The No. 3 North Carolina women’s soccer team (14-2-1, 9-0-0 ACC) beat Miami, 2-0, on Sunday to clinch the ACC regular season title.
North Carolina had an early advantage in shots over the Hurricanes (5-9-3, 2-6-1 ACC). A corner kick in the fifth minute produced two shots on goal — but yielded no results. The first half was shot-heavy with several offensive attacks by the Tar Heels. Junior Bridgette Andrzejewski sent a header shot high in the 15th minute. Forward Alessia Russo flicked a ball past her defender and took a shot in the 16th minute that hit the right post. Russo took another shot wide in the 21st minute.
Junior Zoe Redei scored the first goal of the game off an assist by midfielder Alex Kimball in the 41st minute by chipping a ball over the keeper’s head to deflect off the back post in, finally putting the Tar Heels on the scoreboard. First-year Rachael Dorwart took two more shots before the end of the first half. UNC went into halftime with 13 shots and five corners.
In the 59th minute, Andrzejewiski played a ball across the box which sophomore Sydney Spruill finished for her first goal of the season. The Tar Heels did not slow down after scoring their second goal. North Carolina took 23 shots in the second half.
Miami managed just two shots in the second half. The Hurricanes had an opportunity to take advantage of a free kick given in the 72nd minute outside the box, but the shot went wide. UNC peppered the Miami goalie with shots, and ended the game with a WakeMed Soccer Park with a 36-2 shot advantage.
Who stood out?
First-year Brianna Pinto led the Tar Heels in shots with seven. Though she never scored, she consistenly caused problems for the Miami defense. Russo was the second leading shooter with six shots. Russo had a break towards goal in the 16th minute after playing herself in which hit the post. Russo had another shot in the 89th minute which went high.
Redei and Spruill both made the most of their minutes as reserves by scoring the only goals of the game. Redei took three shots in total and scored the first goal of the game in the 41st minute. Spruill also took three shots and scored the second goal of the game in the 59th minute.
When was it decided?
The game was decided when Redei scored the first goal of the game, breaking the ice for the Tar Heels and defeating the Hurricanes’ chance at holding a shutout.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels have not won a regular season championship since 2010, but they have now secured the title with a game still left to play.
North Carolina has an undefeated ACC record with nine consecutive wins, which puts them in a good place for seeding in the NCAA tournament.
When do they play next?
UNC looks to end its regular season with a win against Wake Forest on Thursday, Oct. 25th at WakeMed Soccer Park.
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