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TOURNAMENT WATCH: Carolina eeks out OT win
by Paul Kennedy, November 29th, 2008 7AM



North Carolina moved into the women's final four for the 24th time in 27 years when it outlasted Texas A&M, 2-1, in overtime before 2,686 fans Friday afternoon in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Ali Hawkins scored the golden goal in the 102nd minute when on her third attempt. Her initial shot was blocked, her second effort was cleared off the goal line by Aggie midfielder Rachel Shipley and then UNC's Whitney Engen headed the ball down to the feet of Hawkins, who powered her game-winning shot from eight yards out into the lower left of the goal.

The game marked the third time in last seven years UNC defeated the Aggies in the NCAA quarterfinals at Fetzer Field (2002, 2006, 2008).

Carolina had he edge in play -- freshman Courtney Jones hit the crossbar twice in the second half -- but the game was scoreless until the last 10 minutes of regulation when A&M and UNC scored 83 seconds apart.

In the 81st minute, the Aggies scored following their first and only corner kick of the match. A&M's Rachel Shipley gained possession on the right side and slipped a pass to teammate Brianne Young, who sent a through ball to Laura Grace Robinson, who found herself alone at the four-yard line and scored for her team-leading ninth goal of the season.

The Tar Heels equalized when Allie Long's shot off Hawkins' free kick into the box was redirected by A&M keeper Kelly Dyer off the bar to Jones, who headed the rebound home from the two-yard line for her 13th goal of the campaign.

Nov. 28 in Chapel Hill, N.C.
North Carolina 2 Texas A&M 1 (OT).
Goals: Jones (Long) 82, Hawkins (Engen) 102; Robinson (Young, Shipley) 81.
North Carolina -- Harris, Engen, Givan, Eveland, Averbuch, Long, Hawkins, Long, Heath, Jones, McDonald, Nogueira. Subs: Rodenbough, Bartok, Mathias, Smith, Wood, Frederick, Briggs, Moraca, Pfankuch.
Texas A&M -- Dyer, Gnatzig, Young, Peterson, Stephens, Robinson, Shipley, Herrera, West, Hooper, Tatum. Subs: Kmezich, Balaguer.
Referee: Bill Dittmar.
Att.: 2,686.

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