CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Sophomore Jackson Eskay’s goal in the 73rd minute lifted the William and Mary men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory at No. 1 North Carolina on Tuesday night. The victory was the third straight for the Tribe, all against ranked opponents.
The Green and Gold improves to 4-2-1 on the season with the victory, while North Carolina, which suffered its first loss of the season, drops to 3-1-3.
William and Mary came out of the gates firing. Following a corner kick in the fourth minute, senior Roshan Patel put a shot on frame, that was saved by North Carolina goalkeeper Brendan Moore.
The Tribe continued to pressure and forced another shot on target in the 14th minute. Following a corner kick, junior Josh West got a foot on the ball and put his shot on target. However, Moore was there again to make the save.
North Carolina had a pair of chances in the first half. In the 24th minute Verneri Valimaa had a look, but he pushed his shot wide. The other chance came from a shot in the 41st minute just short of midfield by Chipper Root that hit the cross bar.
William and Mary’s final chance in the half came in the 44th minute. Off of a corner kick, senior Will Smith pushed a header to the goal, but it sailed high and out of play.
At the end of the first half both teams were still scoreless. The Green and Gold held a 5-2 advantage in shots, including a 2-0 advantage in shots on goal.
North Carolina opened the second half with a quick shot from Alex Olofson, but it sailed wide. However, the College responded right back with a shot from Eskay that was saved by Moore.
William and Mary found the winner in the 73rd minute. After senior Chris Perez sent a cross in the box junior Chris Albiston headed the ball in front of the goal. The ball, which passed through a defender ended up on the goal line. That’s where Eskay got his foot on it and won a battle with the goalkeeper to push the ball into the net. The tally, which was the fourth of the season for Eskay, gave the Tribe a 1-0 advantage.
The Tar Heels raced to find the equalizer, but were unable to find it. UNC had a pair of good looks in the final minutes of regulation. The first came in the 84th minute on a shot from Marco Sunol, but the shot was stopped by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Mac Phillips. Again in the 90th minute Alex Olofson put one a target, but Phillps stood strong, making the save.
Phillips earned his Colonial Athletic Association-leading fourth shutout of the season. The Franklin, Va. native turned away three shots in the victory. Phillips, who has posted back-to-back shutouts, has not allowed a goal in 242 minutes of game play.
The victory, was the second time this season that the Tribe knocked off the No. 1 team in the country. W&M defeated then-No. 1 Creighton, 3-2, in double overtime on Sept. 15. It was also the third straight victory against a team in the NSCAA top 25.
It is the first time in school history that the Tribe defeated three consecutive ranked opponents. Head coach Chris Norris improves to 3-1-0 in regular season play against the top-team in the country.
William and Mary opens CAA play and concludes its five game road trip on Saturday, Sept. 28 in Philadelphia, Pa. at Drexel. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.