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The Daily Tar Heel

Women's soccer rebounds with convincing win

After suffering back-to-back 1-0 losses, the No. 5 North Carolina women’s soccer team needed a breakthrough performance to get back on track.

And behind the reliable Crystal Dunn and her first career hat trick, a breakthrough performance is what UNC got.

The Tar Heels (8-2-0, 2-2 ACC) defeated Miami (6-3-0, 1-3 ACC) 4-0 Sunday afternoon in Coral Gables to give them the confidence coach Anson Dorrance said his team so desperately needed as it continues through a tough ACC slate.

“Even though I thought we did some good things in our last two games, two straight losses chips into your confidence,” Dorrance said. “With this game we not only got the shutout — it was our first ACC shutout — but also we scored some goals, something we haven’t been able to do the past few games.”

After coming out of the first half with a 1-0 lead behind Dunn’s first goal, UNC exploded offensively in the second half, taking 13 of its 22 shots and scoring its next two goals – both by Dunn – in a matter of seven minutes .

“I feel like we did pretty well keeping the ball today,” Dunn said. “I think that was key, just moving the ball around and just getting open. It was definitely what we needed to do, and I think we’ve been lacking in that the last couple of games, but I think we pulled it together today.”

Sophomore Summer Green also added a goal coming off a penalty kick in the 86th minute.

“I think (this win) just puts our heads back in the right place,” Green said. “We’re going to use this to build up our confidence, but we also realize that we all need to keep working on the little bits and pieces that are hopefully going to help us win in the future but also play well and keep improving as a team.”

And while Dunn agrees there is always room for improvement, she said she believes the strong performance her team displayed today is promising for UNC’s future.

“It was a big win,” Dunn said. “I think we just put a lot of stuff together in this game and our momentum is now in a positive direction, and it will be good going into the next game.”

Dorrance also said he believes UNC has a lot to look forward to, crediting much of his team’s relentlessness to its four captains – Dunn, senior forward Kealia Ohai , senior midfielder Kelly McFarlane and senior goalkeeper Anna Sieloff.

“You can either lead by the old Michael Jordan ‘Give me the ball and get out of the way’ kind of way, and the other one is to encourage teammates, slap people on the back and motivate them verbally,” Dorrance said. “I thought it was really cool actually that we had some really great performances on the field by our captains and that they led in both ways.

“We also had a lot of great performances beyond those four excellent players…with the completed roster that we have and for everyone to put aside the past few games and to be able to step up to play is really going to bode well for our future.”

sports@dailytarheel.com

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