Expectations hung thick over Fetzer Field as the No. 18 North Carolina women's soccer prepared to take on No. 19 Virginia Tech.
The preseason criticisms had grown heavy after the Tar Heels dropped two games in a row. The best program in the history of college soccer was used to outside expectations — but not this.
The injuries. The redshirts. The youth. All of the criticisms seemed to be crushing down on the Tar Heels as they try to outrun history — and as the seniors avoid becoming the first four-year class at UNC to not win a championship.
But as the players lined up in formation, before the referee could blow the whistle to start the game, the evening’s heavy rain lifted. And with that omen, the Tar Heels rose above the turbulence of the past week to defeat the Hokies, 3-0.
Annie Kingman helped the Tar Heels (6-2-1, 1-1 ACC) get off to a quick start, scoring the first goal for UNC since the team’s 2-1 victory over UCLA nearly two weeks ago. The goal ignited an offense that needed to beat the threatening Hokies (8-3, 0-2 ACC) to prevent only the third three-game losing streak in program history.