That was until UNC (8-2-1, 5-0 ACC) took down Wake Forest (3-7-2, 1-3-1 ACC) by a convincing score of 3-0 on Fetzer Field Thursday.
A collection of exceptional performances all around — including an assist and a goal from sophomore midfielder Cameron Castleberry — gave the team the confidence it needed to secure its seventh straight victory.
“We know now that we have the ability to finish,” Castleberry said. “And we know that we can hold teams off now and keep a clean slate instead of letting them come back in.”
Coach Anson Dorrance wanted more from his team after they allowed second-half goals from N.C. State University and Virginia Tech in previous games.
“Anson even mentioned in the halftime speech that earlier in the season, when we were playing elite teams like UCLA, we shut them out,” senior defender Satara Murray said. “So we needed to get back on that groove, and I’m so glad we finally did.”
Dorrance was unsatisfied with the team’s struggle to win possession early in the game Thursday.
“I didn’t think we started the game very well,” he said. “I thought we came into the game very under-motivated. But I thought as the game wore on, we got better.”
Castleberry was one of the primary catalysts of that improvement, providing an assist on junior Paige Nielsen’s goal in the 15th minute and then pouncing on a loose ball and putting it into the net on her own in the second half.