COLLEGE PARK, MD. - Sixth-ranked North Carolina was upset 2-1 Thursday night in the two team's Atlantic Coast Conference openers Thursday night before a crowd of 1,500 fans at Ludwig Field.
The win was the third in a row for Maryland over the Tar Heels as they have recorded regular-season wins over Carolina in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The past two wins have come by 2-1 scores at Ludwig Field.
Maryland becomes only the second team in UNC soccer history to beat Carolina three successive times. The other team was Santa Clara which beat UNC in the 1999 regular season and then in NCAA College Cup games in 2001 and 2002.
The Terrapins outplayed Carolina in the first half and they were rewarded with a 1-0 halftime lead. The Terps had the majority of the dangerous scoring opportunities in the first half and converted with 4:47 to play in the first half on a goal by junior Alex Reed, assisted by sophomore Alexis Prior-Brown and sophomore Cory Ryan. The goal was the first allowed by the Tar Heels in 596 minutes dating back to a tally by Portland in the fifth minute of the season opener on August 17.
The goal resulted from a nice buildup by the Terps in the midfield that drew the Tar Heel defense out to the top of the box for an attempted takeaway. Starting goalkeeper Adelaide Gay tried to come out to snuff out the scoring chance but Reed collected the ball and shot from about 15 yards out on the right side towards the open net. A Carolina defender got her foot on the ball but was unable to keep the ball from finding the back of the net.
The Terps outshot Carolina 7-5 in the first half and had a 3-0 edge in shots on goal. Hayley Brock had two excellent chances to put the Terps up. Her shot with 34:56 left in the half on a one-on-one chance with UNC goalkeeper Adelaide Gay went just high from the top of the penalty area. Shannon Collins had a shot for the Terps with 29:45 left in the first half that sailed just wide. Brock had a stellar chance to make it 1-0 at 22:25 when her shot from 15 yards out on the right side of the box resulted in a diving save by Gay to her right side as the ball was heading inside the far post. The best chance Carolina had to score in the first half was a shot by Kealia Ohai with 19:56 left in the half but it sailed wide left. The Tar Heels were not able to put a shot on frame in the first half.
Just over five minutes into the second half, the Terps had a splendid chance to make it 2-0 as Becky Kaplan got behind the UNC defense and had an open chance from eight yards out. But freshman Bryane Heaberlin, who came on at halftime for the Tar Heels in goal, made a diving save to keep the Tar Heels' deficit at one goal.
Maryland made it 2-0 with 35:06 to play in the second half on a goal by Hayley Brock, who had twice come whisker close to scoring in the first half. After the Tar Heels turned it over in midfield to Danielle Hubka, she fed Becky Kaplan who crossed the ball to Brock who finished all alone from the four-yard line. With 28 minutes to play, Becky Kaplan got free in the box on a service but her header sailed just left of the frame.
Carolina cut the Maryland leads to 2-1 with 12:21 left in the game after Maria Lubrano was fouled in the box with a Terrapin defender pushing her in the back. Lubrano then converted the penalty kick for her third goal of the year as she finished into the lower right corner.
With 11 minutes to play, the Terps had a dangerous chance off a corner kick with Alex Reed's header going to the left of post. Four minutes later, the Tar Heels almost got the tying goal off a corner kick but Satara Murray's shot was volleyed over the bar at the last second by Maryland goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands. With 4:51 to play, Kealia Ohai fed a ball into the box that Maria Lubrano redirected to Crystal Dunn but her header missed just wide left.
The Tar Heels put pressure on at the end but they were unable to get the tying goal. The last five shots of the game were taken by Carolina but only three of its 14 efforts ended up being on frame.Carolina lost its ACC opener for the second time in the last three years. UNC lost its ACC opener at home against Boston College 3-2 in the 2010 season.