"We knew it was going to be a tough game and it was," UNC coach Karen Shelton said. "Both teams played their hearts out. Give credit to Syracuse - we don't often get shut out and we got shut out today."
The last time Carolina failed to score in a game was during the 2009 season, when the Tar Heels fell 1-0 at Virginia in ACC Tournament play. Through two games of the 2012 season, UNC was averaging five goals per game.
On Saturday, however, the teams fought through an end-to-end battle on a warm day at J.S. Coyne Stadium. Six minutes into the seven-a-side overtime, Syracuse made good on its first penalty corner of the period. From the right side, junior Leonie Geyer passed to freshman Emma Russell, who shot the ball past UNC goalkeeper Sassi Ammer inside the right post to extend Syracuse's home field winning streak to 30 games.
For the game, UNC had 16 shots to Syracuse's and seven corners to four by the Orange. Ammer, who played the entire 75:57, made four saves, two in each half. Syracuse goalkeeper Leann Stiver had six saves.
"We'll learn a lot from this game and we will improve," Shelton said. "You want to be tested like that early in the season, and we were tested today. We look forward to getting back on the field tomorrow against Cornell."
On Sunday, the team will travel to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on Cornell at noon before heading back to Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels spend next weekend on the road as well, playing at Delaware, before returning home for their first game of the fall at Henry Stadium on Sept. 14 against Old Dominion.
No. 7 Syracuse 1, No. 2 UNC 0, OT
Scoring: SU - Emma Russell (Leonie Geyer), 7:57
Shots: UNC - 16 (7/7/2); SU 14 (7/1/6)
Penalty corners: UNC 7 (3/3/1), SU 4 (2/1/1)
Saves: UNC 4 (Sassi Ammer, 4 saves, 1 goal allowed); US 6 (Leann Stiver, 6 saves, 0 goals)
Records: SU 3-0, UNC 2-1