The North Carolina women's soccer team seems to have a different player step to the forefront every week.
Last weekend, Meredith Florance scored three times in two games to lead the No. 4 Tar Heels to wins against William & Mary and Texas Christian.
Friday, sophomore forward Susan Bush recorded her first career hat trick in a 6-1 UNC rout of 14th-ranked Duke (8-2, 2-1 in the ACC) in front of a season-high 4,355 fans at Fetzer Field.
Florance, the Tar Heels' leading scorer, notched her 13th and 14th goals of the season. Bush, who assisted on both of Florance's goals, established a career high with her eight-point performance.
"The thing I appreciated about watching her play tonight was the variety in her game," UNC coach Anson Dorrance said. She scored on a long-range shot, on a header and on a breakaway."
With the Tar Heels (12-1, 2-1) leading 5-1, Bush rounded out her hat trick in the 68th minute. While standing at the top of the 6-yard box, Bush seemed to inadvertently head a Jena Kluegel cross past Duke goalkeeper Isis Dallis.
"It was kind of unexpected; I was just trying to get in the goalie's way," Bush said.
Florance's 12th-minute goal gave the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead. Twelve minutes later, Duke forward Brigid Bowdell's
12-yard shot found the crossbar above keeper Kristin DePlatchett.
"That ball goes in, it's a completely different game," Dorrance said. "All of a sudden, we have a loss of confidence, and we're rocked; Duke has an adrenaline surge, and it's a completely different game."
On the ensuing UNC counter-attack, Alyssa Ramsey slid a through ball from midfield to a streaking Bush, who calmly dribbled around Dallis, shot and extended UNC's lead to two.
Friday's game marked the return of senior midfielder and All-American Laurie Schwoy. After redshirting last season due to hamstring problems in both legs, Schwoy made her first appearance in a game for UNC since the 1998 national championship game.
Schwoy entered the game as a substitute in the 73rd minute, and although she didn't score, she found a way to keep herself busy.
"I don't think it mattered if the girl was on my team or on the other team or the referee," Schwoy said. "I was going to run over or jump over someone. I had so much emotion."
Schwoy's hamstrings still are not 100 percent. For that reason, her action will be limited for the rest of the season.
"Slowly but surely, we're going to work her into the lineup, and probably play her like we did: 15 minutes a half at first, then work it up to 17 and maybe 20," Dorrance said. "I don't think it will be possible for her this year to be a
90-minute player for us, but that's OK."
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