CARY — The No. 3 North Carolina women’s soccer team (18-3-1, 10-0 ACC) cruised to a 4-0 win over Howard on Saturday to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Three first-half goals for UNC — combined with suffocating defense, and a bevy of other scoring opportunities — allowed the Tar Heels to grab the lead early.
One of the only real Howard chances of the first half came early on in the third minute, however, when a pass in the box was broken up by the North Carolina back line.
From then on, UNC was able to control possession and create ample chances, three of which resulted in first-half scores for the Tar Heels.
The first goal came in the 17th minute, when a shot by senior defender Julia Ashley took a bounce off a Howard defender before finding the back of the net. It was Ashley’s fourth goal of the season.
Next, in the 35th minute, a cross from first-year midfielder Brianna Pinto was tucked in easily by junior forward Bridgette Andrzejewski at the far post after catching the Howard keeper off guard.
Moments later, in the 40th minute, Pinto nearly earned a goal of her own, creating separation outside the box and rocketing a left-footed shot that flew just over the crossbar.
In the 45th minute, Andrzejewski earned another goal off of a corner kick that bounced around and was deflected. The score was Andrzejewski’s second of the day, and fifth of the season.