CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Fairleigh Dickinson men's soccer team saw its postseason run come to a heartbreaking end to defending national champion North Carolina, 1-0, in overtime Sunday evening at Fetzer Field. With the victory, the Tar Heels improve to 16-3-3 on the season, while the Knights conclude their year 11-6-6.
Cameron Brown scored 90 seconds into overtime on a shot from five yards out after Rob Lovejoy crossed it from the end line to advance the No. 9 overall seed Tar Heels to next weekend's quarterfinals against Indiana.
UNC outshot FDU, 11-6, and held a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks. The Knights were credited with one shot on goal compared to the Tar Heels' three.
The first 45 minutes were played evenly between the two sides with both having legitimate scoring opportunities. FDU had the first chance to take an early in the eighth minute, but sophomore Nico Wright missed from point-blank range inside the six, wide to the right off a nice feed from redshirt junior Jeffrey Barrenechea.
After UNC sailed a free kick just over the goal a minute later, the Tar Heels first opportunity to score came at the beginning of the 11th minute, but the Knights' defense came away with a blocked shot near the top of the box.
After FDU took a pair of corners and UNC threatened on a cross, freshman Jan Aubert missed wide left on a shot in the 30th minute.
With less than 10 minutes to go before halftime, the Tar Heels stepped up their offensive pressure. A cross after a corner kick was heading towards the goal, but junior goalkeeper Jacob Lissek made a leaping stop. Following another UNC corner, Brown just missed a goal on a header that sailed high of the open net.
In the 39th minute, Lissek made a nice diving save to his left on a shot from Andy Craven, who made some space for himself just outside the six. The Tar Heels had another chance go high and wide on a shot by Lovejoy a minute later.
The Knights had two great chances with under a minute to go before halftime. Senior Antony Moore ripped a shot from inside the box that just missed wide right, and seniorJack McVey forced UNC goalkeeper Scott Goodwin to make a leaping save right two seconds before the half.
The Tar Heels held a 5-4 advantage in shots after the first 45 minutes, with each goalie making a save. Both teams had two corner kick chances.
To start the second half, FDU had a quick attack with two crosses from Moore on the right side but were blocked and snagged by Goodwin. McVey took a shot in the 49th minute, which was blocked.
Junior Nicholas Walker made a huge block of a shot right in front of the net to prevent a UNC goal a minute later. In the 63rd minute, sophomore Godfred Baafi saved the game for the Knights after a free from 40 yards out. The Tar Heels got a head on the ball in traffic with Lissek going for it, and Baafi used his head to prevent the shot from going in.
Near the end of the 81st minute, UNC scored a goal on a header but was ruled offsides, disallowing the score. The home team took two more shots in regulation, but the finishing results were wide and high.
The Tar Heels outshot FDU, 5-2, in the second half and took the only corner kick.
In overtime, UNC converted on the first scoring opportunity for both sides, and Brown send the defending national champs to the Elite Eight, beating Lissek, who did not have a chance in traffic.
Lissek finished the match with two saves, one each half, while Goodwin made his only save in the first half.
The Knights finish the 2012 season as one of the most successful teams in program history and will lose seniors Jason Wells, Karlis Putans, Tatenda Chimhanda, McVey and Moore to graduation. FDU returns 21 letterwinners for the 2013 season.