CARY — The last time the No. 3 North Carolina women’s soccer team played against No. 7 Florida State, UNC head coach Anson Dorrance was fortunate enough to still have Alessia Russo and Emily Fox in the starting lineup.
In that matchup on Sept. 14, the Tar Heels outlasted the Seminoles 1-0, with both players contributing to the close win. But in an anticipated rematch between the top-10 programs in the ACC Championship game Sunday, Russo and Fox were nowhere to be found on the pitch at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Russo is out for the season with a broken leg, and Fox is off with the United States National Team in Europe. The Tar Heels missed the contributions of the two starters as their undefeated conference record and 12-game winning streak were snapped in a 3-2 loss. The presence of the two starters would have made a difference.
UNC dominated the possession in the first 15 minutes of play — but couldn’t conjure up any goals in Florida State territory. Then, the Seminoles turned the table and took control midway through the half.
“They picked us apart,” Dorrance said. “Obviously, they targeted our left side (where Fox plays), and they did a good job down that side and their players are wonderful finishers in the box. They were clinical in their finishing.”