No. 2 UNC (5-1, 0-1 ACC) dropped its first game of the year in a 4-2 loss at No. 3 Syracuse on Saturday before claiming a 4-2 win against No. 7 Albany on Sunday.
The Tar Heels took their undefeated record into their ACC opener against the Orange (5-0, 1-0 ACC), who presented a challenge to UNC — but not until the second half.
The Tar Heels had a 2-0 lead going into halftime with goals from seniors Nina Notman and Emily Wold. UNC outshot the Orange in the first half 6-1, but the Tar Heels were outshot 8-4 in the second half. Syracuse came out firing and scored four straight goals while keeping UNC scoreless.
The 4-2 loss to Syracuse handed North Carolina its first loss of the young season. With a second challenging match against another top-10 opponent in Albany (4-1), the Tar Heels knew they needed an improved shot ratio to have a chance of success.