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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels Inch Past Wake Forest

In the beginning of the first half, UNC coach Anson Dorrance decided to move freshman Lindsay Tarpley off her mark as forward and into the attacking midfield position -- a shift he also made in the Tar Heels' game against Marquette earlier this season.

It worked.

Despite chilly temperatures and a heavy fog that permeated Spry Stadium in the second half, the Tar Heels defeated Wake Forest 3-2 on Wednesday.

The win guarantees UNC (14-1-3, 4-1-1 in the ACC) the first seed in the ACC championship next weekend.

As the game opened, the Tar Heels had trouble getting a foot on the ball.

The passes finally gelled for UNC in the 26th minute when junior forward Alyssa Ramsey cranked a shot from about 40 yards out off a Tarpley assist. The ball sailed over a diving Wake goalkeeper Erin Regan.

Within four minutes, Ramsey netted the team's second goal of the game, her 14th of the season.

This time, an Anne Morrell pass put the junior within the goalbox. Ramsey pushed the ball toward Regan, who dove to her right and missed making the save. The ball sputtered out of Regan's arms, and Ramsey immediately challenged the play and cleaned up the loose ball, dribbling it into the back of the net.

For the first time in a while, the Tar Heels went into halftime with two points on the board.

"Even though we were up in this game going into halftime, we still have a lot of things we need to work on," Ramsey said.

UNC came into the second half with the same tempo as in the first. In the 54th minute, Tarpley scored the third goal of the game off an assist from Susan Bush, who crossed the ball from the left side of the goal.

But the third goal didn't put the game entirely out of reach for the Demon Deacons.

"In the second half we started to fatigue a little bit," said UNC coach Anson Dorrance. "We were losing too many duels at midfield."

These ball losses translated into more chances for Wake.

With 28 minutes left in the match, Wake's Liz McDowell rocked a pass to freshman Sarah Kozey, who took the ball for a one-on-one with UNC's goalie Aly Winget. Winget was unable to stop Kozey, who launched the ball from within the goal box.

The fog thickened as the half continued, and the Tar Heels were unable to avoid missteps. Kozey notched her second goal of the night, drilling the ball off an assist from Katie Johnson and Mullins.

"(The fog) wasn't a factor," Branam said. "The girl hit an unbelievable shot, and you have no chance at it unless you're out of position."

With three minutes left in the game, the Tar Heels' lead was in jeopardy, but misplays and other errors kept the ball out of UNC's defensive third for the remainder of the game. Dorrance said that while he wasn't pleased with UNC's performance, he was happy with the win.

"This should put us in pretty good shape for the conference tournament," Dorrance said. "I haven't done all the math, but it looks like it doesn't matter what happens now, and that helps us tremendously."

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