The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

UNC women's soccer handles No. 15 Wake Forest, 2-0, behind two Russo goals

The No. 5 North Carolina women’s soccer team maintained its perfect ACC record on Sunday evening, winning 2-0 at No. 15 Wake Forest.

What happened?

The two sides traded chances early in the first half. Two minutes in, UNC’s Alea Hyatt nearly scored on a header, but her attempt was cleared at the goal line. 

The Demon Deacons (9-3-2, 3-2-1 ACC) challenged in the 14th minute, but UNC keeper Samantha Leshnak handled Sarah Medina’s shot from inside the 18-yard box to keep the score level.

The Tar Heels (10-2, 6-0 ACC) finally broke through midway through the first half when Alessia Russo beat the keeper to Bridgette Andrzejewski’s cross, knocking in the game’s first goal and giving UNC a 1-0 lead.

The Tar Heels nearly added to their advantage late in the first half, but Zoe Redei’s attempt sailed wide of the goal and the lead stayed 1-0 at halftime.

Wake Forest challenged UNC’s lead early in the second half, but the Demon Deacons’ best opportunity came in a disallowed goal by Medina, who was called offside.

The Tar Heels had a goal of their own disallowed with 22 minutes to play, but they finally converted moments later thanks to Russo. The first-year forward sliced through the Wake Forest defense and calmly finished her chance for her second goal of the game to give the Tar Heels the 2-0 lead they would take to the final whistle.

Who stood out?

Russo led the Tar Heel offense with two goals, with her second one coming thanks to an incredible individual effort.

The Kent, England, native now has seven goals on the season and extended her goal scoring streak to four games.

Between the posts, Leshnak only saw one shot but kept a clean sheet and controlled her own 18-yard box in the process. The shutout was her third in a row and fifth in six games. 

When was it decided?

Thanks to UNC’s defense suffocating the Demon Deacons’ attack and holding them to only four shots and one on target, Russo’s second goal with 20 minutes to go put the game out of reach. 

Why does it matter?

The win extended the Tar Heels’ win streak to six games, improving their ACC record to 6-0 and keeping pace with Duke for first place in the conference.

UNC earned another win on a ranked opponent's territory, which will help boost their résumé with the NCAA tournament coming in early November.

Where do they play next?

The Tar Heels travel to Boston College on Saturday for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel's 2023 Black History Month Edition

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive