[FLORIDA STATE-NORTH CAROLINA]Losses are rare for North Carolina -- just 51 in 830 games over 35 seasons -- so No. 7 Florida State's 1-0 win over the No. 5 Tar Heels on Wednesday night in Tallahassee was quite an accomplishment. It marked just the third time a team beat UNC three times in a row and the first time in almost 31 years Carolina lost back-to-back games in regulation.
A left-footed blast by Jamia Fields from the edge of the penalty area broke a scoreless tie in the 83rd minute to the delight of 1,876 fans at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
“It was fantastic,” Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian said of Fields' goal. “We train it quite often with her -- coming across the face of the goal and swinging it into the far corner. She scored a similar goal to beat Duke a year ago here on this field. Jam’s working hard to try and improve and she was rewarded for her hard work tonight.”
The other hero for FSU (7-0-2) was redshirt senior keeper Kelsey Wys, who made a season-high nine saves en route to her sixth shutout in nine games.
“We’ve been pretty solid throughout the season with our collective defending and again, I thought it was pretty good tonight,” Krikorian said. “The moments where we weren’t quite as sharp, certainly Kelsey was there and played as a tower of strength in the goal and allowed us to withstand some of the storm.”
A key was the work of the Seminole backline that held Crystal Dunn to just one shot on goal.
All three Seminole wins have come via shutouts. FSU joined Santa Clara (1999, 2001, 2002) and Maryland (2010-12) as the only teams to beat UNC three times in a row.
The Carolina loss followed a 1-0 defeat to Notre Dame on Sunday. The last time the Heels lost back-to-back games in regulation was at a 1982 tournament hosted by UCF, where they fell to Missouri-St. Louis and Cortland State, both non-Division I schools.
Wednesday's loss dropped Carolina to 1-2 in the ACC. Last year, the loss to FSU dropped the Heels' conference record to 1-2-1. But after a shaky conference campaign, they went on to win their 22nd national title.