The Tar Heels scored four goals in the first half, good enough to build a lead that couldn't be caught. They've often overwhelmed teams this season with offensive flurries, combined with a stalwart defense on the other end.
Senior Malin Evert opened the game with a goal. Then, first-year Erin Matson scored a pair of goals and senior Eva van't Hoog piled another on top with a little less than 13 minutes until halftime.
In the second half, the Demon Deacons put the pressure on North Carolina, taking nine shots in the period alone while UNC failed to score on four shots of its own. Wake Forest finally scored its only goal in the 59th minute, when Kelsey Gill shot a ball over the end line.
But it was too late — that four-goal lead was much more than Wake Forest could overcome.
Throughout the season, the Tar Heels have scored 101 goals this season and have only allowed opponents to score 16. They've shut out nine opponents in 22 games, though this season has not been without mistakes.
UNC was tested in its second game of the season against Iowa. In that matchup, the team trailed by a goal at halftime, but bounced back to win in overtime. It was the only game when the Tar Heels were behind after halftime all season.
That was not the only test they faced all season. In a close game against Princeton, Megan DuVernois scored in the 65th minute to secure the 1-0 victory. That game was one of three on the season separated by a goal. Though some games have been close, the team has maintained an unblemished record.
“This season has been different with the fact that we haven’t lost yet," Matson said. "But we have been doing a good job taking it one game at a time and focusing on the next opponent, how they are the most important team that we have to play."
With one game against the Terrapins separating the program from a seventh national title, the team is motivated to capture its 23rd win of the season. After taking it game by game all season, there's just one win keeping North Carolina from breaking a trend.
Over the last eight years before this season, the Tar Heels have played in five national title games. Each year over that period, they lost with the last championship win coming in 2009 against Maryland.
This time around, though, after this season, it feels different.
“This season has been different in the fact that we are a family," Matson said. "It is a nice feeling we are all out there working together for a common goal. I have been a part of a couple really special teams and this team is definitely one of the most special.”
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