Redshirt senior Joanna Boyles and first-year Alessia Russo led the No. 9 North Carolina women's soccer team to victory on Friday night in Durham. The two players scored three out of the team’s five goals in a 5-0 shutout over Auburn.
The Tar Heels (3-1) dominated the first half of their contest against Auburn (2-2-1), forcing 12 shots while their opponents took just two. However, the Tar Heels scored just once in the half, when Russo found the upper 90 with a firecracker in the 16th minute from well outside the 18-yard box.
In the second half the Tar Heels took total control of the game with their tenacious style of play. In the 64th minute of play, Russo found her way into the box and was brought down by a Tiger defender, forcing a penalty. Junior Dorian Bailey slotted the penalty home to give her squad the 2-0 advantage. In the 75th minute, Boyles struck with a gorgeous free kick from 22 yards out.
Just five minutes later, Boyles converted once again on a one-touch shot assisted by Bailey to give the Tar Heels the commanding 4-0 advantage. First-year Miah Araba joined the scoring brigade in the 90th minute, curving a beautiful ball from outside the 18-yard box into the net to give the Tar Heels a five-goal margin of victory.
Who stood out?
Boyles was impressive, scoring twice in five minutes to give her team a three-goal advantage. She was aided by Araba, who scored once, and Russo, who scored once and drew a penalty. Bailey also starred with a goal and an assist.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels were very aggressive. They pounced as soon as they smelled blood, scoring four times in the second half. It was encouraging to see the first-years shine, with Russo and Araba both scoring in the contest. The win was the second in a row for the team after being upset by Central Florida and gives the Tar Heels momentum heading into their Sunday contest.