Who stood out?
First-year Megan DuVernois’ first collegiate goal on Friday proved to be more important later in the game than it did at the time for the already leading Tar Heels. After assisting on a goal late in the second half last week, DuVernois was able to find her own shine in New Jersey on Friday that ended up making the difference in a win and a near loss at the hands of the Tiger offense.
“I was really excited of course because it was my first goal,” she said. “…Even though it put us up two nothing at that point I was still just really happy that I still got it, so that late goal didn’t put us into overtime.”
Gab Major was also critical to the win. Not only was she an offensive catalyst, she remained aggressive throughout the contest and contributed three of the teams five shots on goal.
When was it decided?
Although the Tar Heels held a lead over the Tigers for the entire game, the game wasn’t decided until the last few seconds of the match with the save from Halpin. In the last few moments of the game, Princeton launched an attack that lead to a goal in the final two minutes, but Halpin was able to save a final attempt to force overtime to secure a Tar Heel victory within the 70 minute regulation.
Why does it matter?
Friday’s match proved that the top ranked team had fully recovered from the disappointing start against Michigan a week ago. The team is now on a two game win streak headed into their next match.
The end of the match also exposed some weaknesses that nearly cost the team the game.
“We just wanted to show continued improvement. I think at times we showed that,” said coach Karen Shelton. “We weren’t as consistent as we would have liked to have been, I do feel like we dominated a majority of the game, but in the end Princeton was able to make it close and that was a bit disappointing.”
In order to continue to lock up the top spot, UNC will need to improve its consistency throughout the whole game, and Friday’s near self-destruct at the end will be a lesson for the team moving forward.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will be back on the field on Sunday to take on Penn in Philadelphia at 11:30 a.m.