In an overflowing venue, the No. 2 North Carolina women’s soccer team closed out the Carolina Nike Classic with a win against No. 8 Duke, 2-0, in the new UNC Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium.
The Tar Heels were able to sneak in the first goal of the evening just before time expired in the first half. Junior Lois Joel fed the ball to first-year Hallie Klanke down the right side of the field. Thirty-six seconds after entering the game, Klanke whipped a cross into the top of the six-yard box that fellow first-year Alexis Strickland headed into the bottom right corner of the goal with just 13 seconds remaining in the half.
UNC didn’t let the first half lead distract them, and continued to attack for the full 90 minutes. In the 76th minute, senior Morgan Goff crossed a ball from the left corner to the penalty spot. Duke defender Caitlin Cosme rose up to clear the pass, but deflected the ball into her own net instead.
Who stood out?
Despite the constant pressure from the Tar Heel offense with 14 shots, the entire defense continued to impress in the Carolina Nike Classic. Through the first two games of the season, the UNC line has allowed only three shots, none of which have been on goal.
Goff was able to flex her versatility in front of the home crowd. The senior led the defense for 84 minutes while also making key runs forward to help UNC capitalize on the second goal of the game.
When was it decided?
For nearly the entire first five minutes of the game, the ball did not leave Duke’s half of the field. The determination to win the rivalry game was on display and the Tar Heels were getting chance after chance, finishing the game with six shots on goal. It was only a matter of time before North Carolina converted one.
Once UNC was able to secure the goal before halftime, the defense wasn’t going to let the team lose.
Why does it matter?
The weekend of the Carolina Nike Classic was the first time the North Carolina women’s soccer team has been able to play in front of a home crowd in its new stadium. Over 4,000 fans crowded into the new facility, spilling over into walkways and patio areas. When the Tar Heels took a 2-0 lead, the players on the field rushed to the gates at sections four and five to celebrate with them and show how much the new field meant to the team.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will head to Seattle, Wash. as they face Washington at 10 p.m. on Thursday and Portland at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Husky Invitational.
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