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Wednesday February 8th

UNC women's soccer ends regular season with a 3-2 win over Miami

<p>Freshman forward Isabel Cox (13) and sophomore midfielder Brianna Pinto (8) dribble the ball upfield during a game against Clemson on &nbsp;Saturday, Oct. 5th, 2019. UNC beat Clemson 1-0.</p>
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Freshman forward Isabel Cox (13) and sophomore midfielder Brianna Pinto (8) dribble the ball upfield during a game against Clemson on  Saturday, Oct. 5th, 2019. UNC beat Clemson 1-0.

In its regular season finale game, the No. 3 UNC women’s soccer team rallied past Miami to secure its fifth win in a row, advancing to 16-1-1 overall and 9-0-1 in the ACC to finish off the regular season. After ending the Hurricanes’ season, the Tar Heels will move on to host an ACC Tournament quarterfinal. 

What happened?

In a comeback win, the Tar Heels were down 2-1 early in the second half but scored two goals late in the second half to grab the victory — the game winner coming from sophomore Brianna Pinto with just over six minutes left to play in the game. 

UNC took the lead just over 18 minutes into the game. Sophomore Rachel Jones took advantage of a Miami turnover and got the Tar Heels on the board first off an assist by first-year Isabel Cox, notching Jones her third goals of the season and Cox’s third assist of the season. Jones shot high in the upper right side for a one-goal lead that beat Miami goalkeeper Tyler Speaks. 

Miami tied it up with about three minutes left in the first half. The Hurricane's Tia Dupont beat UNC goalkeeper Marz Josephson with a shot from the right side of the goal to find the back of the net right in the left side. 

Miami’s momentum did not fade during the intermission as Michelle Giamportone found the back of the net just 1:18 into the second half off an assist from María Jakobsdóttir and Bayleigh Chaviers. 

After giving up two unanswered goals, UNC needed to change the tide. So the Tar Heels made multiple subs. Just 43 seconds after the big change, two of the fresh players combined forces to score on Miami’s goalkeeper. 

Redshirt senior Ru Mucherera kicked in a long shot from the left to senior Zoe Redei who was position in front of the net. Redei made a slick pivot and shot up into the netting to score her third of the season. Mucherera got her sixth assist of the season from the goal, now tied with Lois Joel for the most assist on the team. 

With just 6:07 left in regulation, junior Alessia Russo and Jones made great plays to get the Tar Heels pressuring the Miami defense. Russo made a long pass to Jones who dribbled and made a center pass that was blocked by a Miami defender. The block came right to Pinto who was just eight yards out from the goal. 

Pinto’s positioning allowed her to make a shot to the right corner to seal the victory for the team. 

Who stood out?

Pinto secured the win with the final tally and notched her tenth goal of the season, but UNC’s offense dominated as a whole. 

The Tar Heels had a substantial shot advantage, leading the Hurricanes 21-3 shots. Ten of these shots were shots on goal, but two of three Miami shots went in. Ultimately, UNC’s offensive pressure weighed out. 

When was it decided?

UNC’s decision to sub multiple players proved to be a victorious choice as the team dominated after the big change late into the second half. 

The offense and Josephson allowed the Tar Heels to keep their winning streak alive.

Why does it matter?

The win marks the Tar Heels’ third straight conference regular season without a loss. UNC has won ten matches in a row against Miami. 

The Tar Heels are coming in with momentum as they enter tournament play later this week.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels’ next match against Notre Dame on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Cobb Stadium will begin the ACC quarterfinal tournament. 

@macyemeyer

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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