The No. 3 North Carolina women’s soccer team (17-2-1, 10-0 ACC) defeated No. 23 Clemson (12-8, 6-4 ACC) in the ACC Tournament semifinal on Friday. The Tar Heels' 1-0 win bolstered a perfect conference record on the season and cemented their spot in Sunday's ACC Championship game.
The Tar Heel attack controlled the ball for the majority of the first half, which led to a fair number of opportunities that the team couldn't capitalize on.
Still, a strong defensive effort and a decisive control of the ball kept Clemson scoreless as well, and the game was all tied up at halftime.
Junior forward Bridgette Andrzejewski nearly converted in the ninth minute with a glancing header off of a set piece, but the shot was high. She followed up with another shot off the crossbar two minutes later, and the ensuing rebound was missed wide of the left post.
All told, North Carolina held an 8-1 advantage in shots at the half, and earned seven corner kicks to Clemson’s zero.
One had the feeling that the teams were feeling each other out in the first half — Clemson played conservative defensively, dropping ample defenders in the box, while UNC was content to control the ball and look for occasional openings.
The beginning stages of the second half were similarly pensive for both teams, with limited scoring opportunities available.
A 65th minute goal from first-year Rachael Dorwart inched the Tar Heels ahead, where they wouldn’t look back. Dorwart’s shot was deflected and rolled in to find the back of the net, giving North Carolina some much-needed breathing room.