 Deacs Fall to #5 Heels in OT 2-1

The Wake women's soccer team probably shouldn't have been in the position in the first place, but it had its collective heart ripped out as Kealia Ohai scored in the 98th minute to give North Carolina a 2-1 win, a reversal of last year's 2-1 Wake overtime victory in Chapel Hill.

Official WF Sports Recap

The Heels dominated the Deacs from the get-go, accumulating a 19-3 shot advantage, forcing Wake keeper Aubrey Bledsoe into six saves, and forcing Wake players into mistakes all over the field with relentless on-ball pressure.

Despite all this, the Deacons had their chances. Of Wake's 3 shots, the goal came off the first and lowest percentage: after a half hour of being forced back into defense, Wake sprang a quick counter-attack in the 28th minute. Riley Ridgik had Ally Berry on an overlap pass, and Berry's run gave Ridgik just enough room to try a shot from about 30 yards. The shot, as it turned out, was an absolute missile into the top corner, and UNC goalie Bryane Heaberlin could only bat helplessly as the ball found the net. Ridgik, knowing the ridiculousness of what had just happened, gave a shocked laugh as she was mobbed by teammates.

Wake's other chances came in the second half. UNC all-American (and recent call-up to the USWNT) Crystal Dunn hit the crossbar from 20 yards 2 minutes into the period, but was more precise 4 minutes later by collecting a low cross 12 yards out and hitting a low shot that Bledsoe was unable to redirect.

UNC thought that their pressure had paid off with a go-ahead goal in the 69th minute. Crystal Dunn against got free in the penalty area (holy hell was she impressive, and that's with Wake having one of its defensive midfielders in her vicinity at all times), and her low shot took a deflection past Bledsoe. However, the deflection was adjudged to have come from Tarheel Alexa Newfield, who was in an offside position, so the goal was disallowed.

Wake nearly moved back in front in the 75th minute. The Deacs' first foray near the UNC penalty area in the half (literally, it was that dominant a performance by the Heels) resulted in a corner kick. Megan Curran was able to elude her marker, but she was unable to redirect her running header enough as it skittered past the far post.

Wake's third chance occurred in the dying moments. A free kick in the midfield was knocked forward into the box in the 89th minute, and the ball fell in between three Wake players. However, Ridgik could only manage a weak shot while falling down through the disarray, and Heaberlin collected the ball as it was heading just wide of the post.

The overtime period brought more of the same: Carolina dominance of possession and Wake digging in defensively. However, a slight defensive breakdown proved disastrous for the Deacs. Amber Munelyn made a run into the box, but was thwarted by two Deacon defenders. However, instead of the ball being cleared, Munelyn recovered and was able to toe poke a cross, which Ohai pounced on at the near post to give UNC the victory.

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