College Women: Carolina's Schultz shows off magic touch

Freshman sub Madison Schultz's fifth game-winning goal in the past eight games was enough to lift North Carolina past No. 1 seed South Carolina, 1-0, before 2,507 fans at Stone Stadium and send the Tar Heels to the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Women's Tournament for the 27th time in 35 trips to the postseason. Keeper Lindsey Harris made eight saves, including one on a penalty kick, to preserve the win.

South Carolina-North Carolina:
Highlights

Schultz delivered less than two minutes after entering the game in the 20th minute. After an exchange of passes with Annie Kingman, Schultz gathered in the return ball just inside the penalty area on the left side and floated a ball into the upper right 90 from 18 yards out.
 
The freshman from Edmonds, Wash., did not score until the regular-season finale against Florida State. Since then, she has had gamewinners against Virginia in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals and Liberty, Kansas and now South Carolina in the NCAA Tournament.

"Madison Schultz has found the magic touch," said UNC coach Anson Dorrance. "She has five gamewinners in the last eight games. It’s absolutely unbelievable. She’s a freshman. I asked her if she had two more in her, and she assured me that she did."

South Carolina had plenty of chances to equalize. In the first half, Chelsea Drennan sent a long shot from 35 yards out that rock the cross bar and post simultaneously.

In the 55th minute, the Gamecocks were awarded a penalty kick when Tar Heel defender Julia Ashley took down Savannah McCaskill in the area, but Harris tipped Sophie Groff’s shot over the end line for a corner kick.

“South Carolina has advanced in their last two games on PKs," said Harris, a red-shirt on the 2012 championship team, "so when that got called, I thought this is not how I want to end my senior season. When she stepped up, I was surprisingly calm. I thought I would be freaking out. She stepped up and had in my mind that I wanted to go right. I decided before she kicked it that I wanted to go right. Luckily, I dove right, and the ball was there. I made the save, and I was really excited.”

Harris later added two saves to give her  91 in her career, breaking the school record of 89 set by Molly Current in 1980, UNC’s second varsity season.

Harris got some help from Ashley in the 14th minute when she saved McCaskill's header off the line.  The ball fell immediately to Kaleigh Kurtz, whose back heel effort was smothered by Harris.

Carolina returns to the College Cup for the first time since winning it in 2012. The four-year drought is the longest in program history. Since losing back-to-back games in mid-September, the Tar Heels are 12-1-3.

Nov. 25 in Columbia, S.C.
South Carolina 0 North Carolina 1. Goal: Schultz (Kingman) 22.
South Carolina -- Krzeczowski; Conklin, Kurtz, Bendell, Robinson, Lane, Drennan, Babbitt, Groff, McCaskill, Griffin. Subs: Koch, Bahr, Studebaker, Milazzo.
North Carolina -- Harris; McFarlane, Castleberry, Bill, Ashley, Gardner, Worth, Kingman, Elinsky, Buckingham, Andrzejewski. Subs: Schultz, Mucherera, Goff, Redei, Bailey, Kimball, Firstenberg.
Att.: 2,507.
1 comment about "College Women: Carolina's Schultz shows off magic touch".
  1. Kevin Sims, November 27, 2016 at 10:21 a.m.

    Congrats to Heels. Your statement of facts would mean a 3-year drought.

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