On Friday night, North Carolina (1-0) fought off a tough challenge from Central Florida (0-1) to claim its season opener at Fetzer Field. The No. 9 Tar Heels battled through a poor first half and tallied two goals in a dominant second period to secure a 2-0 victory.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, as the Tar Heels struggled to gain their footing in a scoreless period. Each team had a chance to score, but neither could capitalize.
That changed in the second half.
After the Knights' Carol Rodrigues blasted a penalty kick over the crossbar in the 50th minute, the Tar Heels quickly rallied for their first goal of the season. Senior midfielder Sarah Ashley Firstenberg headed the ball past the goalie, courtesy of an impressive assist from redshirt junior defender Maya Worth.
North Carolina continued to control the possession and flow of the game after its first goal, adding another goal in the 64th minute off a header from junior midfielder Alex Kimball — who had subbed in for Firstenberg just seconds earlier.