Junior defender Lotte Wubben-Moy had the first multi-goal game of her career as the No. 1-seeded North Carolina women’s soccer team beat No. 8 Notre Dame, 3-0, in a Sunday night ACC quarterfinal.
The Tar Heels (17-1-1) scored all three of their goals in the second half after a scoreless first against the Fighting Irish (10-7-2). With the win — their first of the postseason — they’ll play N.C. State in the ACC semifinals Friday in Cary.
In a mostly uneventful first 45 minutes, North Carolina logged five shots, including three headers, and four corners to no avail. Notre Dame got off just one shot against a stout UNC defense and nearly converted on it — but goalie Claudia Dickey saved the 12th-minute attempt from Sammi Fisher.
Head coach Anson Dorrance sent a mass substitution late in the first half, and the fresh-legged lineup threatened a few times on offense. That gave UNC a bit of momentum coming out of a 0-0 half.
And on a 52nd-minute attack, the Tar Heels’ offense finally struck.
Passes from Brianna Pinto and Emily Fox set up Wubben-Moy with a subtle opening just inside the right corner of the penalty box. The junior defender ripped a contested shot that Notre Dame goalie Brooke Littman got a piece of — but it rolled past her and into the back left corner of the goal. Seven minutes into the second half, the top-seeded Tar Heels had a lead.
With that cushion, UNC kept pressing on offense. It paid dividends in 74th minute. After Lois Joel sent in a corner kick, a few deflections landed the ball right in front of forward Ru Mucherera, who booted home a second goal for her team.
About 10 minutes later, Fox, who’d assisted on Wubben-Moy’s first goal, set her teammate up perfectly for a second. After Fox broke past her defender and drew a foul in the box, Wubben-Moy sank an 85th-minute penalty kick to finalize UNC’s win.
Who stood out?
Wubben-Moy, a defender, hadn’t scored a single goal entering her junior year. She's up to five this season — and the 52nd-minute goal Sunday night was the first of her career in live play.
Mucherera, who’s been a spark plug off the bench all season for UNC, scored her fourth goal of the year to go along with six assists. Those are both career highs for the redshirt senior.
When was it decided?
UNC, which also beat Notre Dame 3-0 at home earlier this season, ran away with this one after Wubben-Moy's goal and eventual game-winner early in the second half.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina won its fifth straight ACC Tournament quarterfinal match, and the program also moved to 20-2 all time in that round and 67-6-5 overall in ACC Tournament play.
From a season standpoint, UNC recorded its sixth straight win after a 0-0 tie with Duke on Oct. 10. The Tar Heel defense also logged its 15th shutout in 19 matches this season.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will play N.C. State, the tournament’s No. 5 seed, on Friday in the ACC semifinals at Cary’s Sahlen's Stadium in WakeMed Soccer Park. The winner will advance to the championship match Sunday.
The Tar Heels beat the Wolfpack, 1-0, in the teams’ regular-season match on Sept. 26 behind a game-winner from first-year Isabel Cox.
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