CARY, N.C. (AP) — Tori Hansen and Julia Dorsey scored seven minutes apart in the second half and North Carolina held off No. 1 overall seed Florida State 3-2 on Friday night in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I women’s soccer championship.
North Carolina (20-4-1), making its 31st College Cup appearance, is searching for its first title since 2012 when they were also a No. 2 seed. The Tar Heels have won 21 of the previous 40 national championships.
North Carolina took a 3-0 lead in the 66th minute when Dorsey headed home Emily Moxley’s free kick, but Onyi Echegini scored less than a minute later for her team-leading 11th goal of the season for Florida State.
The defending champions pulled within 3-2 in the 76th when Heather Payne headed Echegini’s cross through the legs of goalkeeper Emmie Allen.
Allen, a freshman, made a season-high nine saves to help North Carolina avenge a 2-1 loss to Florida State on Nov. 6 in the ACC championship game.
Aleigh Gambone scored her second goal of the season, first since Aug. 18, for North Carolina to open the scoring in the 42nd. Maddie Dahlien sent a deflected ball across the goal and a failed clearance attempt fell to the feet of Gambone at the penalty spot for a calm finish.
Hansen scored on a penalty kick in the 59th minute following a handball by Heather Gilchrist in the box. Hansen, the North Carolina captain, is 5 for 5 from the penalty spot this season and has eight goals.
Cristina Roque, the ACC goalkeeper of the year, made three saves for Florida State (17-3-3).