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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels top Miami to advance in ACCs

UNC-Chapel Hill women's soccer team faces off against Miami on Wednesday in Cary.

CARY — For the second time in four days No. 2 North Carolina and Miami battled well into the second half without a goal.

Sunday the two teams met in the final game of the regular season when UNC (17-1-2) was able to wring out a 1-0 win.

Wednesday at Wake Med Soccer Park the squads drew each other again — this time in the opening round of the ACC Tournament.

And for the second time" the Tar Heels pulled out a 1-0 victory against a stout Miami defense. UNC advanced to play fourth-seeded Boston College at 5 p.m. on Friday.

The Hurricanes (10-8-3) share the conference lead in shutouts this season with 11 and illustrated why in both meetings.

""It's hard to move the ball against Miami"" coach Anson Dorrance said. They're tough. They're committed to defending. Their kids take physical risks. Their goalkeeper is absolutely superb.""

The Tar Heels had difficulty getting behind" around or through the Hurricanes' defense. Miami crammed the box with nine or more players whenever UNC threatened to push through.

And when they did goalkeeper Vikki Alonzo who leads the conference with a .864 save percentage was waiting.

UNC put up fewer shots and almost half as many shots on goal Wednesday as the team did in the first matchup" but the Tar Heels said they made more of their possessions this time.

""It was a great opportunity for us to learn what we did wrong in the first game and try to correct that"" midfielder Tobin Heath said.

Instead of scoring off an opponent's mistake as they did Sunday, the Tar Heels managed to create a goal from scratch in the 66th minute.

Meghan Klingenberg, dribbling on the right at the top of the box, sent the ball through a pair of defenders to a wide-open Heath at the left post.

I was just like" ‘I better get Tobin this ball.' She was screaming for it" Klingenberg said.

A second's hesitation drew Alonzo out, and Heath tapped it by her to the right side-panel for the goal.

Other decent chances included a Yael Averbuch bullet that hit the right post and a header by Ali Hawkins off a corner that flew over the goal.

Dorrance made it a point to tell his players not to take long shots over the defenders, as they did in the first game when UNC showered Miami with 33 shots.

The total dropped down to 22 Wednesday, but only because the Tar Heels took more of their possessions deep into the box and didn't settle for low-percentage outside shots.

To use a basketball analogy" we don't have Tyler Hansbrough come outside the three-point line and just dump three-pointers" Dorrance said.

There's a reason for that. We were much more disciplined in where we were shooting from today.""

But while his team held its composure on the field" the coach was sweating it out on the sideline.

The Tar Heels had hoped to avoid a tight game with their No. 1 seeding" but Miami didn't exactly provide Dorrance with a chance to send in his reserves like he wanted.

""Looking back" I'm obviously a lot more relaxed but if you had taken my blood pressure with five minutes to go" I think my wife would have asked me for an early retirement.""

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