George's PK Lifts Carolina Over FIU

George's PK Lifts Carolina Over FIU

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CHAPEL HILL - Raby George's penalty kick lifted No. 5 North Carolina to a 1-0 season-opening victory over FIU on Friday night from Fetzer Field.

The 10th and final corner kick of the evening broke the scoreless tie of a match that looked destined for overtime. Reserve forward Tucker Hume was inserted into the lineup to utilize his 6-5 frame on the kick dealt in by Nico Melo.

The ball promptly found Hume's head, and while Andy Lopez made a play on the the ball it deflected off his foot and an FIU defender was whistled for a hand ball, giving Carolina a penalty kick opportunity.

George calmly scored from the penalty area in the 82nd minute.

Redshirt freshman keeper James Pyle was awarded his first career start between the pipes for Carolina and made four saves.

UNC held a 17-9 shot advantage over the Panthers.

Once the ball was put into play to begin the second half, Carolina was eager to break through with the first goal of the match. Zach Wright had a point-blank touch headed on frame, but FIU keeper Robin Spiegel came up with a fantastic save to keep the match scoreless in the 52nd minute.

FIU's Brad Fountain later hit the crossbar in the 68th minute in what amounted to the best scoring chance for the visitors.

In the first half, the third corner kick of the game by Melo led to a miraculous left-footed shot from George that rang off the cross bar in the 26th minute.

With Carolina's back line limiting FIU to just a few offensive opportunites, Holness chose to get forward from his midfield position in the late stages of the half. Holness and Jordan McCrary played a nifty give-and-go that led to a good look at goal by Holness but his shot sailed just wide in the 43rd minute.

Carolina hosts Santa Clara on Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.

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