In a rainy matchup at UCF Soccer Complex, the UCF Women’s Soccer team ended the night in historic fashion, winning a double overtime thriller against No. 4 UNC 2-1. The Knights (2-1) and the Tar Heels (1-1) battled for a full 110 minutes on the pitch tonight. UNC is a powerhouse program with a record 22 national titles but the Knights came out on top with the comeback win.
“I’m so overwhelmed and excited, I can’t even explain it,” senior forward and game-winning scorer Christine Creighton said. “Our motto today was just to believe.”
UCF coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak, a former player for UNC and coach Anson Dorrance, welcomed her old mentor to her home turf for the first time. North Carolina holds a hefty lead in the overall series between the schools, 17-1-4. But tonight’s win marked the first time that the Knights have defeated the Tar Heels.
“Immediate reaction honestly is that I love my team,” Sahaydak said. “As a coach, this is my biggest career win and it feels pretty great. As a player, I have been through some amazing championships. I have a World Cup and an Olympics, but the feeling of this win tonight feels even stronger than that.”
The Tar Heels went up early, scoring in just the second minute of the game. Junior midfielder Dorian Bailey found some space, beat her defender, and slotted one in the bottom left corner from just outside the 18-yard box.
The Knights, however, responded with a goal just ten minutes later after a scramble in the box. Freshman forward and German-native Dina Orschmann found the ball at her feet after a deflection and found the back of the net for the first time in her college career to tie the game 1-1.
“It was amazing to get that first goal,” Orschmann said. “I am grateful that I get to shoot the ball in the back of the net for this amazing university.”
The rest of the game was a battle. Despite UNC holding possession for much of the game, the Knights still fought through the entire second half and both overtime periods. UNC came close a number of times, hitting the crossbar once, and scoring a goal that was called back due to offside.
But despite the Tar Heels’ close chances, it was not enough to lift them to the win when Creighton found the back of the net in the second overtime period to lift the Knights to a historic 2-1 win.
“I have struggled a lot in my college career and this is just a moment of victory and excitement that I am so grateful for,” Creighton said. “I just jumped up and ran, I didn’t know what else to do, I was just so grateful and thankful for my teammates and everyone involved.”
Up next, the Knights will travel to Arizona to take on the Wildcats, Friday Sept. 1 at 6:30 PM.