UNC women's soccer posts fifth shutout in 3-0 win over Nebraska
Led by an impressive defensive performance — anchored by Lincoln, Neb., native Paige Nielsen — the No. 4 North Carolina women’s soccer team shut out the Nebraska Cornhuskers 3-0 on Friday.
UNC started out strong, as freshman midfielder Dorian Bailey scored her first career goal at the six-minute mark. Assisted by senior Summer Green, Bailey drove the shot into the lower corner of the net.
In the 35th minute, UNC goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin tackled a loose ball during a scramble in the box, preventing the Cornhuskers (3-2) from tying the match. North Carolina's defense only allowed Nebraska to take three more shots the rest of the match.
Just over two minutes later, junior forward Emily Bruder beat Nebraska’s goalkeeper to put the Tar Heels up 2-0.
Going into halftime with a comfortable lead, the team looked to maintain its strong defensive play and hold the Cornhuskers at zero. Nielsen, a senior defender, led the charge.
Playing in front of her hometown crowd for the first time in her collegiate career, Nielsen was one of only two UNC players to play the full 90 minutes.
Nielsen also contributed on offense, assisting on sophomore Jessie Scarpa's goal in the 63rd minute. The goal marked the third and final goal of the game and was also Scarpa’s third goal of the season.
With Friday’s win, UNC improves to 6-0-1. The team has also recorded five shutouts in its first seven games.
“I’d like to defend like there is no tomorrow. Everyone on the field defending like there is no tomorrow.” — Coach Anson Dorrance on his goals for the season.
Alexa Newfield, North Carolina’s powerful forward who scored five goals in the first four matches, was absent from Friday's game. She has battled knee issues throughout her collegiate career.
Three numbers that matter
24: Substitutions North Carolina made throughout the game while keeping Nebraska scoreless.
2,746: Fans attended Nielsen's homecoming match on Friday, a record for Nebraska’s Hibner Stadium.
29:11: Minutes the Tar Heels kept Nebraska from taking a shot at the end of the game.
North Carolina takes on UCLA at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Fetzer Field.
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