With UNC’s hot attack and solid defense, Louisville could not mount much of a counter. With 15 minutes left, Hoeg scored off of an assist by Growney. 19 seconds later, first-year midfielder Emily Nalls won the subsequent draw and turn it into her first goal of the game.
The next few goals came from familiar faces: both scored by Ortega, both assisted by Hoeg. With seven minutes left in the half, Hoeg took advantage of a free position attempt and scored another goal of her own, this time with an assist from graduate midfielder Ida Farinholt.
With three minutes left in the match, after Louisville’s Belle Dora scored a second goal for the Cardinals, Growney scored once — and Ortega twice — to combine for three goals in two minutes. The Tar Heels ended the first half with a 13-2 lead.
Despite Louisville coming out with a renewed energy in the second half, UNC was still able to score a goal in the first four minutes from senior midfielder Marisa DiVietro. However, the Cardinals' energy eventually helped them to score three unanswered goals in four minutes, leaving the Tar Heels reeling.
UNC’s defense refocused, only conceding two more goals the rest of the game. Growney was able to score in an attempt to counter Louisville’s attack, but neither team could seem to go on another scoring run.
With the Tar Heels holding a 16-7 lead with two minutes left, three substitutes — first-year Melissa Sconone, first-year Bailey Horne and sophomore Amanda Fedor — scored three rapid goals, revitalizing North Carolina’s bench and ending the match as a blowout 19-7 victory.
Who stood out?
The attacking combination of Ortega, Hoeg and Growney dominated the match. They accounted for 21 of UNC’s 37 shots and 13 of the team’s goals. Ortega’s seven goals fell one short of the team record of 8, which she equalled in last year’s ACC Tournament bout against Virginia Tech. Hoeg was able to register six assists and eight points — both of which set new career highs.
When was it decided?
By the end of the first half, there was no feasible path to victory for the Cardinals. Despite a quick three goals towards the beginning of the second half, goals from DiVietro and Gowney kept Louisville far from the Tar Heels for the rest of the half.
Why does it matter?
This is North Carolina’s longest undefeated opening since 2012. If the Tar Heels hope to keep it going, proving their ability to both score and defend will be important. It will be especially important in their next match against Northwestern, whose victories have all come after scoring 24+ goals.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will take the weekend off before an away match against Northwestern on Monday.
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