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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's soccer handles Portland, wins Husky Invitational

UNC women's soccer forward, Ru Mucherera (3), tries to hype up the sold out crowd during the game against Duke on Sunday August 25, 2019. UNC beat Duke 2-0.

The North Carolina women's soccer team (4-0) poured on the goals late against Portland (1-1-1) on Sunday, winning 4-0 in its second game of the Husky Invitational to finish undefeated in the tournament. 

What happened?

The Tar Heels drew first blood in the 28th minute, with sophomore forward Rachel Jones scoring her first goal of the young season thanks to a cross from first-year Julia Dorsey. Dorsey's pass bounced around the penalty area before Jones corralled the ball and found the back of the net.

The second goal came in the 38th minute, when first-year Alexis Strickland headed home a corner kick by junior Lois Joel for her second goal of the season.

In the 51st minute, Brianna Pinto added UNC's third goal after a cross from the right side of the field found the unmarked sophomore forward. Pinto calmly finished to give the Tar Heels a 3-0 advantage.

First-year forward Isabel Cox capped things off for North Carolina in the 87th minute with a solo score inside the right post. It was the first goal of Cox's career, and the last of UNC's seven goals across two games in the Husky Invitational.

The North Carolina defense was stifling throughout, allowing the Pilots just two shots, one of which was on goal. The Tar Heels themselves managed 21 shots, eight of which were on goal.

Who stood out?

Pinto was named the tournament's most valuable offensive player after scoring a goal on Sunday against Portland and assisting on two on Thursday against Washington. 

After three seniors found the back of the net on Thursday, the Tar Heels got goals from two sophomores and two first-years against the Pilots.

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels were firmly in control at the break, and Pinto's goal at the 50:38 mark, good for a 3-0 advantage with time winding down, all but sealed the game. UNC went on dominate the game in the second half, outshooting Portland 16-2 and earning eight corner kicks.

Why does it matter?

In its second straight game sans three starters – Alessia Russo, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Emily Fox are all competing in the Nordic Tournament U23 competition in England – UNC again displayed its remarkable depth, handling an overmatched opponent and preserving its perfect record thus far.

Sunday was the third time in four games this season that North Carolina has limited its opponents to two shots or less. Indiana managed one shot on August 22, while Duke manufactured two shots on August 25.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will travel to Durham for the Duke Nike Classic starting on Thursday, and will face off against LSU at 4:30 p.m. They will then battle UNLV on Sunday at noon to close out the event.


@DTHSports |

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