The North Carolina’s women’s soccer team was defeated Friday, 1-0, against Santa Clara. The loss was the first of the season for the Tar Heels.
No. 2 UNC (5-1-1) once again struggled on offense, a recurring issue throughout the season for the team. Despite once again outshooting their opponent, 18-7 and outshooting them on shots on goal, 8-3, the Tar Heels couldn’t find the touch to finish in the box.
Santa Clara (5-1-1) also revealed some weaknesses in the UNC press offense, by dribbling through the press, which led to its sole goal on a breakaway shot by Santa Clara forward Kaile Halvorsen. Halvorsen stole the ball from her defender and dribbled behind the UNC defense. She scored, sneaking the ball in on a near-post shot in the 60th minute for the game-winning goal.
Who stood out?
Santa Clara goalkeeper Melissa Lowder played all 90 minutes of the game and made eight saves, including a potential game-tying shot by North Carolina forward Alessia Russo in the final minute of play. Russo had seven shots, six of which were on goal, continuing her role as the primary offensive threat for the Tar Heels, but couldn’t find the touch to finish in the box this game.
When was it decided?
North Carolina actually scored a game-tying shot with 23 seconds left on the clock, even celebrating after the goal was called good and it looked like the game would be sent to overtime. After several minutes of discussion though, the referees eventually waved off the shot by junior forward Zoe Redei, deciding there had been an offsides infraction by a different North Carolina player.