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Wednesday February 1st

Schultz scores late winner to vault UNC women's soccer past Washington

<p>Junior forward Madison Schultz outruns Louisville defenders during a 5-1 win over the Cardinals on Sept. 29, 2018.</p>
Buy Photos Madison Schultz outruns Louisville defenders during a 5-1 win over the Cardinals on Sept. 29, 2018.

Playing through a rainy Seattle evening, the No. 2 North Carolina women’s soccer team was able to pull out a narrow 3-2 win against Washington on Thursday, extending its early season record to a perfect 3-0. After playing from behind for most of the game, senior Madison Schultz's 71st minute goal lifted the Tar Heels to victory.

What happened?

The Tar Heels got off to a slow start, producing almost no real goal-scoring opportunities in the first 30 minutes of play. Taking advantage of North Carolina’s flat start, the Huskies were able to capitalize on their chances early.

Washington’s Summer Yates drew first blood, scoring on a line drive free kick in the 22nd minute of play. Skipping off the wet turf and past Tar Heel goalkeeper Marz Josephson, the ball found its way into the bottom right corner.

This Husky goal seemed to serve as a wakeup call to the Tar Heels, as they were able to respond with a goal of their own fairly quickly. Washington’s keeper Dani Hansen was unable to corral a shot ripped by North Carolina’s Brianna Pinto from outside the box. The deflection from the initial save found the head of a streaking Ru Mucherera, who executed a perfectly placed header in the 37th minute to tie the game.

Just five minutes later in the 44th minute, the Huskies were awarded another free kick outside of the box. The free kick nearly found the back of the net, ricocheting off of the crossbar and back out in front of the goal. After a botched clearance by the Tar Heels, the ball found its way to the foot of Mireya Grey, who assisted Mary Johnston with a ground pass across the box just before the whistle blew for halftime. At the break, Washington held a 2-1 lead.

The Tar Heels looked much sharper coming out after halftime, and proved it with an equalizing goal in the 58th minute. Sticking with the recurring theme of set piece goals in this game, North Carolina’s second score came off of a beautiful free kick ball, sent into the box by Lois Joel and headed in by Bridgette Andrzejewski.

The Tar Heels finally took the lead in the 71st minute thanks to an incredible individual effort by Madison Schultz. The senior forward and Edmonds, Washington native made a fantastic one-on-one move towards the end line and shot the ball from a difficult angle over Hansen’s head, off the right post and in. That was enough to give North Carolina the comeback victory.

Who stood out?

Mucherera had a fantastic all-around game for the Tar Heels, putting away the first goal and assisting on the final goal that would ultimately give them the victory.

Pinto also contributed to the victory by assisting on two of the Tar Heels' three goals and putting two shots on frame.

When was it decided?

Washington set the tone early, coming out strong and taking advantage of a flat few minutes from North Carolina.

The rest of the game went back and forth, as the Tar Heels found a way to equalize after each Husky goal. Once North Carolina took the lead with the goal by Schultz, there was no looking back.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heel victory preserves the team's perfect record and moves them to 3-0 early in the year.

The two goals from Washington are the only goals that UNC has allowed this season. The come-from-behind win shows that this team has the character to earn a tough victory on the road.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will remain in Seattle and play against Portland on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the second leg of the Husky Invitational.

@matthew_audilet

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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