The North Carolina women's soccer team tied Texas, 1-1, on Wednesday, its first tie since Oct. 26, 2017 against Notre Dame.
A game of long balls and counterattacks ended in a draw after a low-scoring affair between the No. 4 Tar Heels and the No. 21 Longhorns. Texas scored in the opening two minutes on a costly error by the UNC defense, but then were held to just four more shots the rest of regulation. North Carolina found plenty of chances through the first 90 minutes of the game and managed to convert on a shot from Taylor Otto. Both teams saw overtime goal-scoring chances, but defense and bad luck held firm, with the final score ending at 1-1.
Who stood out?
The North Carolina back line held fast the entire game. Despite a costly turnover in the first two minutes of the game resulting in a Texas goal, UNC’s defense only allowed four shots in the next 88 minutes of play. While the offense found plenty of opportunities that it couldn’t convert on, including several breakaway shots that went off the post, it was the defense that allowed North Carolina to control possession for most of the game.
When was it decided?
Up until the very last play of the game — a corner kick by UNC that made contact — the game hadn't been decided. North Carolina controlled possession for most of regulation, but during both overtimes the teams saw potential game-ending looks. Texas forward Cyera Hintzen had an opportunity on a penalty kick halfway through the second overtime, but it sailed high. Likewise, North Carolina’s Alex Kimball saw a shot on a corner kick by Dorian Bailey that went wide in the final minutes of the game.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels played their third game in seven days and had their first tie of the season. Flaws in the team were put on display, namely finishing in the box on final passes, but the squad still has plenty of time to come together. Head coach Anson Dorrance stressed the need for more time for practice after the game, as well as the need to practice finishing in the box and putting touch on final passes.
When do they play next?
North Carolina plays UCF at 2 p.m. at Finley South next. UCF is currently unranked by U.S. Soccer Coaches, and will play their first game of the season at Finley against Texas on Friday before taking on the Tar Heels on Sunday.
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