They would hold that advantage for the rest of the game.
North Carolina relied on its defense in the second half. Knowing it had to make up the deficit, Virginia came out aggressive and put pressure on UNC’s defensive line.
In the second half, Virginia recorded eight shots, compared to only two shots for North Carolina, both of which came in the first five minutes of the period.
Virginia held possession for the majority of the half, and shots from Virginia forwards Taryn Torres and Taylor Ziemer kept the North Carolina defense on its toes.
UNC goalie Samantha Leshnak came up big with several key saves.
In the end, Virginia’s offensive flurry was not enough to erase the deficit North Carolina built in the first half.
Who stood out?
Junior forward Dorian Bailey’s first half strike proved to be the one that put UNC up for good. Her performance against Virginia continued her streak of impactful goals.
“I just can’t believe how well she’s playing right now,” said head coach Anson Dorrance. “I just had a chat and told her her game has gone to a completely different level.
Bailey, who comes off of the bench as part of Dorrance's famed substitution scheme, also scored game-winners over ranked opponents in the past two games against No. 19 Clemson and at No. 23 Florida State.
Her goal today was her fifth of the season.
When was it decided?
Goalie Samantha Leshnak came up huge for UNC in the 58th minute by erasing what looked to be a sure goal for Virginia. Facing a one-on-one with Torres, Leshnak dove and stole the ball from her feet. This proved to be Virginia’s last real chance at a goal and saved the game for the Tar Heels.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina’s win over No. 11 Virginia continues their undefeated streak in ACC play. Now 3-0 in the conference, North Carolina has a perfect conference record despite facing three ranked teams in 8 days.
When do they play next?
UNC hosts Syracuse on Saturday, September 30th at 12 p.m. at WakeMed Park in Cary, N.C.