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The Daily Tar Heel

North Carolina women’s soccer extends undefeated season in 1-0 win over UCF

Women's soccer versus Syracuse

The North Carolina women's soccer team celebrates during a win over Syracuse on Sep. 30 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.

Taylor Otto scored her second goal of the season, and the No. 4 North Carolina women’s soccer team redeemed last year’s loss to No. 23 Central Florida in a 1-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at Finley Fields South.

What happened?

The ice didn’t break for the Tar Heels (3-0-1) until the 15th minute. 

After five squandered scoring opportunities, including an open-goal miss in minute two of the game, redshirt sophomore Taylor Otto received a pass from first-year Rachael Dorwart and sent it into the back of the net to score the game's only goal.

Despite controlling the ball in the attacking half of the field for most of the first half, the Tar Heels were outshot 12-10 and allowed three corner kicks before the break. In the game’s 45th minute, senior goalkeeper Samantha Leshnak was forced to make an impressive save to ensure that the Tar Heels had the edge going into the second half. 

Both squads adjusted and put together better, tighter defensive efforts in the second half, and neither team scored.  

Who stood out?

North Carolina midfielder Emily Fox impressed with both her field vision and ball control in Sunday’s match. Fox was able to move the ball up the field when necessary to kickstart the Tar Heel attack, and she saved UNC a few times when she was the last line of defense.

Fox, a sophomore, was named to the U.S.’s roster this summer for the U20 World Cup.

When was it decided?

This match wasn’t decided until the clock read zeros. Despite the relative decrease in chances in the second half, there was never any clear separation between the Knights and Tar Heels. 

Why does it matter?

After a Wednesday draw where they saw several shots pang off the goal-frame — and today’s match that featured its fair share of close calls — the Tar Heels proved able to escape a potential trap game with a victory, even when they weren’t their most efficient offensively.

When do they play next?

North Carolina is slated to play Providence in the Duke Nike Classic on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in Durham.


@DTHSports |

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